Catholic World News

USCCB: reexamine aid to Mexican military

January 13, 2014

The chairmen of two committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have called upon Secretary of State John Kerry to reexamine the emphasis on military aid given to Mexico under the Mérida Initiative, a 2008 anti-drug and anti-crime agreement.

“An overemphasis on military assistance can be counterproductive,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines. “While there is a role for security assistance, we also urge that an increased proportion of budgetary expenditures attributable to US international aid be allocated to support the fostering of human rights, a just and humane civil society, and broad-based economic development.”

The bishops stated that the Mérida Initiative would be improved by providing “greater support for the development of incorruptible and accountable security forces operating in Mexico (and the United States); strengthening the Mexican judicial system; enhancing economic opportunity in Mexico by means of improved education and training programs to create viable alternatives to criminal careers; promoting agricultural development by providing assistance aimed to support Mexican small and family farmers; expanding programs that target youth unemployment in Mexico; and providing treatment facilities for those already addicted.”

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  • Posted by: [email protected] - Jan. 15, 2014 9:16 PM ET USA

    This sound great on paper. But is this not what Mexico should be doing? Maybe the pressure should be on the Mexican government to do better. We cannot and should not support every country in the world. We can not afford to get ourselves in order thanks to Obama policies which the Church seems not to criticize.

  • Posted by: Obed - Jan. 14, 2014 6:08 PM ET USA

    How can a man of faith remain silent upon observing injustice being served to a Nation even if it is not his own? I was born in Matamoros and live in Brownsville (border cities). When I go to my home town and visit my best friend I get to see them 'working' in front of her house. A small but organized army avoiding the Mexican marines by hidding amongst the neighborhood's streets. When I look in their eyes I see aggression and cynism attempting to hide pain. They're severely wounded humans.

  • Posted by: unum - Jan. 13, 2014 10:03 PM ET USA

    This is above the USCCB bishops' pay grade. Bishop Wenski is a good guy, but I don't think his committee knows squat about battling the cartels who have ruined the Mexican economy at the border, branched into illegal immigration, and are in the process of taking over mob activity in California. "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt."