U.S. troops are indeed working with the Mexican government under the guise of fighting a war on drugs, the Department of Defense acknowledged in the wake of explosive allegations about the U.S. government’s role in the bloody conflict raging throughout Mexico. However, multiple official sources on both sides of the border have claimed that the cooperation goes much deeper than simply training and equipping Mexican forces.
In a series of leaked e-mails, law enforcement officials and diplomatic sources claimed that U.S. special-operations forces were actually on the ground in Mexico involved in joint operations. According to the sources, American forces were engaged with Mexican troops in the battle against certain drug cartels even as the U.S. government was reported to be deliberately helping certain criminal enterprises solidify their reign.
While the Pentagon did not confirm whether or not its personnel were directly involved in the fighting, a spokesman did admit in an e-mail to The New American that U.S. forces were working with authorities in Mexico. “At the request of the Mexican government, U.S. military teams periodically conduct training engagements with Mexican military units to enhance their security forces' capabilities and their counter-narcotics efforts,” explained Army spokesman LTC Jim Gregory.
It is hardly a secret that the U.S. government has been providing training and equipment to the notoriously corrupt Mexican military, especially in recent years, purportedly to fight drug cartels. In 2010, The New American reported that the Obama administration was expanding the so-called Merida Initiative — a drug war cooperation scheme sometimes referred to as Plan Mexico — to unprecedented levels, far beyond what went on even under former President George W. Bush.
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Photo: Preview of things to come? Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Barry McCaffrey observes a Mexican special forces training base in the southern Mexican town of Xtomoc in Quintanaroo, Mexico, Feb. 10, 2000: AP Images