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Article / Letter to the Ed

Misdirected U.S. Aid in Mexico

May 10, 2009 ·

President Obama should renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, with an eye toward reducing poverty and joblessness that lead Mexicans to the black market or over the border.

The May 3 editorial "Beleaguered Mexico" chastised Congress for failing to fully fund the Merida Initiative, an aid program devoted mostly to equipping the Mexican army. And yet, as noted in the May 1 news story "Mexican Drug Fight Nets 60,000 Suspects," the crackdown by these same security forces on drug trafficking has "led to dramatic increases in violence and allegations of human rights abuse."

A better way to lift up Mexico would be to help professionalize civilian police forces in Mexico, with full observance of human rights. President Obama should also follow through on his promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, with an eye toward reducing the poverty and joblessness that have driven so many Mexicans into the black market or over the border.