HomeNewsBriefHang-wringing over U.S. 'Spies' in Mexico
BRIEF

Hang-wringing over U.S. 'Spies' in Mexico

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 19 APR 2011 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

According to the Mexican Attorney General's Office, there are currently more than 500 U.S. personnel operating in Mexico, up from 60 U.S. agents in 2005, reports Juarez-based newspaper El Diaro. These presumably include agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

The headline in El Diario, which refers to the U.S. personnel as "spies," is another indication of how sensitive the issue of national sovereignty remains in Mexico. One of the main questions pushed by analysts this year is what, if anything -- the death of ICE agent Jaime Zapata, new reports about spill-over violence or the presence of Mexican cartels in U.S. cities -- may push greater U.S. involvement in Mexico's "drug war." But both Mexico and the U.S. are approaching election years, and the issue of how much Mexico needs U.S. law enforcement expertise (and money) will likely become even more delicate. 

Asides from Plan Merida, intelligence sharing between the U.S. and Mexico has already brought about results like the localization (and subsequent death) of Arturo Beltran-Leyva. But other moves, like raising the number of U.S. personnel in Mexico, will likely make rise the hackles of politicians on both sides of border. Possibly only the more controversial move would be withdrawing U.S. support from Mexico altogether. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

HUMAN RIGHTS / 6 SEP 2016

Family members of disappeared persons in east Mexico have discovered 75 mass graves in a month in a stark demonstration…

EL SALVADOR / 25 SEP 2020

Alma* arrived in Texas like so many others had and would in the years to come: on her own. She…

MERIDA INITIATIVE / 17 MAR 2011

Reactions to recent reports that United States drones are now flying over Mexican territory were mixed this week, as Mexican…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…