Extradition treaty now being revised by U.S., Mexico


MEXICO CITY -- One day after it suspended U.S. anti-drug operations in a dispute over extradition policy, Mexico began negotiations with U.S. officials yesterday to revise the extradition treaty between the two nations.

U.S. officials said they were confident that the two nations would continue to work together to fight drug trafficking, although it was not clear whether joint operations were under way last night.

Mexico's Foreign Ministry said U.S. officials had agreed to "proceed with the revision of the extradition treaty." Mexico demanded the treaty revision Monday in a furious response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows the United States to try a Mexican criminal suspect kidnapped in a U.S. operation in Mexico.

The Mexican government said Monday that U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration operations were to be halted, and the ban remained officially in force yesterday.

But a U.S. State Department official said the DEA, which is authorized to have up to 60 agents work in Mexico, was not told to stop its anti-drug activities.

The joint anti-drug war is a key part of foreign policy between the United States and Mexico. An estimated 50 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the United States passes through Mexico, and Mexico is a major source of marijuana and heroin as well.

The Foreign Ministry bulletin did not say what conditions or changes might be negotiated in the 1978 extradition treaty, but the government wants provisions to keep cases like the kidnapping of Dr. Humberto Alvarez Machain from happening again.

Dr. Alvarez Machain was kidnapped in 1990 in Mexico and was taken to the United States.

He was allegedly involved in the 1985 murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena. Dr. Alvarez Machain is believed to have given Mr. Camarena drugs to keep him alive while he was being tortured by his captors, who later killed him.

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