It is with profound sadness that we learned of the death of Ambassador Carlos Rico Ferrat, a career diplomat in Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretariat, and most recently Undersecretary for North America. One of Mexico’s most distinguished diplomats, Ambassador Rico knew the United States well, having served as Consul in Boston and Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C. He worked tirelessly to improve the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship and helped establish one of the first think-tank institutes for the study of the United States in Mexico. In recognition of his expertise and understanding of our bilateral issues, President Calderon chose Ambassador Rico to coordinate for the Mexican Government the formulation and implementation of the Merida Initiative, a $1.4 billion program aimed at supporting Mexico’s law enforcement effort against transnational organized crime. With consummate diplomatic skill and good humor, he became not only one of the principal architects the Merida Initiative, but also of a strengthened U.S. - Mexico relationship. He will be sorely missed on both sides of the border.