Merida Initiative Bilateral Implementation Office Opens

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
August 31, 2010

As announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Relations Patricia Espinosa in March 2009, the Merida Initiative Bilateral Implementation Office (BIO) opened today in Mexico City.

This facility for ongoing consultation by the teams of both governments was inaugurated by David Johnson, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and by Julian Ventura Valero, Undersecretary for North American Affairs of Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations. This office will allow for daily exchanges between technical staffers of agencies of both countries with the purpose of fully implementing equipment transfer and training programs under the Merida Initiative.

Neither officials from Mexico or the United States working in the Bilateral Implementation Office will engage in intelligence or operational activities.

The BIO demonstrates the high level of strength and depth of the bilateral relations between both countries in terms of security, as supported by the principles of shared responsibility, mutual trust and respect of jurisdiction.

This innovative, permanent mechanism for consultation will facilitate the implementation of the mandate of the Merida Initiative High Level Meeting, which took place in Mexico City on March 23, 2010, that the Merida Initiative programs disrupt the capacity of organized crime to operate, institutionalize the capacity to sustain rule of law, create a secure, 21st century border infrastructure, and build strong and resilient communities.

PRN: 2010/1183