Mexico Denies US Request to Intercept Spy Balloon Over Its Territory

Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) – Last Monday, the United States Pentagon requested permission from the Mexican government to allow “high-tech” drones to fly over Mexican territory in order to intercept a “spy balloon” originating from Asia. However, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador denied the request, revealing the decision during his daily press conference.

The president stated that officials from the Pentagon spoke to the Mexican Defense Ministry, seeking permission to fly high-tech military planes and drones over Mexican airspace. They had detected a balloon coming from Hawaii that was expected to pass through Mexico. In response, López Obrador asserted, “No, we do not allow those drones and aircraft to enter our airspace.”

The Mexican president emphasized that the decision was made to protect the country’s sovereignty. While his administration is open to cooperating with the US, he insisted that this should not be perceived as “subordination or submission.” He further explained that the balloon did indeed pass through Mexican territory at an altitude of 35,000 feet, entering over Manzanillo and exiting over Tamaulipas. However, surveillance was exclusively conducted by the Mexican Ministry of Defense.

This incident occurred amidst increasing concerns in the United States over the frequent appearance of flying objects in its airspace. On December 4, 2022, US authorities shot down a Chinese spy balloon. Initially, China claimed that the balloons were for meteorological research, but the US remained openly skeptical. Since then, more balloons and other suspicious objects have been detected, further straining the relationship between China and the US. The Mexican president avoided directly addressing this confrontation between the two superpowers.

López Obrador also expressed his grievances regarding espionage on the Mexican Ministry of Defense and the Mexican Navy. This comes after US media released Pentagon documents acknowledging the strained relationship between the Mexican Armed Forces. Consequently, the Mexican president urged the US government to reconsider its interventionist policy and the espionage conducted by security agencies on other countries, as this leads to poor relationships between governments.

The president of Mexico insisted that, under the administration of Joe Biden, the pressure on Mexico has been more substantial than during Donald Trump’s term.

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