US-Mexico counter-narcotics efforts are focused on disrupting organized criminal groups, institutionalizing the rule of law, creating a 21st century border, and building strong and resilient communities. These efforts are designed to strengthen citizen security in both countries.  Mexico remains a major producer and supplier to the U.S. market of heroin, methamphetamine, and other drugs and a major transit country for about 85 percent of the cocaine sold in the United States.*

*(Source:  U.S. Department of State, International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), March 2013, See also: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) Summary: 2013, available at

Our common goal – to reduce drug trafficking and related violence – has helped the U.S. and Mexico establish an extremely strong and productive bilateral counter-narcotics relationship. The Merida Initiative is key to this relationship and our shared determination to reduce use and availability of illicit drugs, while simultaneously targeting and dismantling domestic and transnational criminal organizations.


  2014 2013 2012 2011
Hectares under cultivation 17,000 11,00 10,500 12,000
Potential pure production (metric tons) 42 26 26 30


  2013 2012 2011
Hectares under cultivation 13,000 11,500 12,000
Potential Production Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable

* Marijuana yields for Mexico have not been accomplished in many years so production potential cannot be estimated. Marijuana cultivation estimates for 2014 were not available as of the date of this report.

Merida Initiative

The Merida Initiative is an unprecedented partnership and program of security cooperation between the United States and Mexico that acknowledges shared responsibilities to counter the drug-related violence that threatens citizens on both sides of the border. Under the initiative, the United States is currently providing technical expertise and assistance to Mexico for police professionalization; prosecutorial capacity building; judicial and prison reform; justice sector institution building; information technology enhancement; infrastructure development; and border security.

Since 2010, our Merida Initiative cooperation has been organized under four strategic pillars:

  1. Disrupt Capacity of Organized Crime to Operate
  2. Institutionalize Capacity to Sustain Rule of Law
  3. Create a 21st Century Border Structure
  4. Build Strong and Resilient Communities

U.S. cooperation with Mexico under the Merida Initiative directly supports programs to help Mexico train and equip its law enforcement agencies, promote a culture of lawfulness, implement key justice reforms, and modernize Mexico’s borders. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs under the Merida Initiative support Mexican efforts to address key challenges to improving citizen security and well-being, developing and testing models to mitigate the community-level impact of crime and violence, and support Mexico’s implementation of criminal justice constitutional reforms that protect citizens’ rights.

In addition to the Merida Initiative, the U.S. and Mexico collaborate on security policy through high-level exchanges to develop strategies for work on security matters that affect both countries. Through this process, the U.S and Mexico develop joint approaches to combat transnational organized crime, enhance law enforcement cooperation, and stem the flow of illicit money and arms across our common border.

Southwest Border

Since the Obama Administration launched the Southwest Border Initiative in March of 2009, the Federal Government has continued to devote significant amount of personnel, technology, and infrastructure to secure the border.  The U.S. has also provided substantial funding to law enforcement partners in its High Intensity Drug Trafficking program areas in the region. Learn more about the Southwest Border Strategy.

Related Resources

The strategic partnership with Mexico is on the right track, and the intensive and unprecedented tempo of operational information sharing and exchange benefits both governments. More information can be found through interagency partner websites: