Arming U.S. Covert Agents in Mexico is Integration Run Amok (La Jornada, Mexico)
Has the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership [SPP] of North America gone too far, and when does “integration” became a byword for foreign coercion or even occupation? For Mexico’s La Jornada, Carlos Fazio calls President Enrique Peña Nieto a tool of Washington for seeking changes to the country’s Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives to allow undercover U.S. agents to lawfully carry weapons in Mexico. Fazio writes that under the influence of the SPP, which is a program to more tightly integrate the three countries, public officials sworn to defend national interests and sovereignty are instead working to undermine both.
For La Jornada, columnist Carlos Fazio begins with changes to Mexico’s gun law being made at the instigation of the United States:
The United States wants to legitimize its long-running intervention in Mexico. Over the past 60 years, through so-called bilateral integration, Washington has penetrated the security and intelligence agencies of the Mexican government. Now it wants thousands of undercover U.S. agents operating on our national territory to be permitted to legally carry firearms. The vehicle for consummating this above-said demand is the new PRI [Institutional Revolutionary Party] of Enrique Peña Nieto. The U.S. started with softening his stance, and now, as it was with [former presidents] Salinas, Zedillo, Fox and Calderón, Peña is the one proposing that U.S. agents carry firearms in Mexico.
The initiative to reform the Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives was sent to the Senate on February 24. The objective? To allow agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE is the acronym in English) to carry firearms in Mexico as part of the joint program of pre-inspection, which is similar to the one Washington has with Canada. Beyond being a euphemism for the immigration authorities of one country to exercise their authority on the territory of another, the intention is to allow U.S. agents to review the documentation and consult databases on the movement of passengers at the international ports and airports of Mexico and control and monitor the flow of exported and imported goods at Mexican customs offices.
Washington’s initiative, which was entrusted to Peña, proposes that its agents carry 40 caliber firearms (maximum), and that security details of the U.S. president, secretaries and other senior officials of the United States be permitted to carry firearms in Mexico to provide them adequate protection. According to Mexican Foreign Secretary José Antonio Meade, the gist of the new regulation is the “harmonization (…) without ambiguity” of Mexican law with that of the United States. He argues that the presence of armed U.S. agents on our national territory is vital to creating more space for competition and shared prosperity in the North American region.
Secretary Meade, who heads a chancellery that was once a bastion for defending against interventionism – until Vicente Fox and Jorge G. Castañeda Gutman came up with a cunning way of ceding our sovereignty – knows that ICE, the DEA, the CIA, the Pentagon, the FBI, ATF and other intelligence services have for years been operating covertly and armed in our country. Recently, a former agent of the CIA estimated the number of covert U.S. agents in Mexico to be 25,000. Just last November, The Wall Street Journal revealed that agents from the U.S. Department of Justice Marshals Service, armed and disguised as members of Mexican Navy Department and supported by DEA and FBI agents, participated at least four times a year in counternarcotics operations on Mexican territory. According to WSJ, undercover U.S. agents participated in the capture of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, and a marshal was wounded in Sinaloa last July during an operation against the Beltrán Leyva Cartel. Rescued by a member of the Navy, he was transported to Culiacán and then to Texas.
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