The U.S. government is allowing Mexican police to conduct cross-border operations inside its borders, according to a report in the New York Times.
The report indicates that Mexican police have staged the cross-border operations against drug cartels from within U.S. territory, with the full support of U.S. authorities. The report cites senior Obama administration and military officials who spoke only on the condition of anonymity.
According to the NYT’s sources, Mexican commandos have “discreetly traveled to the United States, assembled at designated areas and dispatched helicopter missions back across the border aimed at suspected drug traffickers.” The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) allegedly provides logistical support to the commandos in these so-called “boomerang” operations.
To avoid being detected, the NYT reports that the Mexican police come to the U.S. on commercial flights, dressed in civilian clothing.
The operations apparently take place infrequently, having occurred only “a couple of times” in the past 18 months and have so far not resulted in any significant arrests.
According to sources consulted by the newspaper, discussions on the “boomerang” operations began two years ago after Mexico’s crime wave began to affect the industrial corridor between the cities of Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo.
As InSight Crime has commented, deepening U.S. involvement in its neighbor’s battle against organized crime could be met by a backlash from groups in Mexico.