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We don’t expect you to talk Mr. Bond… but why were British spies in Mexico?

2 April 2004

The Mexicans aren’t mad at the US government (no more than usual) this week. But they are really, really, really pissed at the British. Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Mexico may have to say “pip, pip cheerio” to the Merrie Olde Estados Unidos de….

A half dozen British “tourists” were trapped in a cave in Puebla.

Now, everyone knows mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. So, Limeys coming to Mexico to go somewhere dark and damp should have been a clue. The Mexican Army rescue squad showed up, only to be met by a British “Volunteer Cave Rescue Squad” and a BBC camera crew. Being British, they said in their superior way “no thenk you, we’ll do it ourselves”.

Up came the trapped explorers – marching as if they’d just been plunked off the beaches of Dunkirk. Marching? Yup. The “tourists”, the “volunteers” and the “BBC camera crew” neglected to mention they were active duty British soldiers.

What were they up to down there? Looking for uranium deposits is the popular guess. The Brits have a few centuries of experience seeking out (i.e. stealing) potentially profitable botanical samples from Latin America, which is another plausible explanation. Maybe there is a missing photo of the late Queen Mum cavorting on the nude beaches at Puerto Escondito somewhere in Mexico.

The cave-men, rescuers and BBC crew – lacking the proper visa for scientific expeditions – were tossed in the undesirable alien holding pen, where they were subjected to the unspeakable torture of fresh vegetables and real salsa, put on a bus, driven onto the runway and put on a British Airways direct flight to London – something Mexican TV (but, for some reason not the BBC) covered live. Her Majesty should give the lot of them a good spanking… oh, wait a minute… they’re British. They like that sort of thing.

I’m guessing “M” had one too many pints at Ye Olde Cloake and Dagger Pub and concocted a training exercise without consulting the experts. John Steed and Emma Peele were on a long drive in the country, George Smiley has retired and James Bond is reportedly shaken, but not stirred by the whole event.

(Mexican secret agent 006.5)

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