The purpose of this thesis is to explain the decision by U.S. officials in 2007 to pursue the Mérida Initiative counter-narcotics campaign in Mexico. Specifically, I look at the influence that Plan Colombia, a previous foreign policy experience, had on shaping how U.S. officials interpreted the illegal drug situation in Mexico in 2007. I argue that the priorities, characteristics, and structure of the Mérida Initiative were the result of U.S. officials viewing the conditions in Mexico through an analogical lens. Superficial similarities shared between Colombia and Mexico guided U.S. officials to assume similar conditions existed in both countries, thus leading to analogous policies. I support these arguments by analyzing the structure of the policies and reviewing the public comments made by officials surrounding the Mérida Initiative. The intention of the thesis is to suggest that perceptions held by policymakers explain the decision by U.S. officials to pursue the particular priorities contained in the Mérida Initiative.