Is US-Mexico anti-drug intelligence cooperation about to end?

Enrique Peña NietoBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | |
Some senior American officials believe that the anti-drug intelligence cooperation between the United States and Mexico is in its closing stages, following tens of thousands of deaths in the past decade. Intelligence cooperation between the two countries reached unprecedented levels in the post-9/11 era, following the establishment of the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). In the past decade, cooperation between Mexico’s Center for Research and National Security (CISEN) and ODNI, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency, resulted in what some observers call “unprecedented bilateral action” directed against Latin American narcotics cartels. This arrangement culminated under the administration of Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón, when the CIA —and to a lesser extent the US Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Security Agency— were given unprecedented access to Mexican territory and civilian communications networks. However, in an extensive article published Sunday, The Washington Post says the close operational connection between Mexican and US intelligence agencies is quickly winding down. Citing interviews with over “four dozen current and former US and Mexican diplomats, law enforcement agents, military offices and intelligence officials”, the paper suggests that Mexico City is wary about Washington’s involvement in the so-called ‘war on drugs’. The major change on the Mexican side, says The Post, occurred last December with the inauguration of Mexico’s new President, Enrique Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which has returned to power after 13 years in opposition. Under Nieto’s administration, the Mexican security establishment, worn out by over 60,000 deaths and as many as 25,000 forced disappearances in the past few years, is intent on shifting its priorities. Instead of focusing on so-called ‘beheading operations’ —arresting or otherwise neutralizing the leadership of drug cartels— it has decided to stabilize the situation by containing —rather than eliminating— the operations of drug networks. According to Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexico’s Ambassador to the US, who spoke to The Post, “the objective of fighting organized crime is not in conflict with achieving peace”. The paper suggests that some US officials are worried that an unofficial truce may be struck between the Mexican government and the drug cartels that currently control large chunks of the country.  The Mexican government has allegedly already notified Washington that it plans to establish five “regional intelligence fusion centers” to coordinate the activities of a brand-new 10,000-strong “super-police force”. It is said that American intelligence officers will not be allowed to work inside these fusion centers, and Mexico City has rejected US requests to help train the new police force. Consequently, US officials are threatening to stop sharing intelligence with Mexican officials unless they are given access to the new fusion centers. The Post said it contacted the CIA about the article, but received no response.

2 Responses to Is US-Mexico anti-drug intelligence cooperation about to end?

  1. I expect a smart move by Mexico. The CIA is the organization least worthy of any cooperation in Latin America having to do with drug cartels, one only need recall the CIA’s Iran-Contra ties to international narcotics trafficking and Barry Seal’s murder just before he was prepared to give sworn testimony, not to mention the almost certain murder of Gary Webb (people don’t typically shoot themselves in the head TWICE) whose ‘discredited’ articles for the San Jose Mercury News have since been rehabilitated. Both men revealed large scale smuggling of cocaine into the USA on aircraft doubling as gun runners to Contra rebels. Robert Gates was a part of the Iran-Contra overall operation according to special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, and tracking Gate’s career since, you see what has happened with opium poppies and Afghanistan both during the Mujahideen/warlord (Soviet) period and since 2001. A filthy business draws in filthy people at the top. The CIA has a history of (almost certainly black budget) international narcotics trafficking back at minimum to Richard Secord’s (also an Iran-Contra figure) tenure in Laos during the Vietnam conflict, during which time Air America had been delivering heroin throughout the war zone and by 1971, on average, 30% of the American soldiers were addicts.

  2. TFH says:

    Most sensible thing to do by Mexico is to legalize, regulate and tax all drugs. They would make far more money that way than by any handouts the DEA is offering, it would be the only realistic method to stem the tidal wave of addiction and violence and it is the only alternative to Mexico eventually becoming a fully fledged Mafiocrazy.

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