The US government will retain its focus on strengthening ties with Mexico despite concerns over the influence of criminal groups in local politics, sources tell LPO.
The leaders of three Mexican opposition parties that forged an alliance known as "Va por MĂ©xico" (Go for Mexico) were in Washington D.C. late August to submit a complaint to the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), claiming the June 6 midterm elections were heavily influenced by organized crime.
In March, General Glen D. VanHerck, the Air Force commander of the US Northern Command said that "ungoverned areas" controlled by criminal organizations account for approximately one-third of Mexico's territory. In his remarks, General VanHerck said that a climate of insecurity in Mexico is among one of the main factors driving migrants from Mexico and Central America to the United States.
Sources from the State Department told LPO that while they share Mexican opposition leaders' concerns about the involvement of organized crime in electoral cycles and the public sphere very seriously, it will remain focused on strengthening the US relationship with Mexico, particularly on immigration.
In essence, the White House needs Mexico's cooperation to stem the flow of migrants from Central America and it will not jeopardize its strategic partnership with its southern neighbor at this particular moment.
In July, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador proposed to foreign ministers and prime ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) that they should work towards achieving a regional integration similar to the European Union but attached to the identity, and reality of each country. He also said that a substitution of the Organization of American States (OAS) for a truly autonomous organization, not a lackey of anyone, should not be ruled out.
Last week, Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard, reiterated that Mexico seeks to create an organization to replace the OAS, one that he claims will be politically supported by with the United States.
Ebrard announced that President LĂłpez Obrador will discuss the proposal with President Biden and Vice President Harris at the upcoming Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States scheduled for September 18.
On this issue, the source made clear that there would be little to no support from the US government in creating an organization that would replace the OAS.
Almost eight months into the new administration, the State Department is still awaiting the Senate's confirmation of Brian A. Nichols as Assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs- a key role for implementing the government's strategy in Latin America.
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