Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Mexico City: U.S. Anti-Drugs Agency Pulls Plane From Mexico In Fresh Cooperation Blow

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has stopped stationing a plane in Mexico for anti-narcotics operations for the first time in decades after Mexican officials rescinded its parking spot, three sources said.

The withdrawal of the aircraft is a new hit to joint cooperation against drug crime which has frayed in recent years under Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The DEA has had its own aircraft based at Toluca near Mexico City since at least the early 1990s to conduct missions against cartels, ferrying U.S. agents and elite Mexican units to supervise time-sensitive raids across the Latin American nation.

The current plane, a twin-turboprop King Air able to fly about 10 people, played a key role in capturing some of the world’s most powerful drug lords, and was used on raids against former Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. It also served DEA operations in Central America.

According to a U.S. government official and two security sources familiar with the topic, the airplane has now been moved to Texas. All three requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak about the issue.

“It will bring things to a halt. We can’t drive through parts of Mexico, it’s too dangerous,” said one of the security sources familiar with DEA operations.

The DEA declined to comment on the matter. The Mexican Attorney General’s Office (FGR) and the Mexican president’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

The aircraft’s removal threatens to undermine U.S. efforts to battle organized crime groups inside Mexico and risks delaying extraditions of high-ranking capos.

It is another example of the fissures in the relationship between the DEA and Mexico’s government since Lopez Obrador came to power in 2018 and vowed to take a less hostile approach to battling organized crime.

Reuters reported in April that Mexico last year disbanded a select anti-narcotics unit that for a quarter of a century worked hand-in-hand with the DEA to combat the cartels.

Despite the sharp reduction in anti-narcotics cooperation under Lopez Obrador, some U.S. officials say it has improved since a near-total rupture in 2020 when U.S. authorities arrested Mexico’s ex-army chief Salvador Cienfuegos for allegedly taking bribes from a drug cartel.

Following an outcry from Mexico, a U.S. judge released Cienfuegos after prosecutors requested it citing “sensitive” foreign policy considerations.

Lopez Obrador has frequently criticized the DEA over its methods that he says run roughshod over Mexico’s sovereignty.

Problems with the plane began soon after Lopez Obrador took power, according to the security source familiar with DEA operations.

Its use slowed in 2019 after the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA), which controls the airspace and enjoys an enlarged role under Lopez Obrador, began to demand a written request from the U.S. government two weeks prior to any flight.

This made many missions unworkable due to the need for flexibility and speed, the security source said, but the DEA’s appeals to Mexico’s foreign ministry were in vain and the aircraft’s use stagnated.

Then, about a month ago, the DEA moved the plane after Mexico’s FGR asked the agency to relinquish its parking space in the FGR hangar in Toluca airport, according to the U.S. government official.

Former and current U.S officials said the plane’s absence would hobble DEA’s work, recounting the aircraft’s pivotal role of transporting top Mexican policemen, elite Navy special forces and their equipment for major raids.

“The plane was invaluable to our missions,” said Leonardo Silva, a former DEA agent who served in Mexico. “It’s very important to the DEA’s ability to function and be effective in Mexico.”

With two DEA pilots on standby at all times, the plane has also been critical to rescuing U.S. agents facing death threats, including in 2011 when the Zetas cartel in central Mexico killed a U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agent and hunted his wounded colleague, Victor Avila, who had to be flown out.

Extraditions of traffickers are also likely to be imperiled because the DEA often only has a matter of hours to take cartel chiefs abroad before their lawyers tangle the process in a web of judicial moves, said one former senior DEA agent who worked in Mexico.

Drug cartels waging turf wars over trafficking routes have driven Mexico’s murder rate to above 30,000 homicides per year. In the United States, the new hyper potent drugs produced by Mexican cartels have triggered a sharp jump in overdoses that led to more than 100,000 U.S. deaths last year.  

