The president-elect of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, told the Washington Post he wants to expand his country's drug-war partnership with the U.S. but would not support the presence of armed American agents in Mexico. Peña Nieto would consider hosting U.S. military instructors on Mexican soil, but in a training capacity only, to help his soldiers and marines benefit from U.S. counterinsurgency tactics learned in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He approves of the flights by U.S. surveillance drones over Mexico to gather intelligence on drug trafficking, but future missions would be run by Mexico with U.S. assistance and technology, he said. “Without a doubt, I am committed to having an intense, close relationship of effective collaboration measured by results,” Peña Nieto said. He did not endorse the two countries pursing the kind of joint armed counternarcotics operations carried out by U.S. forces in Colombia and Central America. Peña Nieto faces wariness from U.S. lawmakers, who who fear he will pull back from the drug fight and return to the ways of his PRI forebears, notorious for accommodating drug smugglers to preserve public order. He said he would change the way success is measured in the drug war in Mexico. Using what standard, he was asked. “Homicides,” he said.