Mexico‘s secretary of foreign affairs has said that the United States’ multi-million dollar foreign assistance package known as the Merida Inititative has not turned out as the country had hoped.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Patricia Espinosa delivered some moderate criticism of the US aid package in her appearance yesterday before the Mexican House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee. In her testimony, the Mexican diplomat claimed that Plan Merida has not produced the anticipated results, and that its delivery has been “slower than we would have liked.”

While $1.6 billion has been budgeted for the aid package, Mexico has to date received only $750 million. On top of this, the program remains unpopular among the Mexican left, who view it as a violation of the country’s sovereignty. This could serve a political wedge in the upcoming 2012 elections.

According to Espinosa, this is due to a misunderstanding of the package’s purpose: “One of the biggest challenges in the issue is that we haven’t been able to communicate exactly what the Merida Initiative is.”

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