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U.S. Anti-Drug Agents to Carry Weapons in Mexico


September-October 1997

Mexico and the United States have reached a tentative agreement to allow U.S. drug enforcement agents to carry weapons while on duty in Mexico, it has been reported. The terms of the agreement allow the U.S. to assign agents to U.S. consulates in Mexico, and allow these agents to carry firearms as part of their official duty (David LaGesse, "U.S. may arm agents in Mexico," Dallas Morning News, September 16, 1997, p. A1).

Mexico has disagreed with such a policy in the past, arguing that it infringes on Mexican sovereignty. The issue is likely to remain controversial in Mexico, where opposition parties and even members of President Ernesto Zedillo's ruling party have accused their foreign minister of taking a submissive attitude toward U.S. pressures in the anti-drug fight. [One must consider the political reaction if the U.S. government permitted law enforcement officers  -- especially drug agents from Mexico, Colombia, Burma, etc. -- to carry firearms (with the permission they be used) while patrolling the U.S. to apprehend drug buyers and sellers. This issue is not easily resolved -- EES.]