La Semana

AMLO criticizes DEA for unauthoriz­ed operations in Mexico


At an April 14 press conference, DEA Administra­tor Anne Milgram revealed that the department had incltrated the Sinaloa Cartel and the Chapitos network without the authorizat­ion of Mexican authoritie­s.

Milgram said that the DEA “proactivel­y incltrated the Sinaloa Cartel and the Chapitos network” over the past year and a half. The law enforcemen­t agency “obtained unpreceden­ted access to the organizati­on’s highest levels, and followed them across the world,” she said.

Milgram also said that the Chapitos, one of whom is the recently-detained Ovidio Guzmán, “pioneered the manufactur­e and tra3cking of fentanyl, … .ooded it into the United States for the past eight years and killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.”

López Obrador said Monday that the DEA carried out its incltratio­n operation in Mexico without the authorizat­ion of federal authoritie­s. He pledged to raise the issue with the United States.

“There can’t be foreign agents in our country, no. We can share informatio­n, but those who can intervene [in Mexico] are elements of the Mexican Army, the Navy, the National Guard and the federal Attorney General’s O3ce,” he said.

Last year, the Mexican government shut down operations of the Special Investigat­ions Unit (SIU), the elite DEA team that had operated in the country since 1997. (lopezobrad­

López Obrador said that the DEA’S incltratio­n of the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico amounted to “arrogant” and “abusive interferen­ce” that “mustn’t be accepted under any circumstan­ces.”

“How can they be spying! … Acts of espionage cannot be used,” he said.

“It’s not the same time as before. I’ve already said it here — during the government of Felipe Calderón … [the United States] brought everything but the kitchen sink into the country; they were allowed [to]. They had an overly intense relationsh­ip with the Ministry of the Navy, and the time came when it wasn’t cooperatio­n but rather subordinat­ion of the …navy to the United States agencies,” López Obrador said.

He said that the United States Department of State and Department of Justice need to “put things in order” because “everything is very loose.”

The president questioned how the U.S. government could “blindly trust” DEA agents when “it is proven that many of them — or some, so as not to exaggerate — maintain, or maintained, links with organized crime.”

López Obrador speciccall­y cited the case of the DEA’S former top o3cial in Mexico, Nicholas Palmeri, who was ousted last year due to improper contact with lawyers for drug tra3ckers.

He also spoke about U.S. government links to Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s former federal security minister under former President Felipe Calderón. García Luna was convicted in New York on drug tra3cking charges in February.

López Obrador’s condemnati­on of the U.S. government’s “interferen­ce” in Mexico comes just days after high-ranking o3cials from the two countries met in Washington D.C. to discuss bilateral security cooperatio­n, especially joint efforts to combat the tra3cking of synthetic drugs – such as fentanyl – and Crearms.

The president said that the DEA’S unauthoriz­ed incltratio­n operation in Mexico would not affect the ongoing security cooperatio­n, but he rebuked the U.S. government for perpetuati­ng its “bad habits” of the past.

He said last month that the U.S. government thinks it is “the government of the world,” but he has avoided making any direct criticism of President Joe Biden. (Mexico News Daily)

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