Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexico Protests Statements by US Under Secretary of Army

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 |

Radio Cadena Agramonte
Mexico City, Feb 9.- The government of Mexico categorically protested statements by U.S. Army Under Secretary Joseph W. Westphal, who said cartels and their power structures could take over the government.

In a press release, the Mexican Secretariat of Governance said, "It is unfortunate that the official expresses exaggerated views of the relationship with Mexico which do not reflect the cooperation the two governments have built."

The note reiterates that Mexico works with its northern neighbor on the basis of shared responsibility and mutual respect.

Westphal expressed his opinion during a lecture to students at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, saying that drug cartels in Mexico are like a type of insurgency with enough power to take over the government.

The U.S. military official warned that the situation could oblige the United States to intervene with troops, saying, "It may be a personal opinion, but it is one I have shared with people in the White House."

Westphal soon retracted his statements after learning of the reaction in Mexico, according to a note that appeared on the website of the U.S. Army.(Prensa Latina).

Army Official Suggests U.S. Troops Might be Needed in Mexico
Fretting over a scenario in which armed U.S. soldiers could be called to the border — or even over it — to hold back lawlessness and violence, Undersecretary of the Army Joseph Westphal invoked a contentious word to describe Mexico’s problem with drug cartels:
He called it an “insurgency.”

Speaking at the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics on Monday, the second-highest ranking civilian official in the U.S. Army spent most of his lecture explaining the economic and bureaucratic obstacles faced by defense budget makers amid complicated challenges in the Middle East and South Asia.
But in response to a student’s question about strategic blind spots in U.S. foreign policy, Westphal switched hemispheres.

“One of them in particular for me is Latin America and in particular Mexico,” he said. “As all of you know, there is a form of insurgency in Mexico with the drug cartels that’s right on our border.”
“This isn’t just about drugs and about illegal immigrants,” he said. “This is about, potentially, a takeover of a government by individuals who are corrupt.”

Westfall — who said he was expressing a personal opinion, but one he had shared with the White House — said he didn’t want to ever see a situation in which “armed and fighting” American soldiers are sent to combat an insurgency “on our border, in violation of our Constitution, or to have to send them across the border.”

Westphal is the most senior U.S. official to publicly compare Mexico’s drug cartels to an “insurgency” since Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a similar assessment last September.

“We face an increasing threat from a well-organized network, drug-trafficking threat that is, in some cases, morphing into or making common cause with what we would consider an insurgency, in Mexico and in Central America,” Clinton said at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. ”It’s looking more and more like Colombia looked 20 years ago.”

Clinton won a strong rebuke for her words from Mexican government officials, who said her statement implied that U.S. intervention in Mexico was a legitimate policy option. President Barack Obama quickly rejected his senior diplomat’s words — and in particular took offense at the comparison between Mexico and Colombia, where the U.S. ultimately sent soldiers to help disrupt the drug cartels.

But a Mexican government official familiar with Westphal’s words said the Army leader “went way beyond what the Secretary of State said.”

The official asked not to be named while senior diplomatic officers review Westphal’s words and determine an appropriate official response. The undersecretary’s speech is available at online at kuer.org/Hinckley.
Claudio Holzner, an assistant professor in the University of Utah’s departments of political science and Latin American studies, said Westphal’s words were “incendiary.”

As violent and desperate as the situation has become in some parts of Mexico, Holzner said, “it’s an overstatement to call the drug war an insurgency, primarily because the drug cartels are not seeking control of the government — they are seeking safe passage for their merchandise.”

Holzner said it would be foolhardy for U.S. officials to consider sending troops into Mexico. “I think the solution is not a military one. The best thing the United States can do is to enforce its own laws and change the laws that are not working,” to stem the demand for drugs in the U.S. and to stop the flow of U.S. weapons across the border, he said.

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25 Borderland Beat Comments:

I Must Be Crazy To Live In Mexico said...

"The government of Mexico categorically protested statements by U.S. Army Under Secretary Joseph W. Westphal, who said cartels and their power structures could take over the government."

I guess the government of Mexico is protesting because of the typo. Instead of "could" it should be "has taken over the government".

Anonymous said...

Calderon was too drunk to understand what was said.

Anonymous said...

NOMBRE, next thing this fat guero says is
Osama Bin Ladin was spotten in Sinaloa.

Anonymous said...

