President Calderon: fight against organized crime will be long term

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Foreign News Report

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider. 

El Universal
  (Mexico City)  6/5/08
Mexico’s Foreign Relations Dep’t. ruled out the possibilities that the U.S. Congress might eliminate the pre-conditions attached to the Merida Initiative and, this being the case, the Initiative would be unacceptable to Mexico.
Pres. Calderon remarked that the fight against organized crime will be a long time process: “One must start from the premise that it is a long term strategy; it is a strategy that is going to involve costs, as happens in any war. There’ll be costs in time, (and) economic resources; we are applying many more budgetary resources and, unfortunately, I said it from the start, it will cost human lives, but it’s necessary to do it and to persevere in this effort.” He affirmed that his government faces a frontal combat against what he considered the problem with the greatest effect on the country, which is insecurity.
He added that in the past the problem was that crime was globalized while Mexico’s law enforcement was fragmented. “What my government is doing is a fight by the federal Power which joins together the strength of the State (in order) to take full control of the country and impose the law.” He acknowledged that the battle against narco creates a high degree of tension, adding that in the past the criminal groups acted in concert but today they dispute the few areas left to them.
El Diario  (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua)  6/5/08
In Juarez yesterday (Wed.) morning, a married couple, both of them “Ministerial Police” agents, were executed by gunfire outside their home in front of their two minor daughters as they were getting ready to take the children to school. 68 shell casings were found afterward.
El Porvenir  (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon)  6/5/08
One thousand ninety-five kilos of weed were seized by Mex. military at a house at #819 Dionisio Carreon St., Colonia Buenavista, Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.
La Jornada  (Mexico City)  6/5/08
In Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, yesterday, Mex. federal agents forced their way into “La Tremenda”, a clandestine radio station operating without a license on the FM commercial frequency. The transmitters were disabled and station personnel was detained for several hours. “Official sources” revealed that it was suspected the station’s signal was being used to transmit messages to members of organized crime groups.
El Imparcial  (Hermosillo, Sonora)  6/5/08
Mex. army personnel seized $5,293,750 U.S. dollars at a “safe house” at #426 No. Teofilo Noris St., Colonia Centro, in Culiacan, Sinaloa. Also 2 pistols & 2 vehicles;  no arrests were made.
La Cronica de Hoy  (Mexico City)  6/5/08
When federal police in Aguascalientes signaled several vehicles to stop they were instead met with gunfire and a chase ensued. When it ended, seven thugs were arrested and a small arsenal in the vehicles was seized:
– Eight AR15 assault rifles;  ten fragmentation grenades & four .40 cal. grenades
– Two pistols; 43 loading clips for different weapons; two boxes of ammo for .38 Super and some other ammo; nine bullet proof vests, 2 helmets, police uniforms & “equipment”, 4 bandoleers and smaller amounts of cocaine & weed. (Aguascalientes is a small state in central Mexico)
El Universal  (Mexico City)  6/5/08
–    Violence “in the last few hours” resulted in eighteen executions in the states of Durango, Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Jalisco. Five of the victims were state police officers and one a city police officer.
–    A study by the “PGR” (Mex. Dep’t. of Justice) says that 80% of the narcotics entering Mexico do so via the maritime route and the rest by clandestine flights from Central America. Narcotraffickers have opted for using new generation submarines with up to twelve tons capacity to avoid radar and transport their loads from either Colombian coast to Mexico. Also, that they are using other routes, such as the Galapagos Islands, where the loads are transferred to larger displacement vessels such as tuna boats and where the drugs are kept in refrigeration and then taken north. Guatemala is also identified as a heavy recipient of drugs by air, from where they can be taken to Mexico by land.
–    (Note: following is a condensation and excerpts from a somewhat long op/column by Jose Carreno Carlon titled ” “Under discussion, if Mexico falls…” in a manner of speaking ”  ;  the full original, in Spanish, may be found at     )
The new defense Pres. Calderon made about his strategy against narcotraffic and his government’s rejection of the conditions imposed by the U.S. Congress – in exchange for minimal financing – left open to debate the deep challenges our country faces in the high intensity war against criminal bands.
What’s unresolved is whether Mexico will join the list of failed States – or be defeated for a long time – or whether it will come out of this trial successfully.
A parallel is seen in the May report of  Strategic Forecasting by George Friedman titled Mexico: on the road to a failed state? which cites Lebanon, Colombia and the Congo in recent years, and this is the risk to which Pres. Calderon appears to be replying. Messages like that and the NYTimes editorial of yesterday (sic) titled “Mexico at the brink” tend to generate a perception of advantage by the cartels in relation to the government.
The issues in favor of the Mexican government: a proposal by their Dep’t. of Foreign Relations at an OAS meeting in Colombia to fight the war against organized crime in a mutually responsible concept of national equality; the U.S.’s DEA’s timely disapproval of the U.S. Congress’ measures; the grave geopolitical repercussions “if Mexico fails” in a country of 100 million people, the world’s 14th largest economy and with a large border with the United States. If Mexico fails, the same process we see ongoing in Mexico would extend to the United States, with violence first starting in the border states.
This is Mexico’s strong suit: that the narcocrime’s victory would be geopolitically unviable.
– end of report –

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