By Greg Moses
Jerome Corsi raises some timely questions about “trilateral” arrangements being forged by “working groups” between North American actors. World Net Daily (WND) is on the document trail of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) thank goodness. But when you look at these kinds of initiatives, you get a shape-shifting mess of spaghetti. Asks WND: “Bush sneaking North American super-state without oversight?” To which we answer, well, duh. I mean what else has he ever been up to?
From the Mexico report to the U.N. Commission on Rights of Migrant Workers, we find a list of “bilateral mechanisms” (pasted below) headed by the Mexico-United States Binational Commission. As Corsi suggests, these things are difficult to see through, and the opacity is cleared up not a bit by a Washington press corps which begins the press conference on the US-Mexico Binational Commission (USMBC) by asking about Iran.
There were ten working groups active at USMBC 2006, and they arrived well-oiled and warmed up, because it appears that the conference lasted only a day. But what were the working groups? One can surmise from the “accomplishments” listed in a March 24 fact sheet that the working groups include:
Narco Wars and Anti-Terror (don’t get us started)
“Mesoamerica energy initiative” encompassing Central America and involving USAID, USTDA, and our [whoever “we” are] participation in the Inter American Development Bank. By the way, this also involves Methane exploitation (from oil and gas fields or garbage).
Transportation and air safety (they don’t mention NASCO here, but it seems a likely topic).
Regional good government (oh boy, this little project was convened with USAID in Mexico City on 9-11 2005, which makes us all feel tingly, yes?) Says the fact sheet: “USAID is now working with the Mexican Government to respond to technical assistance requests from the Central American countries. USAID has also supported the efforts of Mexico and its states to modernize criminal justice systems to better serve their citizens, increase their access to justice, and make them more secure.” (Access to Justice? Can this mean anything other than more police?)
Social Development (actually this boils down to improved banking structures, saving money on the cost of handling remesas and figuring out how to make this cash flow work better for lending practices of local banks in Mexico. Soon enough, the remesas will be returning back to the USA in the form of interest payments on debt?)
Liberalizing air traffic (neo-liberalizing is probably the better term)
Education (this is the key word for the democratic solution to USA-Mexico relations and that’s why it gets $50 million over an eight year period, while, let’s see, what does a single missile cost these days?)
Cultural Cooperation (I mean, once the cargo gets to pumping from China through Mexican ports and up into the heartlands, and once those remesas start falling back into the hands of bankers, and USAID starts funding technical requirements for good government in Central America, too, what’s left but to sell tickets for “increased mutual understanding through the arts”? We’ll entitle our own grant application: Circus of Bread.)
Air Quality (put Texas and Mexico together on this one and no doubt the air will continue to be safe enough for smoke stacks far into our children’s childrens’ futures.)
Innovative Housing Technologies (just tell us which famous names will be getting the contracts).
There you have it, our best guess at the ten working groups chaired by Secretaries Rice and Derbez before they chatted privately about Bush’s plans for the way things are really going to be. (As in, how ’bout that National Guard?)
-Mexico-United States Binational Commission. The Binational Commission’s Working Group on Migration and Consular Affairs is the main forum for dialogue on
migration matters. It deals with the most important issues related to the protection of Mexican nationals at the level of Secretaries of State. Its decisions and agreements have ensured decent treatment of Mexicans abroad.
− Liaison mechanisms for border matters (MEF). These mechanisms are the main forum for participation by the three levels of government of Mexico and the United States and deal with the main issues in the border area: consular protection,
public safety and border crossing points and bridges.
Their main purpose is to promote coordinated action between the two countries’ federal, state and local governments and to ensure that local issues at each border point are addressed from the standpoint of those who, because they live in the border
area, have the clearest idea of the problems. This enables border communities themselves directly to influence federal public policy on border matters and also permits the solution in situ of a variety of border problems and issues that previously required intervention and decision-making by authorities based in Mexico City and Washington. The mechanisms are headed by the consuls of Mexico and the United States at each border point.
− Internal consultation mechanisms (MCI). These are operated by all consulates and have immediate responsibility for addressing the problems of Mexicans detained by the United States immigration authorities, consular notification, access and protection and repatriation problems.
− Pilot voluntary programme for interior repatriation.3 This is based on the Memorandum of Understanding on the Safe, Orderly, Dignified and Humane Repatriation of Mexican Nationals signed in February 2004 between the Ministries of the Interior and Foreign Affairs of Mexico and the United States Department of Homeland Affairs. The pilot programme was intended to safeguard the lives of
migrants attempting to cross the border in the Sonora-Arizona area and involved the
migration authorities of both Governments.