Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexican leader slams U.S. coordination in drug war

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 |

Reuters

President Felipe Calderon has rejected accusations that a lack of coordination in Mexico is undermining his fight against drug cartels, saying the real culprit is the rivalry within U.S. intelligence agencies.

In unusually critical remarks given strong U.S. support for Mexico's drug war, Calderon told El Universal newspaper on Tuesday the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the CIA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were constantly trying to outdo each other while evading responsibility.

"The reality is that they don't coordinate with each other, they're rivals," Calderon told the newspaper, saying they had a policy of passing the buck without getting results, such as stopping the flow of U.S. weapons into Mexico.

Calderon, a conservative, has staked his reputation on beating back powerful drug cartels. He sent thousands of troops across the country on taking office in December 2006 in a dramatic move that won praise from Washington and ordinary Mexicans tired of gang extortions, kidnapping and threats.

But more than 34,000 people have died since then, and violence has spread from the violent northern border to engulf wealthy cities and beach resorts, putting Calderon under pressure while hurting the popularity of his National Action Party (PAN) ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to Mexico last month to show strong support for Calderon, but in diplomatic cables published by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, U.S. officials said in January last year that Mexican authorities were not working together to bring the cartels to heel.

The shooting of two ICE agents by suspected drug gang members north of Mexico City last week prompted U.S. officials to voice outrage over the attack, further pressuring Calderon.

Calderon said in the interview that the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual had shown "ignorance" about current events and distorted what was happening in the country.

Calderon said U.S. President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush had shown willingness to help fight Mexico's drug war. Washington is giving Mexico $1.3 billion in drug war aid to buy equipment and train police.

"But evidently cooperation on an institutional level has ended up being notoriously insufficient," he said.

Despite increased U.S. efforts to seize flows of cash and guns south to Mexico, about 90 percent of the guns seized and traced in Mexico last year were initially sold in the United States, according to official U.S. statistics.

"What do the Americans need to cooperate on? In reducing drug consumption, but they haven't reduced it. And secondly, in putting a stop to the flow of arms, but they haven't reduced it, it's increased," Calderon added.

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22 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Seriously Calderon?! How dare you! So what happened to the $1.3 billion dollars? Are they in some swiss bank account so you can pull one like Narcotari did at the end of his term?

While consumption is a big influence on the drug trafficking, blaming this whole situation alone on it is very discrediting to Calderon's wisdom.

It is like blaming fast food restaurants for your child's obesity, but the parent continues to skip cooking for whatever reason and refrains from exercising with the child to keep him from being fat!

Ho dare you Calderon, call upon other's ignorance, while your main goal and that of every f*cken politician in Mexico is to keep people ignorant so you can continue to "darnos atole con el dedo" and benefiting only your pockets.

As a Mexican, I am disgusted with his scapegoat of a statement. No soy malinchista, el malinche es Calderon.

FEH

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Calderon is at his wit's end. Nothing left to say, no one left to blame. Someone quite convincing must have schooled him up on his opinions. No matter, he sounds presumptuous and crass.
Imjustagirl

Anonymous said...

Look I'm don't like Calderon but Reuters seriously took this interview out of context and he never said the "saying the real culprit is the rivalry within U.S. intelligence agencies." He did say there was rivalry between the agencies but never said they were "responsible" and he went on to say that the Mexican states and municipals were more part of the problem with organized crime but I didn't see Reuters mentioning that why?? Who knows. Look what I'm trying to say here is get your reporting right?? He was criticizing the wiki leaks comments by the U.S ambassador during that time. I actually read the originally interview. If anyone doesn't believe me here is the originally interview with EL Universal:
http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/746815.html

Anonymous said...

Think Calderon was talking about this http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/world/26wikidrugs.html?_r=1&hp DEA getting bigger and taking prestige from CIA and ICE. Its no secret US law enforcement always competes with each other to take credit for big operations. Come on FEH, what world are you living in?

Anonymous said...

"The reality is that they don't coordinate with each other, they're rivals,"

Calm TF down. Calderon is correct.
I am not surprised that the objectives on both sides are not the same.

