New U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar said Saturday that Washington has asked the Mexican government to allow its agents, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration ( DEA ), to operate in Mexico.
Last year, Mexico waived criminal immunity for foreign agents and imposed strict limits on their contacts with their Mexican counterparts. Analysts say that inevitably affects the DEA’s ability to collect intelligence on drug cartels in the country.
Given that some DEA agents are in Mexico beforehand, it appears that the US request is for more agents to be allowed in or for those already in Mexico to operate more freely.
The United States has been inundated with fentanyl, which is produced mostly in Mexico using chemicals from China as a precursor. Salazar indicated that Mexico has pledged to fight drug cartels under the new bilateral security agreement Bicentennial Understanding announced on Friday to replace the Merida Initiative.
“We are going to receive cooperation from the Mexican government, which was agreed yesterday, to ensure that the public order and security resources that we have operating here in collaboration with the Mexican authorities have the capacity to do so,” Salazar said in his first conference. press release since his arrival in the Mexican capital in September.
“So, yes, that includes our request, and we are working with the Mexican government to have the opportunity to bring in agents again, including from the DEA, but we are doing it in a way that we are in partnership with Mexico.” detailed Salazar.
Salazar also spoke of the need for “a regional response” to another major concern of the United States: the tens of thousands of migrants – many of them Haitians – who are in Mexico or en route to Mexico from South America.
Sources: El Universal