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Today, Amnesty International joined with seven other human rights groups to call on the U.S. government to withhold aid to the Mexican armed forces. The groups submitted a joint memorandum to the State Department and U.S. Congress concerning the Mexican government’s failure to meet human rights requirements set out in the Merida Initiative.

Under the Merida Initiative, 15% of funds allocated to the Mexican security services are contingent upon the State Department reporting that Mexico has made substantial progress in safeguarding human rights. The groups urged the State Department to reject that determination and instead “provide a thorough, accurate assessment of important human rights benchmarks” in Mexico.

“It is clear that Mexico has failed to make sufficient progress in meeting the agreed-upon human rights requirements set forth by the U.S. Congress,” said Marselha Gonçalves Margarin, advocacy director for the Americas with Amnesty International USA. “Any further assistance to Mexico's armed forces through this initiative risks prolonging these failings.”

The groups signing on to today’s memorandum include Amnesty International; Citizens in Support of Human Rights A.C.; Fundar, Center for Analysis and Research; the Latin America Working Group; the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center; Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights; the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center and the Washington Office on Latin America.

The memo can be read here and the executive summary here.