For the first time, U.S. officials will embed intelligence agents in Mexican law enforcement units to help pursue drug cartel leaders and their hit men in the most violent city in Mexico, the Washington Post reports. The increasingly close partnership between the two countries, born of frustration over the exploding death toll in Ciudad Juarez, would place U.S. agents and analysts in a Mexican command center to share drug intelligence gathered from informants and intercepted communications.
Until recently, U.S. law enforcement agencies have been reluctant to share sensitive intelligence with their Mexican counterparts for fear they were either corrupt or incompetent. U.S. agents have been wary of operating inside Mexican command centers for fear they would be targeted for execution in the violence in Ciudad Juarez that left more than 2,600 people dead last year. Those attitudes are changing amid strong support from Washington for President Felipe Calderón’s war against the cartels, including a $1.4 billion aid package. The Obama administration views spiking drug violence in Mexico as a direct threat to U.S. security.