I'm not saying the US intelligence teams experience no corruption. There probably is some. But c'mon man. Let's not pretend that DTO corruption of Mexican military, state and federal police and intelligence forces isn't the punchline to most jokes in the USofM. How does one react to such embarrassment for Mexico? Easy - Deny, deny and put the blame on the other guy.

Just like Mexican intelligence efforts, 60% of the time it works every time.

Anonymous said...

@February 22, 2011 10:24 PM

Thanks for the link. You were right. Just shows you shouldn't believe everything you read.

Guero said...

The 90% number on the guns is bulls#%t. It was 90% of the guns submitted that the US was "able to trace". Calderon used a qualifier and turns out he is wrong...maybe lying. http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=31932

ajulio said...

what it boils down to, is pendejo calderon is responsible for his own country's problems. blaming the U.S. for mexico's problems is like trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.

his first mistake was trying to imitate george dubya by publicly declaring an all out war against the cartels. even though there was already an escalation in violence in nuevo laredo and michoacan and a war between the gulf cartel and the sinaloa cartel during the end of vicente fox's term, felipe's macho attitude and declaration of war was premature and haste.

i always thought that calderon was a little too young to be president of mexico. he was only 44 years old when he was elected president.

his strategies were basic and badly planned. his timing was too fast. his rumored alliance with el chapo that was spoken throughout mexico, made situations much worse.

in 2006, 62 people were killed.
in 2010, 15,273 people were killed.
about 122,000 cartel members have been detained but only 8,500 have been convicted. (wiki)

this is where the problem lies. mexico is a country without any justice ruled by a corrupt and incompetent government. calderon's incompetencies come from a lack of focus on what to do about the consequences caused by the war. he started a war without having any solutions.

it's too late now but calderon should have focused more attention on firearms trafficking and military firearms control. it's the machine guns that really give the cartels the edge and make this war much more deadlier. now it's expected that explosives will become a trend in mexico.

in my opinion. the only way mexico will live in peace, is with the complete help of the U.S. i just don't believe that mexico can properly govern itself anymore.

Buela said...

Ajulio

Joven, you are right on target! Get posting the stats. This is why I lose my cool when I hear Calderon's winning this "war". Arrests are impressive until you look under the top layer and see NADA, dismal conviction% and imprisionment.

if anyone thinks Mx is better with Calerons game plan look at the stats. He loves to blame others for his incompetance especially the US.

The reality is Calderon cannot blame the us for drug use etc, because Mx Cartels now control the drug supply of the world, bumping out colombia in places such as europe, africa and australia...

Swanka said...

i think Calderon's only solution to his war is USA and the next president will handle it. i think his plan is simpley what he said "ruin the impunity cartels operate with". his only plans, expose them to the world and do as much damage as he can while he can. so if this his last year in office its gonna be ugly and he might even grant usa a airforce base like the 5 being built in columbia who knows

all i know is i cant wait for a peaceful north american union

Ardent said...

'Calderon, a conservative, has staked his reputation on beating back powerful drug cartels.'

That's right, and he also staked the reputation of his political party the PAN. He and PAN were going to supposedly get tough on crime.

Neither he nor PAN though had, or has, any coherent and working plan for dealing with the real problems Mexico faces BESIDES just that of cartel violence. In fact, He and the PAN are utterly representative of the endemic corruption of Mexico's elites, which when one gets down to the nitty gritty, is the main factor that has allowed drug trafficking to become a major industry there. Along with US consumption of drugs, that is.

Anonymous said...

Well at least he hasnt blame George Dubya!

Anonymous said...

"Calderon told the newspaper, saying they had a policy of passing the buck without getting results, such as stopping the flow of U.S. weapons into Mexico"

*This crap is getting old of the US not stopping the flow of weapons! The majority of these weapons recovered are all military weapons. Yeah eSmurf sold my uncle two rocket grenade launchers...c'mon pinche Calderon ten suficiente pelotas pa dicir que tu eres el incompetente irresponsable de tu guerra perdida.


-Pistolero Anonimo

ckretjr said...

