Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Expresses Concern on Mexico’s Legislation Curtailing Joint Security Coordination

Legislation threatens joint efforts in combating drug trade, criminal organizations

Washington | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Alexis Torres, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), December 16, 2020

 Washington, D.C.—Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) released the following statement regarding his concerns on legislation that was quickly passed in Mexican Congress, while the United States was in the middle of a transition, that would put tough restrictions on foreign agents operating in the country, including those fighting violent transnational organizations:

“I respect Mexico’s sovereignty in passing their own legislation. However, after speaking with U.S. law enforcement and Mexican officials, I am concerned this legislation would threaten the security of our nations as well as put U.S. law enforcement officials at danger. The implementation and interpretation of the bill is vital. The United States and Mexico have developed an extraordinary level of collaboration and coordination when addressing criminal and terrorist threats. This bill jeopardizes this partnership and therefore, public safety,” said Congressman Cuellar.

“As the Chairman of the U.S.-Mexico IPG and Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations, I have worked closely with our southern neighbor to create bilateral law enforcement policies that safeguard both our nations. This undermines our efforts. We should focus on our long-term partnership, instead of short-term tensions, and continue to work together to address our current security threats.”

The  National Security Law includes the following limitations/ burdens on United States officials:

  • Foreign agents may only carry out intelligence exchange liaison activities with Mexican authorities in terms of the provisions in the accreditation that would’ve been issued to such agent;
  • Foreign agents may not engage in activities reserved for Mexican authorities;
  • Foreign agents must refrain from carrying out direct operations before any authority other than the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs or relevant agencies in accordance with international cooperation conventions entered into by the Mexican State regarding security and contributing to the preservation of National Security;
  • Foreign agents must communicate to Mexican authorities, through the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, any intelligence they may come across while performing their duties, through the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs;
  • Foreign agents must submit before the secretariats of Foreign Affairs and Security and Civil Protection a monthly report regarding matters related to the bilateral cooperation conventions entered into by the Mexican State regarding security and contributing to the preservation of National Security;
  • Foreign agents may not carry out or induce anyone else to carry out arrests, actions involving deprivation of liberty, enter private property or any other act that may violate the Political Constitution of the United States of Mexico and applicable national laws;
  • Foreign agents must refrain from carrying out activities that may compromise their physical integrity. Consequently, they shall be subject to criteria determined by the Secretariat of Security and Civil Protection, and
  • Foreign agents may only carry firearms authorized by the Secretariat of National Defense.