Yesterday, a group of gunmen in a Mexican police vehicle attacked a U.S. Embassy vehicle containing three active duty U.S. Marines, injuring two. Details of the incident are now emerging. According to a joint statement from the Mexican navy and the Public Security Secretariat “The shooting occurred around 8 a.m. on a wooded stretch of a mountain road and came after the embassy vehicle apparently already had escaped an ambush that had been laid by four other vehicles.” McClatchy reports that . . .
That ambush took place when U.S. personnel and an employee of the Mexican navy were headed to a mountain installation known as El Capulin. The U.S. vehicle, a gray four-door Toyota SUV, had left the main highway and had turned down a dirt road when a vehicle with armed men cut it off.
Google-Fu fails me. The nature of the El Capulion installation and its mission remain a mystery. A U.S. Embassy spokesmen declined to say which federal agency employs the Marines or provide details of their mission in Mexico. A DEA spokeperson said the Marines weren’t theirs.
When the embassy vehicle sought to return to the main highway, the assailants opened fire. Three other vehicles carrying gunmen joined the chase, firing on the embassy vehicle.
The Mexican naval official radioed for help, and Mexican army and federal police units were summoned, the statement said.
Mexican news reports said the embassy vehicle had reached the main two-lane highway heading toward Cuernavaca when federal police opened fire. Photos show that the embassy vehicle had clearly visible diplomatic license plates.
The government statement did not provide an explanation for why the federal police fired on the U.S. vehicle or indicate whether federal police might have confused the embassy vehicle for one carrying the assailants. It said the federal police involved were providing explanations to prosecutors to determine if they had criminal responsibility.
Let’s hope the Mexican feds haven’t adopted the cartels’ interrogation techniques. In any case, it’s hardly likely the truth of this matter will emerge.
The U.S. and Mexican government’s silence on the attack and the media’s disinterest in the Americans’ activities is reminiscent of the murder of Jaime Zapata. Cartel members wielding weapons enabled by ATF Operation Fast and Furious gunned down the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agent on February 15, 2011 in San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
We still don’t know what Agent Zapata was doing in Mexico, despite the fact that his partner Victor Avila survived the attack. And has joined the Wrongful Death lawsuit filed by Zapata’s family against the Department of Justice.
Clearly, the United States government is heavily involved in covert operations south of the border. They’re doing business with some bad people. To what end?
It’s high time that Congressional investigators widened their Fast and Furious probe to find out what Uncle Sam’s up to in Mexico with our Marines, soldiers, lawyers, guns and money.