The President of Mexico has announced a plan to allow some foreign customs and immigration agents to carry firearms inside Mexico. This comes as a dramatic change to Mexico’s current policy of prohibiting any foreign nationals from possessing a firearm inside its borders. The proposal also allows foreign dignitaries and heads of state to bring their own armed security details.
The program announced by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto will require a major reform to the nation’s federal firearms legislation, according to an article appearing on PanAm Post. The reforms will create designated areas where foreign agents will be able to carry the same firearms they carry in their home country, with certain limitations.
“This is a significant cultural shift for the Mexican Government,” said Colonel Doug O’Connell, a former U.S. Army Special Forces officer who now provides consulting and security resources to oil and gas companies operating in Mexico and elsewhere. “The impetus behind this change is likely twofold: first, as more joint US-Mexican law enforcement operations become known, it is continually more difficult for the Mexican government to deny that US agent sometimes are armed when operating in Mexico.”
“Secondly, this has been a point of contention for the US Government for some time,” O’Connell said. “As the episodes of violence increase, U.S. Government personnel have become increasingly skeptical of the Mexican police and military’s ability to provide security. It is quite possible that the U.S. Government insisted on this change as a condition of continued counter narcotics funding.”
The licensed weapons must be semi-automatic pistols or revolvers of .40 caliber or less. The design of the proposal is to enable migratory pre-inspections in order to speed up the border crossing inspection process. “Regarding migratory pre-inspection,” reads the bill, “foreign public servants participating in controls at international checkpoints would be allowed to carry guns.”
The goal of the program is to improve safety for foreign agents and allow them to protect themselves from drug cartels and criminal gangs. It will not; however, allow foreign law enforcement to conduct raids or make arrests in Mexico.
Breitbart News’ Big Government previously reported about the murder of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Jaime Zapata who was killed in February, 2011 by members of the Los Zetas cartel. They were driving, unarmed, in Mexico in an ICE vehicle and were run off the road by the cartel members. When they identified themselves, the Zetas opened fire on the agents killing Zapata and wounding Agent Victor Avila
The bill requires countries participating in this program to allow reciprocity, allowing Mexican agents to be able to carry weapons in their countries.
The Mexican President said his goal is to “strengthen commercial exchange and diplomatic relations between Mexico and other nations.”