The art of Kevin Blythe Sampson

THE ART OF
KEVIN BLYTHE SAMPSON

3/21/11

Mexico: U.S. Drones Gather Intelligence on Drug Cartels · Global Voices

Mexico: U.S. Drones Gather Intelligence on Drug Cartels · Global Voices

Image of "Predator drone" by Flickr user Doctress Neutopia (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

A story first reported on March 15 by Ginger Thompson and Mark Mazzetti for The New York Times has garnered strong responses from Mexican netizens based at home and abroad. Citing American and Mexican officials, “U.S. Drones Fight Mexican Drug Trade” relayed news that “the Obama administration has begun sending drones deep into Mexican territory to gather intelligence that helps locate major traffickers and follow their networks.”

The Pentagon first dispatched the high-altitude, unmanned drones in February, according to the Times report. The Associated Press later reported that US drones have been flying over Mexico since 2009.

Presidents Obama and Calderon formalized an agreement to continue the reconnaissance flights during the latter's visit to Washington on March 3. During the same meeting, the leaders also agreed to institute a second counter-narcotics “fusion center,” where American authorities would collaborate with counterparts on the ground in Mexico.

Bloggers were prompt to respond to this and subsequent accounts in the mainstream media of what were bound to be contentious developments. Early off the mark was blogger Pepe Flores, who weighed in on Vivir México [es].