Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon (2006 – 2012) gave the green light to the United States Central Intelligence Agency to operate freely in Mexico, according to classified documents obtained by Mexican news outlet Proceso.
As of May 22, 2007, during right-wing Calderon’s six-year term, the operation of U.S. intelligence agencies in Mexico was authorized under the excuse of the war on drugs.
Then, on Aug. 25, 2008, it was reinforced with the creation of the Mexico-U.S. Strategic Intelligence Framework, signed by the former director of the Center for Research and National Security (CISEN), Guillermo Valdes Castellanos and Michael McConnell, then-director of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI).
“During the administration of President Calderon, the level of cooperation between Cisen and the CIA has been exceptional. Therefore, it is necessary to deepen and expand the cooperation projects that were launched in 2007 and 2008,” Valdes Castellanos, said back in 2010 at a protocolary meeting in Washington.
The deepening of the so-called “cooperation” was made possible by the signing of an agreement behind closed doors in Washington, dubbed “Exchange of Intelligence Information” (ACII) between the then head of the Ministry of the Interior, Francisco Blake Mora, and the DNI, on Sept. 10, 2010.
According to article 4 of the ACII, “the activities within the framework of the agreement will be developed from a work center to be recognized, hereinafter, as the Regional Center for Intelligence and Operations (CRIO).”
The text continues to explain that “each of the parties will have a physical space within CRIO and will be responsible for the expenses related to the equipment and maintenance of said space,” meaning that the CIA would be given physical headquarters in Mexico.
Yet the agency is no stranger to Mexico. In 2017, as thousands of declassified files on John F. Kennedy were made public, journalist Raymundo Riva Palacio found out that three former Mexican presidents – Adolfo Lopez Mateos (1958-1964), Gustavo Díaz Ordaz (1964-1970) and Luis Echeverria (1970-1976) – were unpaid agents for the U.S. government.