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

HUMAN SMUGGLING / 12 MAR 2013

Over 100 kidnapped Central American migrants were rescued in North Mexico, near the Texas border, in a case which highlights…

HUMAN SMUGGLING / 3 MAR 2020

The second season of Showtime’s The Trade comes out March 6, and this time around the award-winning documentary…

BRAZIL / 16 MAR 2016

Former presidents of Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil have written an open letter denouncing the war on drugs and calling for…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…