Calderon is getting criticized all over the place. He knows where most of these problems originate. Pa que se hace el loco? O empinas al Chapo o el govierno Americano te va empinar! Simple solution Calderon the U.S gov. wants the "Narcos" not the 19yo running around with a gun that is worth more than what he gets paid in 6 months. And then he has the nerve to parade these muertos de hambre around like a big blow to the trade. Ya ni el se la cree!

777

Layla2 said...

RE: Holzner said, “it’s an overstatement to call the drug war an insurgency, primarily because the drug cartels are not seeking control of the government — they are seeking safe passage for their merchandise.”

This is the same old cracker barrel bullshit repeated over and over by those who fail to see the connection. The cartels have been buying off, threatening, and increasingly killing the officials (both military and civilian) who "do not allow them safe passage" for something that is A CRIME!

The only way they are going to achieve their aims is to TAKE OVER THE GOVERNMENT! They are doing this by killing anyone who gets in their way--prison security chiefs, police chiefs, mayors, govenors, military comanders, and lots of civilians.

They have shown us time and time again that they will stop anyone who will not come over to their side. This is a takeover of government. The fuzzy headed ivory tower professors think that there has to be a political/ideological agenda for there to be an insurgency. They are WRONG!

It has become very clear how they put their people in place on police forces and in the political arena. It is a takeover. Plain and simple. Doesn't matter the purpose. What matters is the facts. Mexican politicans have blinders on wrapped in stacks of $100 bills.

Whether or not the US should go in and help them clean up this mess using our military is another debatable story altogether.

Anonymous said...

Like it or not mexico has lost control of their country. Its corrupt all the way up and all smart persons know that. Nobody trusts the police force or the government. Mexico is a pre Colombia like it or not! It only cares about its intrests and not the protection of its people. Killing mayors, killing high rank military officials, killing candidates for govenors and car bombs and its not like Colombia?? are you joking or defending your pride?
If i was president i would have called the Marines and all help from USA or NATO to put a stop to this violence, his not doing it because of pride and its not in their best interests to have uncorrupted forces in mexico's affairs. Usa is also to blame giving millions of dollars to mexico to fight drugs!? Come on now, its like giving it to a drug addict and his buddies, their going to act like their doing something but will just pass around the $.
Mexico is stubborn and their government is a joke. Its the biggest and most powerful cartel of them all!...

SWOT HUNTER said...

The assessment regarding the cartels subverting the government of Mexico appear on target.

When corruption, infiltration and disruption of local governance occurs it will resonate from the local level, to county level, to the state and finally the nation. The gains and disruption works like a wake created by throughing a stone into a pond.

Despite this concern, I hope US troops are not deployed to Mexico. Instead I hope the US builds a defense in depth to make it difficult for their activities to spread further into the US to a point where it will be hard to manage, especially during these hard economic times...

http://www.mexdrugcartels.com

''lito'brito said...

hey Hussy where you been ?..you wuz missed ..jajaj

ohh..it is still up to debate as to whether or not Mexico is a failed state...

i guess i missed it

just what state institution has not failed..someone please name one

we need to either prepare to receive hordes of refugees..15 million is already a horde..so i guess another horde...or be prepared to repel them..

i advocate speedy processing... 50 dollars, 20 minutes and they get six month visa complete with a tax number for those who seek employment

that way the good people will get to escape the insanity and enter the USA with dignity

maybe after being here for a while they will get a taste of civilized society and want to go back home and make Mexico a better place

Mexico is not just going to go away..sooner or later we are going to have to deal with it..i am amazed at how our own gutless politicians are able to blithly ignore Mexico..or pooh pooh the problems ..

unfortunately that usually sets the stage for some form of extreme right wing backlash , resulting in draconian measures to rectify the problem

but thats another can of worms

Matanzas said...

@SWOT HUNTER,
on your blog, you mention "When corruption, infiltration and disruption of local governance occurs it will resonate from the local level, to county level, to the state and finally the nation" in reference to what could happen to the USA, not only MX. Are we there yet?
If a ton of coke leaves MX, a ton enters the US. What's wrong with this picture? Would we have a problem brewing on our side of the border? Like corruption of local officials, LE and BP agents? Just asking.
BTW, good stuff on your blog. Another one to eat my time ;)

Ernest1 said...

The push is on for the US to continue its 'war against drugs' throughout Latin America. After all, what better way to intervene in the affairs of other nations than wrapping one's own US imperialist government in sanctimony and dollar bills for foreign militaries trained at Fort Benning, Georgia?