The National Post


  1. It's because lopez abrador was part of it .... Why do u think he was shaking Guzman's mom hand that onetime and why do u think Guzman's son was let go cause of him ....they must of given him a hell of a payoff

    1. 8:47 AMLO was shaking Chapo Mama's hand not her bank account...
      He OWNS PEMEX, social security, power generation, tortillas, CFE, tourism, banking what could he get from ChapoMama, her pension?

  2. Toluca airport used to be where Arturo Beltran Leyva allowed Genarco Garcia Luna and governor EPN (peña nieto) park their airplanes or helicopters until they murdered him to steal his business, nice to find the DEA took their share of the hangars and parking spots, hope Mena Ark is cool again.

  3. Keep up the good work Almo, not only are drugs cartels running around and killing Innocents. But undermining the work of the DEA, will even be a bigger blow to Mexico. Almo is the puppet to the Cartels and old tip brass in the military.
    When will the US take action and cut off the millions in yearly aid.

  4. Cut off the money Biden see if they won't call you.enoygh is enough with these guys they don't want to work with the USA because they are in Menchos.or Mayos wallet that's why they're sending pure stuff up north and that's not good business But Lopez obrador.will be out in Two years hope he gets arrested on a US warrant.

  5. Just take Lopez out like US took out Noriega.when he was harassing US troops.Lopez is harassing US agents impeding on their work

    1. Lopez is a wierdo.
      When he is out of office, he will blame the failures on other people.

    2. 3:41 after he gets re-elected, AMLO will become México's:
      president for life

  6. The word impeding is too big for many of this websites readers ; it means he's interfering and trying to stop their investigations .

  7. It all comes down to national sovereignty. Something the U.S doesn't seem to understand. Good job AMLO, kick them gringos out your house just as they would to your countrymen.

    1. Hey the Obrador lawyer nutthugger has crawled out of the rock to defend the president.
      Oh yeah but he built barracks lol

    2. LOL Poncho you back to anonymous? Remember, AMLO ranks #2 in the world leader approval rating for a reason.

  8. AMLO es su mero padre cabrones,
    2 more years until his re-elecciòn

    1. Re election my azz, no servi para nada El grampa.

  9. In a way, AMLO is telling the USA to stop narcotics trafficking in the USA, that means Border enforcement which neither he nor Democrats like.

  10. 11:03 sometimes expensive crack hoe ass gets too expensive and you have to let her go peddle her flea bitten ass with too many miles on the muffler somewhere else...
    But don't blame AMLO, he just wants to GOVERN like an HERO that his foes never forget or forgive, after he finishes his President For Life Appointment, you won't have him anymore to kick around, maybe.
    See, we still have Nixxon and his dirty secret crimes getting exposed after 50 years of BS, and NIXXON's ACOLYTES trying to save the brand of the devil with trooomp's religious MAGA hats.

    1. Nice Mr to be on disability sir, you like a many tv dinners

    2. 12:23 working, disability, food stamps, church pantry, public housing for free, and Biden Checks about to come now that trooomps checks are gone...
      I ain't complaining, am about to buy me a new wife from Ukrainia too.

    3. @Sir

      Playboy I don't know about them overseas females. It's not always a guarantee that they're gonna give you that midnight snack every time you want it.

    4. 7:26 just joking wiff frilly freeky frustrated fuck-up.

    5. Si como no wey. I bet your wife watches over your comments so you've got to backpedal on your words. Pinche mandilon. 😄

    6. 5:23 experience knows first hand, yes, almost there...

    7. Sir Nixon has been dead for many years.
      Sir Sol does not drive a jumbo jet plane.
      Sir Mr. Humble Opinion lost his WIFi, but he will be back soon.

  11. Lopez Must be getting a good Payoff from da Cartels, hope da US Gets him wen he's outta office

  12. Ahhhh how relaxing a day with out sir and his Nalgas. He thinks Nixon is still alive. Better yet Hugo Chavez is also dead. Then he thinks Norega is still alive. Oh brother he also thinks Kamala Harris is President of USA.


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