Mexico asks its lawmakers to allow US military personnel into the country

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, California, U.S. November 17, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

In early 2024, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador formally sought approval from the Mexican Senate for the entry of 11 U.S. military personnel into Mexico. The purpose is to conduct training for Mexican special forces as part of the “Strengthening the Capacities of the Special Forces of the Defense Ministry” programme, as per an announcement in the Senate’s official gazette on Tuesday.

The historical sensitivity surrounding the presence of U.S. military on Mexican soil, rooted in territorial losses during the 1840s and early 20th-century incursions, adds complexity to the request. President Lopez Obrador, known for staunchly defending Mexican sovereignty, has previously implemented measures limiting the activities of U.S. counter-narcotics agents within Mexico.

The training programme is scheduled to occur at a military training center southeast of Mexico City between Jan. 23 and March 21, 2024, as indicated in the Senate notice, which also includes a copy of President Lopez Obrador’s dated letter. This request comes shortly after his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at an Asia-Pacific summit in San Francisco, California, with the letter dated Nov. 22.

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