An active civil society is essential for any system in which governments are held accountable. Civil society groups are the challengers and communicators in a system which permits government to be challenged. They force governance issues into the open. But civil society can easily be thwarted by regulators, administrators, and others who are intent on preserving privileges or skewing priorities away from rule of law. Civil society needs certain corresponding elements to be in place in order to be effective.
Not only is the Mérida Initiative undermined, but the Mexican government is increasingly wary to say so. Former president Felipe Calderón criticized during his administration the glaring inadequacy in U.S. efforts to stem the flow of illegal arms south into Mexico.