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US agents attacked in Mexico believed to be CIA

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InSight Crime researches, analyzes, and investigates organized crime in the Americas. Find all of Edward Fox's research here.

A leaked report in Mexico affirms that the US officials attacked by Mexican Federal Police last week were CIA agents, something that has since been confirmed to InSight Crime.

Writing for El Universal, Mexican journalist Carlos Loret de Mola claimed on August 28 that he had been privy to a confidential report confirming that the two US officials injured after Mexican Federal Police opened fire on their armored Toyota SUV in Morelos state on August 24 were in fact Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials.

A high level intelligence source has since confirmed to InSight Crime that the men were CIA personnel.

The document seen by Loret de Mola is reportedly based on testimony by the injured agents, who were supervising a training course for Mexican Navy officers at a base in Xalatlaco, Mexico State, near where the attack took place. It confirms that five vehicles were involved in the attack instead of four, contrary to initial reports.

InSight Crime Analysis

Notably, while US agencies the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Pentagon, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) all denied that their personnel was among those injured, a CIA spokesowman did not issue an outright denial, and instead referred inquiries to the State Department, reported the Washington Post. These latest revelations also contradict a Proceso report based on an anonymous source that claimed the injured agents were DEA.

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CIA presence in Mexico increased last year after the US deployed more agents south of the border to work alongside Mexican military officials in the fight against drug trafficking organizations.

The fact that the injured agents were CIA could foster more conspiracy theories about why and how the attack took place the way it did. The incident is already likely to be highly scrutinized since it is clearly an embarrassing episode for the Mexican government, and has (unsurprisingly) prompted President Felipe Calderon to issue a public apology. The US ambassador to Mexico, Anthony Wayne, has announced that the US will work with Mexico to investigate the 12 federal police currently being held for their part in the attack.

– Edward Fox is a writer for Insight – Organized Crime in the Americas, which provides research, analysis, and investigation of the criminal world throughout the region. Find all of his research here.


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