Beijing, December 16 The House of Representatives of the Mexican Parliament passed an amendment to the law on the 15th to restrict the activities of “foreign agents” in Mexico. It is believed that this change is mainly aimed at American law enforcement officials.
The House of Representatives passed the amendment to the National Security Law by a vote of 329 to 98 against and 40 abstentions. The amendment was passed in the Senate last week and will be sent to President López Obrador for signature into law.
The AP reported that the bill requires “foreign agents” to inform the Mexican authorities of the information they collect in Mexico; Mexican public officials who contact “foreign agents” must submit written reports to the Mexican authorities; and remove all immunity from “foreign agents”.
The United States and Mexico have long cooperated to combat drug crimes, and the United States Drug Control Agency has sent people to carry out missions in Mexico. The Associated Press reported that the head of the Drug Control Agency in Mexico usually enjoys full diplomatic immunity, while other personnel enjoy partial immunity.
Representative Gillette Alvarado of the left-wing ruling party of López, the National Renewal Movement, said that the bill was aimed at “maintaining national sovereignty”.
Lopez submitted the bill to Parliament after a diplomatic and judicial disturbance in Mexico and the United States. In October, former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfugos was arrested when he arrived at Los Angeles Airport. He was secretly charged in the United States last year on charges including drug trafficking and money laundering.
The United States did not inform Mexico of the investigation and arrest of Sienfuegos, which aroused strong dissatisfaction from Mexico, including the military. López publicly warned to reconsider the anti-drug cooperation agreement between Mexico and the United States. Some media reported that the Mexican side threatened to expel personnel of the U.S. Drug Control Bureau, but López denied it, saying that Mexico objected to the United States.
The Washington Post reported that due to the investigation of the secret interception of the content of Sienfugos’s mobile phone communication by the United States, the Mexican side is worried that the United States may take the same approach to other senior officials.
In November, the U.S. Department of Justice withdrew the indictment and sent Cienfuegos to Mexico for investigation. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Eblad said that Mexican suspects “should be prosecuted, tried and sentenced in Mexico under our laws, not in other countries”.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr warned last week that the Mexico method case would make cooperation between the United States and Mexico “more difficult” and “will only benefit the criminals that violent transnational criminal organizations and other criminals we fight together”.
Barr submitted his resignation to President Donald Trump on the 14th and will leave this month.