What I don't understand is how the herd of ordinary Anglo Right Wing meatheads that backs up these imperialist policies of Hillary and Barack can look themselves in the mirror and see any honesty in their positions as US government shills at all. Don't you air heads always think that you are opposing 'Big Government'? What gives here? If this BB forum is any indicator you guys are the Gran Porra of Big Government if anybody is?

Apparently Big Government to you pack of dittoheads does not include the Pentagon when it is out stomping its heavy weight into every other country around the planet... using the tax dollars of liberal and conservative Americans alike in trillions $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
No. Then its turn and look the other way and fiscal conservatism be damned... as Federal Socialism (read welfare for meatheads) is underway.

Anonymous said...

I think what most of you are gailing to realize is that the US is just sitting back and waiting. Something outlandish will eventually happen that will force the US Ambassador to the UN to ask for a vote within the UN security council to declare the cartels as terrorists. Resolution 1373 opened the door for the US to unilaterally invade any country which has lost control due to terrorist activities. Mexico could not say one word about the invasion or occupation of its country. Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Mexicans would die. The standing government would be removed and a government controlled by the UN would be put in place. Martial law would be declared after a few free fire zones (similar to what happened in Fallujah) cleaned out cities and the non-violent citizens were allowed back in. Do not think for one instant that and revolt or response by Mexicans who would try to raise up against the UN forces would be accepted. They would be exterminated until they realized they should have revolted against the cartels. When a free-fire zone is declared, anything alive after the date set will be killed on sight, period. This violence can be controlled but I believe that peaceful Mexicans will join in the fight against any force that comes on their soil. Listen to the national anthem of Mexico and you will understand why this might happen. It would force many people to die because they did not stop this from happening before the UN had to get involved. Mexico does everything backwards. They raise prices in times of need instead of dropping them like the rest of the world. This is one reason for the economic problems they have. They are inept at anything economic. I actually hope this happens. I hope we must go in and put our boots on the necks of these people and show them what happens when you refuse to stand up for yourselves. After this invasion is over it will be the final link to the American Union. Mexico will stabilize and improve in leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, many people will have to die in order for this to happen. This is the cost of behaving this way. Mexicans above any other country other than Spain shuld know that if you fuck with the bull, you are going to get the horns. The Marines are already chewing at the bit for another opportunity to throw children off the walls of Chapultepec Castle again. The Marine Corps knows in truth these children did not fight them back. They were thrown off the walls. One was actually wrapped in the Mexican flag that they took down and tossed off as a symbol of what happens when Marines have to kick in your front door. Mexico had better get her mind right before she loses her identity forever.

''lito'brito said...

@ ernie

i agree with you ..i think..

are you trying to say that the war on drugs has been used by the USA as an excuse to occupy and exert influence on ,including installing and propping up repressive regimes in "developing " countries

and that those regimes in turn invite the IMF , world bank and other international capitalist organizations to move in and exploit the people and natural resources of that nation

much the same way the roman empire used the excuse of "civilizing" targeted nations

and much the same way as the Spanish used spreading christianity as an excuse to invade and exploit the "new" world


and that the American taxpayer is being duped by constant propaganda spread by the assorted mass media outlets into financing it all ...while being steadily reduced in progressive opportunity and overall quality of life

all the while being isolated , and alienated from the rest of the world who increasingly fear and hate us as tools of oppression and view us as pawns of the international moneylenders

this mechanism serving to push the American people into the position that we have to support these manipulators in order to ensure our own survival, and at all costs defend their main operating base in the USA in order to protect ourselves from the revenge of decades of abused peoples all over the world

if that is what you are trying to say....I agree...

but maybe you should lighten up on the caffee and MM...K 12

Anonymous said...

@ anon February 10, 2011 11:00 AM

i think you straight nailed it... absolutely the plan ..and i think it is well on the way to fruition..just need that big incident..maybe a major cross border Massacre..car bomb ...grenade attack...something that will play well on CNN



"L"B

"L"B

Anonymous said...

@February 10, 2011 11:00 AM Keep dreaming haha just goes to show how ignorant you are and know nothing about Mexico haha

@February 10, 2011 12:53 PM Where have you been? Car bomb, grenade attack this has been occurring....just goggle it.

Ernest1 said...

Well yeah, Brito. The US government breeds 'enemies' of its own creation, does it not? In the Muslim world they bred enemies by simply supporting all the nastiest dictators possible and making a total mockery out of our professed societal desire for democracy. Result? The growth of a US National Security Empire, the complete opposite fo what we actually say we are for.

