Merida Initiative Support Leads to Certification of Police Officers in Mexico

Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, August 17, 2018 – Yesterday, a group of more than 200 police officers successfully completed the certification process for the Certificado Unico Policial (CUP) certification program.  These officers are among the first in Mexico to receive the certification, although the government plans to eventually require it of every member of a police force in the country.

The U.S. Embassy Mexico and the government of Mexico have partnered to introduce a basic police training program under the Merida Initiative to over 100,000 first responder police across the country.  The U.S. Embassy followed this with additional nationwide courses on first-line supervisor training, control de confianza (a background security check required of all police officers), crime scene response, and the role of police in the accusatorial criminal justice system.  Building on the success of these programs, Mexico’s Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública (SESNSP) mandated in October 2016 that all police (approximately 350,000 officers, per SESNSP data) achieve individual CUP certification by the end of 2019.

The certification process requires that officers complete four pillars:  pass control de confianza, complete basic training requirements, pass a professional competency test, and obtain a satisfactory annual performance evaluation.  Current Merida Initiative training for federal, state, and municipal police officials contributes towards each of the training pillars of the CUP certification process.

A robust police development program is necessary to ensure Mexico’s long-term security and stability.  This important step taken by the officers in Quintana Roo is the beginning of that journey.


The Merida Initiative is a bilateral security cooperation agreement between Mexico and the United States.  Through ten years of implementation, the Merida Initiative has led to greater cooperation between the United States and Mexico.  It has provided tangible support to Mexico’s law enforcement and judicial institutions, helped to counteract the illegal trade in narcotics, and strengthened border security.  To date, the Merida Initiative has delivered USD $1.6 billion in security-related equipment, training, and capacity building assistance to the government of Mexico.