Mexico to allow armed foreign agents near border


Busy Otay Mesa Border Crossing on typical day

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SAN DIEGO — Armed U.S. Customs officers working with Mexican counterparts, on Mexican soil.

It’s never been allowed in the past.

A change in Mexican law would let some foreign officers to carry weapons in the country — all in the name of speeding up the inspection process and the flow of goods and people at the border.

President Enrique Pena Nieto proposed the bill earlier this year. On Thursday, the Mexican congress passed it.

“Previously, the Mexican constitution did not allow this to happen – this is a historic moment, for sure,” said Paola Avila, vice-president of international business affairs at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Under the new law, U.S. and Mexican officers would work together in joint inspection facilities to screen northbound commercial shipments.

Right now, goods are inspected on both sides of the border.

“With this new development, they will be able to have one-point inspections – so you don’t have to stop twice,” said Avila. “This new legislation doesn’t just make the movement of people and goods more efficient – it makes it more secure with increased regulations and staffing.”

A facility in Tijuana, near the Otay Mesa port of entry, would be the first to operate under the new law..

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