Stop Funding Human Rights Violations

Target: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Goal: Stop providing aid to Mexico’s government until they end their human rights violations.

Despite the Mexican government’s repeated human rights violations, the U.S. continues to provide them funding through the Mérida Initiative. Since 2008, the Mérida Initiative has appropriated $2.3 billion to the violent security forces and corrupt judicial system of Mexico. Masked as a bilateral security plan between Mexico and the United States to combat drug trafficking and organized crime, the initiative has been dismissed by human rights groups and Mexican citizens as a propeller for violence. Securing the state does not secure human rights when the state is the organized crime you’re claiming to fight.

Fifteen percent of the aid is dependent on congressional review of Mexico’s human rights conditions, including transparency in law enforcement, consultation with human rights groups and prohibiting torture-induced testimony. Documented cases of military human rights violations in Mexico since the Mérida Initiative was established include: torture of municipal officials at a military base, shooting at civilian buses, executing dozens of alleged criminals in rural communities with out trial, and violently repressing peaceful social movements, including attacks on journalists and teachers.

Human rights groups have consistently denounced these blatant violations. Maureen Meyer, a researcher for a human rights group in Latin America, said: “You’d have to be in a bubble not to know that torture is a problem with [Mexico’s] criminal justice system.” Yet the aid keeps flowing in.

After the alleged kidnapping and probable murders of 43 college students by local police and possible military involvement, Congress couldn’t continue to deny that violations had occurred. Five million dollars is being withheld from Mexico due to the Inter American Human Rights Commission report that exposed the government’s investigation in the disappearances was severely flawed. The cut is just a tiny fraction of the aid package and is seen as a symbolic move that will have no affect on the ongoing agenda.

If the U.S. was serious about combating drug trafficking, they’d look within their borders where the drug trade is fueled. If they truly wanted to stop the cartel, they wouldn’t provide them with weapons. The Mérida Initiative has not reformed Mexico’s law enforcement and judicial system–it’s enhanced their corruption. Demand that Congress stops funding violence, torture and oppression beyond our southern border.


Dear Mr. Reid,

Mexico’s police, military and courts have a dark history of keeping its people in a state of fear, violence and oppression. The Mérida Initiative is funding these perpetrators of human rights violations while claiming its purpose is to end them. America is aiding the enemy of activists and human rights groups who lead the fight against corruption.

The Obama administration has taken a very hands-off approach to one of the worst human rights violations in Mexico’s history–the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students. President Obama has given condolences to the students’ families while shying away from publicly criticizing Mexico’s alleged police involvement in the kidnappings or the government’s mishandling of the case.

After overlooking numerous red flags, the United States’ disapproval message to Mexico is denying them a slight fraction of their aid. This move is too little, too late. The U.S. must cut all aid until all human rights violations end and the perpetrators are prosecuted. Please terminate the Mérida Initiative until Mexico has met these standards.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: EduardoVerdugo

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