In Latin America, the US government has bred a drug trade that it then uses as justification to run everything there, too. 'Our' government must be run by Doctor Frankenstein.

Anonymous said...

hey any mouse ..i meant an across the border incident involving one of the three


little slow today?

"L"B

Anonymous said...

How about telling me how to understand the story. From the American point of view there were living, breathing Marines taking down the flag and dead Mexicans at their feet. Oh wait a moment, you mean the taking of Chapulepec never happened? Ever hear the words "From the Halls of Montezuma"? This is where we got our blood stripe from there brainless one. You suck as warriors. Marines threw those kids off the walls. Somehow a story was created that they wrapped themselves in the flag and jumped. What kind of country looks at a bunch of kids as being their greatest war heroes anyhow? Oh yeah, the kind of country that does not have the balls to stop thugs from running the country.

Anonymous said...

Just what in Hell does the US want with Mexico,which is at present a Worthless mess full of thieving lying people.

Anonymous said...

@Lito Brito

"border incident involving one of the three
little slow today?"

Do you not know how to read?? Like I said google it

"Little slow today"

@February 10, 2011 4:14 PM
Ok Brainless I wasn't talking about the history part but if you want to go into I will be more then glad too. The history of the marine blood stripe came when the Army and Marines attacked Chapultepec Castle and took heavy casualties hence the name blood stripe. AND NO it WAS NOT the Marines who ONLY took the castle moron, it was the army too!!

Marines "threw those kids off the walls" Ok yeah, because you were there right? You would know?? haha

"Somehow a story was created that they wrapped themselves in the flag and jumped. What kind of country looks at a bunch of kids as being their greatest war heroes anyhow"

Hmm the story wasn't created by Mexicans it was actually reported by the American soldiers who saw it..maybe you should go back to school and learn some history brainless. And second who wouldn't consider them heroes?? They were teenagers who fought to the death..there is nothing more heroic and I would say the same thing about any member of the armed forces worldwide who dies in action...regardless of their origin or nationality

"Oh yeah, the kind of country that does not have the balls to stop thugs from running the country."

Where have you been??? Everyday narcos get killed or captured by the Army, case an point just look at the article "8 gunmen dead in Zacatecas" by BB today, In the past couple months many capos have been killed also, I will just name a few: Antonio Cárdenas Guillén, Tony Tormenta,Édgar Valdés Villareal, La Barbie; Sergio Villarreal Barragán, El Grande, y Héctor Huerta Ríos, La Burra, Ignacio Nacho Coronel, Vicente Zambada, El Vicentillo, Teodoro García Simental, El Teo,Vicente Carrillo Leyva, El Ingeniero, Nazario Moreno González, El Chayo and the list goes on and on. Wow sure does seem we don't have enough balls to stop them but yet these capos keeping falling like flies right? But I invite you to stay on Borderland Beat and maybe you will educate yourself moron.

Third
Your little invasion theory is out the window like I said before "Keep dreaming haha just goes to show how ignorant you are and know nothing about Mexico haha"

Buela said...

see ajulio...? see how 7:59 proves my earlier point? When BB does not edit his comment, how he/she reveals himself for the stupid, racist, radical, prejudice asshole that he is?

See how neatly that works?

''lito'brito said...

@anon February 10, 2011 9:13 PM

mira dummy..ACROSS ..meaning ACROSS the border..like on US soil...ok get it now...gee whiz... ..

Anonymous said...

@February 10, 2011 10:14 PM

Yeah I know Lito brito...just wanted to see you get work up over nothing haha..

Anonymous said...

@ anonymess

uhuh..now ya lying..admit it.. yer a dummy

"L"B

Anonymous said...

Who are we really kidding or I guess in this case bull shiting the Mexican cartels are the Mexican goverment run by and paid for. Did you ever wonder why ever major cartel leader is killed or can't find like EL Dickhead Chapo, because they will really tell how high the corruption goes. Wake up Mexico, or your doomed!!!!

Layla2 said...

Because I'm bored, I'd like to point out the mis-statement here:

"In the past couple months many capos have been killed also, I will just name a few: Antonio Cárdenas Guillén, Tony Tormenta,Édgar Valdés Villareal, La Barbie; Sergio Villarreal Barragán, El Grande..."

Surely just an oversight...

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