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Wednesday, 17 November 2010 09:25

U.S. Spy Hive in Mexico City

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Mexico's Proceso magazine has revealed the location of a U.S. military intelligence megaplex in Mexico City dubbed by a "North American Union U.S. Super Spy Center."

Through the Office of Bi-National Intelligence (OBI), U.S. intelligence agents are operating in Mexico with the authority of the Mexican government, spying on organizations, drug cartels, even government agencies and diplomatic missions. Authors of the Proceso story Jorge Carrasco and Jesus Esquivel indicate that the cooperative effort was initiated because of the drug war, and it allows agents to operate without having to disguise themselves as diplomats.

The OBI was originally proposed by the then-head of U.S. National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair. It was authorized by Mexican President Felipe Calderon after former President Vicente Fox negotiated with Washington, D.C. for such an organization. The formal agreement calls for U.S. personnel to interact with Mexican counterparts; i.e., coordination of the State Department and the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to the March 25, 2009 White House document establishing the OBI, the office is also responsible for overseeing the use of resources provided by Washington to Calderon to battle narcotics trafficking, especially through the Merida Initiative of 2008 — a cooperative effort of Mexico, Central America, and the United States to combat drug trafficking, organized crime, and money laundering.
The OBI intelligence center was announced August 21. The nondescript building headquarters, near the U.S. embassy in Mexico City, houses offices of the CIA, FBI, and Departments of Justice (DEA and BATF), Treasury, and Homeland Security. It is defined by intelligence services as a “soft-target area” — an undefended potential target.
The occupants of the top three floors are unidentified, and the roof supports a dozen satellite dishes; parking and reception areas are guarded by private security forces. The Mexico City government has installed surveillance cameras in order to observe persons and vehicles outside the building.
The Federal District, where the OBI is centered, is also home to Marriott and Sheraton hotels, as well as facilities for Ford and American Airlines.
The most significant presence in the building is the Pentagon and its agencies: The Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the NSA. According to Proceso, the presence of Pentagon agents in Mexico
is intended to merge the intelligence and espionage services of both countries to identify
and exploit the vulnerabilities of drug trafficking organizations and organized crime gangs.
Under this directive, issued on 18 March by Gen. Victor Eugene Renuart, then head of Northern Command (NORTHCOM), Mexico has carried out several operations against drug traffickers.
A number of powerful drug lords have since been killed.

Two remote OBI offices, in Tijuana and Juarez, were opened to house U.S. agents coordinating anti-drug operations with the support of the Mexican government and military personnel. Both governments declared in a joint statement that in the case of Ciudad Juarez, the program plans to develop "a model for the Mexican Government to collect and analyze tactical intelligence as well as to take action against drug trafficking, extortion, kidnapping and other criminal activities."

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