March 21, 2011

Mexico’s top diplomat on Thursday defended allowing U.S. drones to fly over Mexican territory to hunt drug traffickers, while acknowledging the government has disagreements and “moments of tension” with Washington.

Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa said the drone flights do not violate Mexico’s sovereignty because they are “controlled” by Mexico and are unarmed.

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After the flights were reported Wednesday, Mexico’s National Security Council said U.S. unmanned aircraft have been sent over Mexico on surveillance missions when requested by the Mexican government. A U.S. official told The Associated Press that for each mission a Mexican official is present at the U.S. command center where a drone is remotely piloted.

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