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The Perils of Plan Mexico PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 10:36
The Perils of Plan Mexico

PEJ News- Laura Carlsen-
I have been a political analyst and writer in Mexico for the past two decades. I'm also a mother faced with the challenge of raising children there. As a human rights advocate and a mother, today I speak to you, frankly, with a great sense of urgency.


Mexico is the United States' closest Latin American neighbor and yet most U.S. citizens receive little reliable information about what is happening within the country. Instead, Mexico and Mexicans are often demonized in the U.S. press. The single biggest reason for this is the way that the entire binational relationship has been recast in terms of security over the past few years.

From a neighbor and a trade partner, Mexico has been portrayed as a threat to U.S. national security. Immigrants are no longer immigrants, but criminals, "removable aliens," and even potential terrorists. Latinos, mostly Mexicans, are now the largest group of victims of hate crimes in the United States.

Although Mexico-bashing has been a favorite sport of the right for years, this terrible conversion of Mexico, from an ally to a "failed state" and narco-haven in the media and policy circles, began in earnest under the Bush administration and has only intensified since then. The Merida Initiative and the militarization of Mexico are the direct outgrowth of the national security framework imposed on bilateral relations.

There is a misconception that the Merida Initiative, named after a meeting between Presidents Calderon and Bush in the city of Merida, originated when Calderon requested assistance in the drug war from the U.S. government. The U.S. government, this story goes, agreed to comply. When the U.S. government cited its share of responsibility in the transnational drug trade as the world's largest market, pundits heralded the admission as unprecedented and a new step in binational cooperation.

This is largely myth. In fact, Plan Mexico

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 November 2009 10:36

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