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MANCHESTER, N.H., (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said on Saturday he would get the U.S. military involved in Mexico’s war with drug cartels, in comments likely to upset the Mexican government.
U.S. Spy Hive in Mexico City
Through the Office of Bi-National Intelligence (OBI), U.S. intelligence agents are operating in Mexico with the authority of the Mexican government, spying on organizations, drug cartels, even government agencies and diplomatic missions. Authors of the Proceso story Jorge Carrasco and Jesus Esquivel indicate that the cooperative effort was initiated because of the drug war, and it allows agents to operate without having to disguise themselves as diplomats.
The OBI was originally proposed by the then-head of U.S. National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair. It was authorized by Mexican President Felipe Calderon after former President Vicente Fox negotiated with Washington, D.C. for such an organization. The formal agreement calls for U.S. personnel to interact with Mexican counterparts; i.e., coordination of the State Department and the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the March 25, 2009 White House document establishing the OBI, the office is also responsible for overseeing the use of resources provided by Washington to Calderon to battle narcotics trafficking, especially through the Merida Initiative of 2008 — a cooperative effort of Mexico, Central America, and the United States to combat drug trafficking, organized crime, and money laundering.
The OBI intelligence center was announced August 21.
MALTRATA, MEXICO -- Drug traffickers employing high-tech drills, miles of rubber hose and a fleet of stolen tanker trucks have siphoned more than $1 billion worth of oil from Mexico's pipelines over the past two years, in a vast and audacious conspiracy that is bleeding the national treasury, according to U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials and the state-run oil company.
Using sophisticated smuggling networks, the traffickers have transported a portion of the pilfered petroleum across the border to sell to U.S. companies, some of which knew that it was stolen, according to court documents and interviews with American officials involved in an expanding investigation of oil services firms in Texas.