US-Mexico Intelligence Cooperation Braces For Possible Change

“If Mexico decides to slow cooperation on security issues, United States will be hurt.”

By Lorne MatalonFebruary 20, 2017 9:40 am, , ,

From Marfa Public Radio

Intelligence cooperation between Mexico and the United States has become closer in the last decade on issues important to both countries such as illegal immigration, border security, drugs and human trafficking. But that critical intelligence relationship may be under examination in Mexico. The country is trying to fashion a response to a suite of economic threats issued by the new U.S. administration. And security is one serious chip to play.

After alleged Mexican drug trafficker Chapo Guzmán Loera was taken in last year near Los Mochis, Sinaloa, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released a statement.  “The arrest is a significant achievement,” the agency stated, “in our shared fight against organized crime.” There are published reports that U.S. intelligence on Guzman’s whereabouts led to the takedown.

But the former chief of Mexico’s National Intelligence Agency between 2007 and 2011, Guillermo Valdés believes that kind of cooperation risks dilution.”There will be no incentives to collaborate with the United States,” he said.

During his time in office, and afterwards, intelligence collaboration deepened. Agents from both countries now work together on Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala to stop U.S.-bound migrants. The DEA is active inside Mexico and the U.S. Border Patrol is training Mexican border police inside the country.

But Valdés says that relationship may fray if economic threats against Mexico are carried out by the U.S.  “If Mexico decides to slow cooperation on security issues, United States will be hurt,” he said.

Mexico’s new Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray recently told a television host that his country will only bend so far. “Mexico has limits,” said Videgaray. He said Mexico won’t play ball on U.S. requests if his nation feel threatened threatened.

“Mexico is willing to say no when national pride and dignity are threatened,” Videgaray said.

Guillermo Valdés told the Mexican newspaper El Financiero that Mexico should consider expelling DEA agents should the U.S. impose a border tax on Mexican goods or expand the border wall. “The belief that they can make a safe border with a wall ? That’s a false idea. That’s not true. And they know it.”

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