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Cablegate: Mexico Recasting Plan Puebla

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R 172012Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
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UNCLAS MEXICO 006195

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV EAID ECIN XK EC CO PE MX
SUBJECT: MEXICO RECASTING PLAN PUEBLA

1. Bosco Marti Acencio, the Foreign Ministry's point person
on Plan Puebla, discussed with poloff December 6 GOM efforts
to reinvigorate this initiative created originally with a
view to fostering greater cooperation and integration among
Mexico and its Central American Neighbors. At the outset of
Plan Puebla, members had discussed cooperation on
infrastructure projects relating to roads, phones,
electricity and a cross border pipeline. Marti conceded the
plan had produced underwhelming results as States had enough
trouble developing their own national proposals on these
ambitious endeavors much less finding a way to integrate
these efforts effectively with their neighbors.

2. Marti signaled a desire for the group to focus on more
pragmatic areas for cooperation including inter alia epidemic
illnesses (dengue, malaria), natural disasters, climate
change, etc. Coordination on infrastructure projects would
continue but in the meantime the group would try to establish
a track record of success on less complicated matters. This
was important not only politically but also financially.
Approximately 80 percent of Plan Puebla's funding comes in
the form of loans from the Inter-American Development Bank
(IDB). According to Marti, the IDB is predisposed to support
lower cost, more focused projects.

3. Marti advised that Colombia, Ecuador and Peru seek to
join the initiative. He indicated their participation
created an opportunity to change the name of this cooperative
arrangement and hopefully allow the group to establish a more
dynamic reputation with a new name. The June 2008 meeting of
the group's Presidents should provide the best opportunity to
invite new members to participate and anoint the group with
its new name.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /
BASSETT

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