Mexico City – Mexican and US officials are developing a new framework for government security relations that is more “holistic” in addressing crime and the causes of crime.
Cabinet secretaries from both countries will meet in Mexico City on Friday to advance what they call the 200th Anniversary Framework for the Security, Public Health and Safe Communities of the United States and Mexico.
The framework of the talks reflects a recent call by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebral to end the Meridain initiative that governed much of the security affairs of neighboring countries over the last 13 years. There seems to be.
Lopez Obrador said Thursday that his government would continue to pressure the United States to increase investment in poor countries during the meeting.
Lopez Obrador will meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcus, and Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday.
Lopez Obrador has used every opportunity for months to put pressure on the United States, especially to address the root causes of migration from Central America. This is a priority shared by Vice President Kamala Harris and the Biden administration, who are responsible for exploring what the United States can do.
“Immigration phenomena, immigration issues, create opportunities for work where immigrants were born and have the option of working before they endanger everything before leaving their towns and abandoning their families. And make them happy where they were born, where their people are, and where their culture is, “said Lopez Obrador. “That is our focus.”
Smuggling immigrants on Thursday will be one of the areas in which the two governments will work together to address criminal activity, a senior U.S. government official speaking on condition of anonymity.
“One of the key elements of this security framework is actually dealing with trafficking and smuggling. This is a crime that sacrifices the most vulnerable people and neither government wants to stand. “, Said officials.
Last month, attention was focused on about 15,000 predominantly Haiti immigrants who camped near the border bridge between Mexico and Texas. It took US authorities a week to move them all, and about half had already been returned to Haiti. Mexico flew 129 Haitians to their country on Wednesday, but it was not clear if any of them were in the group at the border.
Both sides may also discuss how the U.S. government can comply with the Supreme Court’s order to revive the controversial Trump-era policy that put asylum seekers awaiting proceedings in Mexico. there is. Under the so-called Immigration Protocol, tens of thousands of asylum seekers were waiting for their case to proceed in a dangerous Mexican border city. After taking office, Biden had canceled the policy as one of his first job orders.
Blinken emphasized during his visit to Paris on Wednesday that the meeting in Mexico would cover a wide range of issues. “We have a very broad agenda, which is evidence of the fact that some issues, such as migration, naturally get a lot of headlines, while the relationship is incredibly broad and deep-rooted. I think it will cover many areas, “Blinken said.
At the beginning of the week, Ebrard said the same. He said Mexico would urge the United States to do more to stop the illegal influx of guns into Mexico and speed up the transfer required by Mexican prosecutors.
Another US official said Thursday that the new framework would reveal the commitment of both countries, especially the United States, to work on weapons entering Mexico.
Mexico continues to suffer from high levels of violence and disappearance associated with organized crime that controls parts of the country. However, Lopez Obrador and Ebrald said the Merida initiative aimed at enhancing Mexico’s anti-crime capabilities is a remnant of the past drug war and that security agreements between the two countries need to move in a new direction. rice field.
Mexico is also anxious to reopen its border crossing with the United States. Throughout most of the pandemic, traffic has been limited to essential businesses.
Security negotiations will take place just weeks after the delegations of both countries meet in Washington for a conference on economic issues. Blinken said he was in a hurry about the quality of these meetings and hoped for a similarly positive dialogue on security issues.
Mr Ebrard said Thursday that the overall goal of the negotiations was to establish predictable procedures and norms that would remove some uncertainty from the relationship. Because of its asymmetry, Mexico is often defeated.
The goal is to develop a plan to implement the new security framework by December 1st and to implement the framework for 3 years by January 30th, 2022.
AP writer Matthew Lee of Paris and Fabiola Sanchez of Mexico City contributed to this report.
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