When cooperation and intervention meet: sovereignty in the Mexico-United States relationship

Alba Izado Leon Hernandez


The Mérida Initiative is a new stage in the development of security cooperation between the two countries.[1] It is not a bilateral agreement or treaty; it is a collection of legislation on the part of the United States of America, in which the Congressional Appropriations Committee allocates resources used by Mexican agencies. Because there is no treaty or document with international legal validity that the Mexican Congress can accept, modify or ratify, it has no control over the manner in which resources are allocated. When it was unveiled, the Initiative was criticised along two main lines. The first referred to the supposed infringement of Mexican sovereignty by the United States government, and the second to fears of militarisation of the Mexican territory, which could foster human rights abuses.

In this article, issues of sovereignty related to the Merida Initiative are discussed. The first section deals with the concept of sovereignty and its application. The second zooms into the relationship between Mexico and the United States after the Merida Initiative. In the third, some reflections on the way forward are expressed.

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Copyright (c) 2011 Alba Izado Leon Hernandez

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