I've got to the point and opinion just to say to Mexico "Fuck You-you're on your own" and stop the 1.3 million in aid and use it for our own problems here in the US. Of course we are not perfect but what country is? Why would or should we give money to a country that blames us for it's problems? Let's tell them we are going to use the 1.3 million to fight the drug problem but only here in the US! Mexico bitches and complains about the US butting in so OK, you got your wish! We wash our hands of you! Let's see how long it takes Mexico to retract their statements about who is the main cause of the war!
Of course the US won't do it because too many people in high places are probably making money off this damn war on drugs!
Now this is just my opinion and just like the saying goes: "Opinions are like A-holes, every bodies got one!"
At least here we can voice them!!!

Anonymous said...

Now we're getting down to the real stuff. Truth be told every Mexican and every Mexican politician blames the US. You can't deal with them, you can't work with them and they WILL rip you off.

Calderon is just like the local cops. When he got "elected" to office he got a license to steal. When he got to be president the license got bigger. Every politician, every cop and every soldier in Mexico has a license to steal and they use it.

Anonymous said...

Mexico politicians have a long history of diverting attention away from themselves by blaming others, particularly the USA. I'm sure there's some truth to what he says as far as competition between US agencies but he goes too far with his blame which just shows that it is a political tool, he's not truly interested in enacting the necessary change to fix Mexico, so the people of Mexico continue to suffer.

Anonymous said...

Ajulio & Buela, I have to agree with most of your comments. But Calderon's age and "haste" have nothing to do with the failures. Rather, it is the fact that he can have the greatest intentions,but with every level of authority below the president's office is rife with corruption, so it fails in its execution. Until the collaborators are weeded out, there will never be any meaningful success.

There should be even more severe penalties when a public official betrays the public trust. But in a land with little to no convictions, and jails letting the few convicts out, there is little hope.

Of course, the notion that US drug consumption or the US intelligence agencies have ANYTHING to do with Mexico's problems are laughable. It is the Mexican officials who are letting guns and cash IN.

Guero, just for your info, the cuttingedgenews is not a credible source. The 90% figure of guns originating in the US is slightly on the high side, but the DEA & ATF both admit that the number exceeds 80% and they back that up with serial numbers. It is NOT in the US interest to admit that if the guns are coming from somewhere else.

Ardent,so you would rather have the PRI with its 70 years of ill-concealed corruption and backroom deals? You forget that this problem did not begin under the PAN. it was started and sustained and protected by the PRI - they sold the plazas to the cartels for kickbacks and the trail of money went up to the president's brother...but let's blame Calderon for trying to tame the monster the PRI created. Get your head out of your ass....

Anonymous said...

Calderon is the one always passing the buck on everything where are the jobs for your citizens. Why do your poor unemployed have to leave the country for work. Because all you scum politicians put the money in your pocket and screw everyone else over.

You want to stop passing the buck Calderon then let us Marines across that border to kill all Cartel members we could have that country secure in a month. We have trained now for years to fight people street to street and chase people down using intelligence but oh no it has to be Calderons way so his paid off politicians friends keep getting paid by the Cartel. He tries to play everyone else as being stupid were not living in that cartel shithole are we?

Ardent said...

The US IS TO BLAME for Mexico's problems. The US has allowed the PRI and PAN to take office by covering up for their fraudulent election victories for decades now. How much more responsible could the US government be than that?

D.C. and the corporate US cabal that runs the US allied themselves totally with PRI and the PAN BOTH. Those US common folk who think that Los Pinos (the Mexican White House) is running Mexico independently of the US government are only deluding themselves really, as any even semi informed US citizen should know that the US government is the major player in almost every allied country around the globe, including some run by really nasty dictatorships. The country bordering us immediately to the south is most certainly no exception to that reality.

Anonymous said...

hwo they going to stop this if united states they do not nothing about to stop them

ajulio said...

@ buelita

Always good to get your stamp of approval. You are right. At the end, its the stats that speak for themselves.

Anonymous said...

the reality is calderon is part of the problem he is part of a cartel why hasent el capo or any of his cartel party members even been shoot at or hung like the rest???? so there for hes keeping his cartel safe and out of trouble while the rest of the cartels face murder and hate crimes against the mexican nation

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