Hezbollah guerrillas in Mexico, Interior Secretary says

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Mexico wants much from us, including a totally open border. They are still actively pushing for this while we deal with our terrorist problems. Notice, they holding back any support for U. S. action. Quite a contrast to Canada.

For educational purposes only


Hezbollah guerrillas in Mexico, Interior Secretary says TheNewsMexico.com - 9/19/2001

MEXICO CITY - Members of anti-Israeli group Hezbollah have been "detected" in Mexico, though the faction evidently doesn't maintain bases in the country, Interior Secretary Santiago Creel said.

In an interview with the Multivision radio news program, Creel didn't say how many suspected Hezbollah guerrillas are in Mexico, when they entered or where precisely they are located.

"There are cases in which we have found people linked to this organization and subsequent actions have been taken, but discussing the presence of operating bases would seem to me to be out of context," he said on the air.

Hezbollah is based in southern Lebanon and has waged a guerrilla war against Israel since the early 1980s.

Last week the group issued a statement of sympathy for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States. Hezbollah also said it bore no responsibility as it, and other militant Islamic groups, have come under the spotlight.

The unprecedented attacks have been blamed on Arab extremists and have led the U.S. administration to call for multilateral military action against terrorism. President George W. Bush also wants to take action against countries that support or harbor terrorists.

Mexico already has ruled out participating in any military strike, but officials have held off on giving their imprimatur to possible U.S.-led action.

"I wouldn't want to anticipate at this moment the position of the country because this will have to be articulated when the United States makes its decision," Creel said.

The Interior Secretary said the government has been in continuous communication with U.S. officials and that any policy decision regarding Mexico's stance vis--vis American military action would come about through consultations with the Senate.

During an uninterrupted 71 years of one-party political dominance, Mexico's foreign policy tended toward non-interventionism and opposition of U.S. military action. Mexico also preferred to support homegrown Latin American military dictatorships over the threat of U.S. involvement in the region.

But with the rise to power of Vicente Fox, who became the first opposition-party president since 1929, the new administration is intent on dispelling old taboos in an increasingly globalized world.

Mexico has even pushed to become a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.

Creel added the calamitous blasts in New York have turned previous notions of foreign policy on their head.

Still the government doesn't want to alienate the formerly, long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which holds a plurality in the Senate and established Mexico as a non-aligned country throughout much of the Cold War. Mexico was the only Latin American country that continually recognized Cuba since its communist revolution.

Creel said Mexico was working in solidarity with U.S. officials to keep a tighter lid on foreigners attempting to leave Mexico illegally.

Mexican authorities detained an Egyptian man near the border with no visa Tuesday.

Novedades contributed to this article.

-- K. (infosurf@yahoo.com), September 19, 2001

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