An investigative report by Mexico’s leading newspaper, El Universal, slams the Obama Administration for violating the Mexican Constitution, by permitting U.S. Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration officials to meet and deal with Mexican drug ring leaders without informing the Mexican government.
In an article entitled “The DEA’s Secret War in Mexico,” El Universal concludes that U.S. actions, including the Fast and Furious operation that helped arm drug traffickers who subsequently turned them against U.S. law enforcement officers, made the drug violence that is gripping the neighboring country even worse.
The Mexican newspaper obtained documents from U.S. District Court of Chicago proceedings against an alleged Mexican drug cartel leader which reveal DEA tactics for meeting and negotiating with drug cartel leaders. Through these meetings, which were not reported to the Mexican government, U.S. authorities created a network of informers with cooperation agreements that essentially allowed drug trafficking activity to continue.
The newspaper reports that such DEA meetings and agreements with drug traffickers violate existing bilateral cooperation agreements between the United States and Mexico, as well as the Mexican Constitution. The article cites one of Mexico’s leading attorneys, Juan Velázquez, saying, “Neither bilateral cooperation agreements nor other things are above the Constitution, which is the supreme law. If our authorities permit otherwise, they are acting illegally and are subject to being responsible, but how will they be held accountable if such agreements and the actions of all involved are secret and for that reason nothing is known about them?”
The article, product of a year-long investigation by El Universal reporter Doris Gómora, cites numerous documents and declarations from an ongoing U.S. criminal process against Vicente Zambada-Niebla, son of one of the leaders of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel and charged with trafficking more than a billion dollars in cocaine and heroin.
The latest round of revelations creates new pressure for both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to acknowledge and be held accountable for the full extent of their administration’s stunning failures and violations of the law in prosecuting the war against drugs.
President Obama is scheduled to travel to Mexico on February 19, to participate in the North American Leaders Summit.