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  • Center for Binational Institutions

American Interference or International Cooperation?

During one of his morning conferences, Mexican President, Andres Manuel López Obrador, also known as AMLO accused the United States of interfering with Mexico’s sovereignty. "It's interference, it's interventionism, it's promoting coup plotters," said AMLO, regarding funding from the Agency from International Development (USAID) to the Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI), a civil society organization (CSO). The Mexican President requested that the American Embassy confirm whether USAID was financing MCCI, and if that was the case, to cease the funding for the sake of mutual respect.

USAID is an American government agency that receives public funds from the American Congress. Its budget priorities are decided in consultation with Congress and the Executive Office. Most of USAID resources are awarded through contracts, grants, or cooperation agreements. In the case of Mexico, the USAID funds programs related to crime and violence prevention, rule of law, human rights, and global climate change. The funding questioned by President AMLO would fall under the USAID Mexico Civil Society Activity (CSA) funding, pertaining to the rule of law category. The USAID Mexico CSA started in 2013, and it aims to strengthen the Mexican civil society. The activity provides technical assistance so that CSOs can build their ability to influence local systems and create strategic alliances with the public and private sectors. This activity also provides grants to intermediate service organizations and CSOs engaged in advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, and service provision. In 2019, the USAID total funding to Mexico was $443,964,994 USD, from which 1.3% were directed towards the USAID Mexico CSA (contract number: AID-OAA-1-13-00045). In 2020, the USAID total funding to Mexico was $72,115,313 USD, from which around 4.5% were directed towards the USAID Mexico CSA. The project implementing partner is Social Impact, Inc.

Receiving international public or private funding is legal in Mexico, and the implementing institution in Mexico is the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID). This agency supports international organizations, civil society, academia, and the private sector through the transfer, reception, and exchange of information, knowledge, technology, and resources. This institution is a soft power tool that strengthens diplomacy, cooperation, transparency, and accountability. Furthermore, the International Development Cooperation Law was updated in 2020 and lays the foundations for international cooperation in the area of development.

Mexico itself has funded operations outside its borders, for example, the announcement of a 100 million dollar program to the Honduran, Guatemala, and Salvadoran governments to foster employment and improve living conditions to reduce forced migration to the United States. In conclusion, international funding through democratic channels such as agreements, programs, and institutions is part of international cooperation.

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