Tag: Mexico

AMLO’s new security law restricts foreign law enforcement activities in Mexico: a dire situation for DEA

AMLO’s new security law restricts foreign law enforcement activities in Mexico: a dire situation for DEA

AMLO’s new security law: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, President of Mexico, more commonly known as AMLO, hurriedly and quite suddenly had sent a bill to Congress in early December targeting the activities of foreign law enforcements in the country. The bill was passed into law by Mexico’s Congress on Tuesday. 

The newly enforced national security law will limit operational freedom of foreign enforcement agencies and officers. The experts criticize this move arguing that it can hamper the intelligence sources and also pose a big threat to the future of international anti-narcotics operations. 

The law, though doesn’t specifically target a particular country, but the most impacted in a disastrous manner would be US agencies like DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), which has strong hold and presence in Mexico. The law will strip the foreign law and intelligence agents of diplomatic immunity along with requirement of sharing intelligence data with the Mexican officials. 

Mike Vigil, former DEA chief of international operations, said, “You’re going to see a situation where the efforts of US agencies, especially with the DEA, are significantly going to be diminished. They want to relegate the agencies like DEA to doing nothing more than staying in the office and just passing information.” 

DEA has been working with Mexican authorities over past years, creating intelligence for the “war on drugs”. But these US operations in the neighboring country has received backlash – military crackdown in Mexico has led to over 200,000 lives lost and 70,000 missing. 

AMLO pressured the bill in congress over complains regarding DEA’s operations in Mexico. The law, coincidently, also follows detention of Mexico’s former defense secretary Gen Salvador Cienfuegos, who was detained in Los Angeles in November over drug charges. Although, no case or investigation was ongoing against him in Mexico. Experts analyze that AMLO’s eagerness to push the law was also to secure release of Cienfuegos. This is largely due to increasing dependency of president on military for all operations in the country – security, construction, running of seaports. 

On the law AMLO said, “During other governments, they came into Mexico as if they owned the place. They didn’t just carry out intelligence operations, they went after targets. Mexican security forces launched the operations, but the decisions were made by these foreign agencies. That no longer happens.” 

William Barr, US attorney general said, “The law can only benefit the violent transnational criminal organisations and other criminals that we are jointly fighting.” 

As the new law would require foreign law enforcements to share any and all intelligence information with the Mexica authorities, fear looms that it may tip off the criminals and corrupt officials. But AMLO maintains that country’s armed forces and security and citizen protection secretariat are not infiltrated any more by organized crime. US officials just mock at this claim. Vigil says, “The big worry for US agencies is that it will compromise agents, it will compromise informants and it will compromise operations and investigations if that happens.”

Brazil and Mexico finally recognise Biden as US President

Brazil and Mexico finally recognise Biden as US President

Brazil and Mexico: After weeks of waiting for legal challenges to clear up against US presidential election results, Brazilian and Mexican presidents finally acknowledged Joe Biden’s as the US next president. On Tuesday afternoon, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro shared a messaged on Twitter, saying, “Greetings to President Joe Biden with my best wishes and the hope that the US continues to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. I will be ready to work with the new government.” 

Rubens Ricupero, Brazil’s former ambassador to the US expressed shock towards Bolsonaro’s delay. “It’s a lunatic reaction that is utterly lacking in any kind of diplomatic logic … Any diplomat with their head screwed on knows this is madness,” Ricupero said.

Even Brazilian vice-president, Hamilton Mourão, failed to reason the delay in Brazilian leader’s recognition of Biden’s win and when asked about the Bolsonaro’s intention behind the move, said: “I don’t know.”

Besides Bolsonaro, Mexican President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also extended equally cold greetings to Biden. In his two-page letter addressed to the US democrat leader, AMLO along with recognising Biden’s presidency, also wrapped in a subtle warning to the new state head to implement the policy of non-interference in foreign affairs. His letter read: “We have the certainty with you in the [US] presidency it will be possible to continue applying the basic principles of foreign policy established in our constitution; especially that of non-intervention.”

AMLO’s letter to Biden was a stark contrast to the one written to Donald Trump. One of its contrasting feature was its length as the Mexican leader send a seven-page message to Trump, after he himself came to power in 2018. AMLO justified delay in congratulating Biden by emphasising that it was Mexico’s policy of non-intervention in foreign affairs. He said, “With regard to the US election, we are going to wait until all the legal matters have been resolved. I can’t congratulate one candidate or the other. I want to wait until the electoral process is over.”

But this might not be the case as he seemed to be indirectly rooting for Trump as he equated, what Trump called election fraud, with the allegations of fraud he faced in two presidential elections Mexican leader contested, in 2006 and 2012, before winning the third one in 2018.

Slamming AMLO’s move, Gabriel Guerra Castellanos, a former Mexican diplomat, tweeted, “Having read AMLO’s congratulatory letter to Biden, I can only say it would have been better if he had not congratulated him. If someone from this side of the border doesn’t intervene, we will have four icy years in the US-Mexico relationship.”

Brazil and Mexico’s congratulatory acknowledgement was both delayed and rude, which could impact the US ties with Brazil and Mexico for the next four years.

AMLO new legislation provides cover to transnational criminals, puts Mexico-US ties at stake

AMLO new legislation provides cover to transnational criminals, puts Mexico-US ties at stake

AMLO new legislation: Tensions rise between US and Mexico as latter introduced a new law, which could be called as a reaction to the detention of former Mexican defence minister Salvador Cienfuegos in Los Angeles in October. The new law would directly impact the US-Mexico ties as it bars the officials charged it drug or corruption charges to be tried outside Mexico or in United States. It also imposed a level of censor over the transfer of information or personnels to the US anti-drug agents and the FBI. 

As per the new law, Mexican federal, state and local officials could provide information to “foreign agents” including FBI agents or Drug Enforcement Administration offices only with  the permission from a high-level security panel in Mexico. Besides, the Mexican officials would need to submit a written report carrying the details of the meetings to the Foreign and Public Security ministries. During the meeting, Mexican government also demanded that a representative of the Foreign Ministry would be part of the sessions. Critics argued that it would affect investigations of various cases including drug-trafficking, money-laundering, kidnapping and other crimes.

The legislation bill, which was tabled by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, already had a high chance of getting cleared as AMLO’s party holds majority in Congress. On Wednesday night, the bill got passed in the Senate and would soon be cleared by the lower house too. 

“It will dramatically change the way Mexican law enforcement and U.S. law enforcement cooperate,” said Ana María Salazar, a Mexico City-based security analyst who worked in drug enforcement under the Clinton administration. “The extreme requirements will probably paralyze the relationship.”

Many believed that the authorities took the decision following the high-profile corruption and money laundering case against former Mexican defense secretary, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos. Mexican government announced its decision after US justice department dropped case against the former Mexican official. 

Last month, the US Justice department announced that it would dismiss all the charges against Cienfuegos and return him to Mexico in order to maintain cross-border peace and cooperation between the two counties. Many reports hinted that Mexico threatened to expel the Drug Enforcement Administration’s regional director and agents, if Cienfuegos was not sent back.

US Federal police arrested former Mexican defense minister Cienfuegos at Los Angeles International Airport on account of drug trafficking and money laundering in October. Federal prosecutors issued a letter supporting his detention, which read, “The defendant abused that public position to help the H-2 Cartel, an extremely violent Mexican drug trafficking organization, traffic thousands of kilograms of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States, including New York City.” It added, “In exchange for bribe payments, he permitted the H-2 Cartel — a cartel that routinely engaged in wholesale violence, including torture and murder — to operate with impunity in Mexico”.

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