If an agreement is reached between Mexican and U.S. authorities, some commercial flights between the two countries will come complete with stun gun-toting American federal marshals.
According to Renato Sales Heredia, Mexico’s head of National Security, the marshals wouldn’t be allowed to board planes owned by Mexican airlines, or any domestic flight.
In addition, the agents would have to abide by international law, as airplanes are considered sovereign territory of whatever nation they belong to.
In 2003, with the September 11 attacks still receding in the rearview mirror, Mexico agreed to place Mexican agents aboard certain cross-border flights. They refused, however, to consider allowing agents of the U.S. government aboard their own commercial airlines. That position is unchanged.
There has been talk in some quarters that behind this possible acquiescence is an attempt by Mexico to better its bargaining position going into potential renegotiations of NAFTA. However, Luis Videgaray, Mexico’s foreign minister, dismissed these rumors out of hand while being questioned by federal lawmakers Tuesday.
“I can assure you that we’re not going to negotiate NAFTA in exchange for the air marshals,” said Videgary.