Mexico’s posts rules governing controversial new foreign agents law

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes part in the virtual meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) summit

Mexico on Thursday published rules outlining how it plans to implement its new foreign agents law, seeming to guarantee confidentiality of work of foreign operatives after concerns the new legislation could block anti-narcotics cooperation. 

Lawmakers last month amended Mexico’s security law to restrict the work of foreign agents on Mexican soil despite fierce opposition from Washington, straining ties and putting in question vast security cooperation with the United States. 

The change in law, requested by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, follows a diplomatic dust-up over the U.S. arrest on drug charges of former Mexican defense minister Salvador Cienfuegos in Los Angeles in October. 

The new rules published on Thursday detail the mechanisms that will govern how foreign agents would have to work with local Mexican government counterparts, including sending only very limited details about meetings they hold. 

The rules appear to guarantee the privacy of investigations, suggesting U.S. authorities will not be forced to share widely their findings in Mexico, a key concern for U.S. agents, who say Mexican institutions have been compromised by the cash-rich cartels.

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