Mexico City – The U.S. State Department will send a coordinator to Mexico to help the Attorney General's Office and the Public Safety Secretariat with the "planning of the aviation strategy, advising and support," the El Universal newspaper reported Monday.
The senior aviation adviser, or SAA, "will not play any role in terms of implementing operations by Mexican authorities against criminal targets," the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City told the newspaper's investigative team.
The SAA may be a military officer who will work at the embassy's narcotics unit, El Universal said.
The SAA will provide special training to personnel from the AG's office and the Public Safety Secretariat, which is in charge of the Federal Police, in "detecting, pursuing and seizing suspicious aircraft and vehicles," as well as training Mexican officials in carrying out anti-drug operations, El Universal said.
The adviser will also lead efforts to expand the aviation component of the the U.S.-funded Merida Initiative to fight drug trafficking in Mexico.
Mexico has acquired several UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, UH-1H Iroquois helicopters for night operations, drones and Cessna aircraft from the United States under the 2007 binational cooperation plan.
Neither the AG's Office nor the Public Safety Secretariat have commented on the possible appointment of the new adviser, the newspaper said.