On November 17, 2010 I posted a translation of a Proceso article titled: U.S. SUPER INTELLIGENCE CENTER REVEALED IN MEXICO. The following is NORTHCOM'S response to the information originally published by Proceso Magazine:
Truth behind the Bilateral Implementation Office (BIO)
BY: NORAD and USNORTHERN Command
We have seen some mileage from a story out of Mexico alleging a “Binational Intelligence Office,” of U.S. Government officials in Mexico. It is unfortunate that other news agencies are starting to pick up this story, because frankly it simply isn’t true. In violation of standard journalistic practice, “Proceso” magazine never contacted the Embassy to seek confirmation of any part of this patently false story. The following points below are being communicated to media outlets who call us and we wanted to share them with you, our friends, so you can at least be aware of our perspective on this story. Links to the original story can be found below.
· There is no “Binational Intelligence Office” in Mexico involving USG agencies.
· There is a Merida Initiative Bilateral Implementation Office (BIO). It was announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Relations Patricia Espinosa in March 2009, and it opened August 31 in Mexico City.
· This office allows for daily exchanges between technical staffers of agencies of both countries with the purpose of fully implementing equipment transfer and training programs under the Merida Initiative.
· Neither officials from Mexico or the United States working in the Bilateral Implementation Office engage in intelligence or operational activities.
· The BIO demonstrates the high level of strength and depth of the bilateral relations between both countries in terms of security, as supported by the principles of shared responsibility, mutual trust and respect of jurisdiction.
· This innovative, permanent mechanism for consultation facilitates the implementation of the mandate of the Merida Initiative High Level Meeting, which took place in Mexico City on March 23, 2010, that the Merida Initiative programs disrupt the capacity of organized crime to operate, institutionalize the capacity to sustain rule of law, create a secure, 21st century border infrastructure, and build strong and resilient communities.
The following link will take you to the press releases announcing the Bilateral Implementation Office (BIO) http://mexico.usembassy.gov/eng/releases/ep100901_Bilateral.html
This facility for ongoing consultation by the teams of both governments was inaugurated by David Johnson, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and by Julián Ventura Valero, Undersecretary for North American Affairs of Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations.
USNORTHCOM is proud of our military to military relationship with Mexico, and we hope that these false allegations of a U.S. spy agency is quickly debunked by our partners, neighbors and friends to the south.
Thanks for reading!
NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs