HomeNewsBriefSecurity Tops Agenda for Mexico's New US Ambassador
BRIEF

Security Tops Agenda for Mexico's New US Ambassador

DRUG POLICY / 11 JAN 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The incoming Mexican ambassador to Washington called for renewed debate on drug prohibition and on gun control within the United States, and said there would be changes in security cooperation between the two countries.

Eduardo Medina Mora, whose appointment was ratified by the Mexican Congress on January 10, set out the main topics on his agenda for the media, with issues related to security and organized crime topping the list, as Animal Politico reported.

Echoing the rhetoric of former President Felipe Calderon, who left office in December, Medina hinted at support for drug legalization, saying that an international debate on drug laws was "not just welcome but essential," and calling for a "change in paradigm in the regulatory treatment of drugs."

The new ambassador also followed the previous administration in calling for the United States to review its gun control laws and tighten the lax regulation and enforcement that allows Mexico’s criminal groups to obtain thousands of US-sold weapons every year. Referring to the recent school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, he said President Barack Obama had “a window of opportunity” to enact reforms.   

Medina raised the issue of bilateral cooperation on security issues, saying there would be "changes in approach" but "continuity in efforts in this shared responsibility." He downplayed the role of US aid to Mexico, calling the funds provided through security agreement the Merida initiative "a very small proportion" of security spending in Mexico.  

Medina has previously served as public security secretary under former President Vicente Fox, attorney general under Calderon, and ambassador to the United Kingdom. He was also involved in the creation of the Merida initiative. During his time as attorney general, the office was dogged by accusations of corruption.

InSight Crime Analysis

Although Medina raised several issues that will not sit comfortably with US policymakers, he also showed sensitivity to their political considerations.

His discussion of the need for drug law reform was tempered by an emphasis on multilateral agreements, essentially ruling out the possibility of Mexico acting against US wishes. This follows the position taken by other Latin American politicians, including Guatemalan President Otto Perez, who are in favor of reopening the issue of a reformed drug policy.

Medina’s comments on gun control were also cautious, as he expressed Mexico’s respect for the second amendment right to bear arms, and stressed his awareness that it is an issue of "internal politics."

Overall, the new ambassador's comments suggest that while Enrique Peña Nieto's new government may be keen to move forward on these critical bilateral security issues, it will do so cautiously and will not risk endangering relations with the United States.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 30 JUN 2021

The embattled governor of a northern border state in Mexico is touting the timely arrests of those allegedly responsible for…

CHINA AND CRIME / 14 APR 2022

The full threat posed to Mexico's biodiversity by both Mexican and Chinese organized crime networks has been revealed in a…

CHILE / 25 AUG 2021

A series of seizures and drug raids across Latin America have revealed how previously niche high-strength marijuana products are establishing…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…