Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Drug Gangs Control Half of Mexico

Sunday, August 28, 2011 |

By Julian Rodriguez Marin

Violent crime has become a problem of national security in Mexico, where half of the territory is outside of state control and “we’re in the hands of the narcos,” an intelligence expert and author of a new book on Mexico’s public safety woes, said.

Jorge Carrillo Olea, founder of Mexico’s leading intelligence center, said the “state has lost territorial control, and therefore governability,” over roughly 50 percent of the country.

The government has been incapable of fully enforcing the law and ensuring justice is upheld, said Carrillo, who spoke to Efe while in Mexico City to promote his new book, “Mexico en riesgo; una vision personal sobre un Estado a la defensive” (Mexico at Risk: A Personal Vision of a State on the Defensive), published this year by Grijalbo.

Carrillo, who in 1989 founded the Center for Research and National Security, or Cisen, a civil entity overseen by the interior ministry, said Mexico’s crime and public safety problems will last for decades because the society has “reached a point of no return.”

He said the country has neglected to combat money laundering and weapons trafficking to avoid stepping on the toes of big Mexican and foreign capitalists, particularly from the United States.

Mexico has shirked its commitment to halt this traffic and “things go no further than empty rhetoric,” said Carrillo, who formerly held top posts in the country’s public administration.

Governments also have undermined the nation’s sovereignty with their policies, ceding authority to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI – “who act like lords and owners in our country” – and even openly requesting assistance from the United States, he said.

The national security expert said drug gangs receive huge profit margins on their business and their battles for control of territory can pose enormous national security risks to countries like Mexico.

Cartels have weapons to combat Mexican security forces, although “with enormous losses for (the gangs)” because they recruit young men without military training, “give them an AK-47 and they use it as if they were watering a garden,” Carrillo said.

The expert said that although the army keeps killing young men recruited by drug mobs, these groups will continue to find more impoverished persons willing to earn between 8,000 and 12,000 pesos ($650-$970) a month and gain a sense of power, obtain women and defy authority.

“If policies are measured by their results, there haven’t been any positive results so far. Even though the authorities say they’ve decapitated the (criminal) organizations, these have multiplied and extended (their reach),” Carrillo, who also once served as governor of the central state of Morelos, said.

Only the formal structures have changed and President Felipe Calderon’s 2006-2012 administration will conclude with some 50,000 drug-related deaths, according to the expert, who worked closely with the previous administrations of Luis Echeverria, 1970-1976; Jose Lopez Portillo, 1976-1982; Miguel de la Madrid, 1982-1988; and Carlos Salinas, 1988-1994.
More than 40,000 deaths attributed mainly to turf battles among the cartels and clashes between gangsters and the security forces already have occurred since Calderon took office in late 2006.

While the president’s militarization of the drug war has led to high-profile arrests and slayings of drug lords, it also has coincided with a sharp increase in drug-related violence.

The growth of the cartels also has sparked a rise in the number of small-time criminal outfits who commit robberies, kidnappings and, especially acts of extortion, against law-abiding citizens, Carrillo said.

Referring to Cisen, the expert said that its original mission was to create a national security system to safeguard the Mexican state but that in recent years it has been placed at the service of each successive administration.

He added that previous intelligence agencies, such as the Federal Security Directorate, had always acted as espionage mechanisms that defended the administration in power from subversive threats.

In that regard, he said Mexico must establish a National State Security policy that is enshrined “in the constitution and other laws, create awareness in Congress and among the citizenry so they monitor its enforcement and prevent it from being changed (with each new president) every six years.”

“We’ve passed the point of no return and no president,” regardless of party affiliation, can do much to solve the security woes, Carrillo said, adding that Calderon’s successor will have to have a “very serious, large team in place to analyze and tackle the problem.”

But “that won’t satisfy people,” the expert predicted. He therefore called for a grand national alliance that promotes long-term solutions, which he said must be in the hands of institutions, not individuals.

Source: EFE

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31 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

It's hard for the FBI and DEA not to act like they own Mexico because the Mexican security and intel forces are so weak and ineffective. They openly invite US agencies to operate in Mexico and then they complain that Mexican sovereignty is being violated.

So basically Carrillo is saying start over and that will definitely take decades. He says existing institutions must be replaced with new ones. That is a tall order and will never happen. Carrillo knows this. He wants to sell books.

It is very simplistic and very easy to conclude that the current systems and public institutions don't work so we must begin again. What is to prevent newly created institutions from being corrupted from the start?

Mr. Carrillo fails to acknowledge the fact that many, many Mexicans in Mexico and the US are making huge amounts of money, more than they have ever made, the way things are. So far, they have resisted all meaningful change. A lot of Mexicans say they want change but do they really?

Anonymous said...

All I can say is, to bad I didn't had money to go to the Narco Auction in Mexico. Things were real cheap from jewelry to cars and properties. 51 gold rings for 74 pesos

Anonymous said...

11:22 AM...Are you Mexican? You speak more like a law enforcement affiliate from the US. How can you speak for what Mexican want if you aren't one. I know this, if you were to take the US dollar out of the equation, there would only be a few pesos for the cartels to fight for. What will ultimately have to occur, probably after several governments have gone broke is; the US legalize and regulate drugs so that the illegal money and guns would not end up in the criminals hands. But why rebuild a new policing structure that would take too long and probably fail just as it has there and in the US for 50 years. Take the drugs and profits out of the cartels and street dealers hands and regulate it. Then address crime with a force that is trained and well paid. Preferably on a European Model, not on a failed US Model. That is what I hear from this article. I don't think the old man is too far off. The answers for this 50 year war on drugs are not going to come from what someone heard in Criminal Justice 101 class, that is for sure. Hell, it took us 10 years to find a 6'9" Osama, LOL, but we, the US wants to give advice and input. It is going to take some very creative international thinking.

Anonymous said...

Heck, it's hard for the FBI / DEA not act like they own Mexico when the sole reason why many drugs are illegal there is because the US asked them to make them illegal in the first place.

ajulio said...

Mexico cannot win this war Completely without help from the U.S. military but the U.S. won't do anymore unless these cartels attack the U.S. and that won't happen because the cartels know better.

So what will happen is the Mexican government will help the sinaloa cartel win the war and that will still take many more years.

the mexican military and police are already too integrated into the cartels to serve any purpose.

so the moral of the story is: Mexico is in deep shit for a looooooooong time!

"L"B said...

well it sounds like if the failed state of Mexico would concede another 20 or 30% of it's territory to the cartels...and sue for a truce ..alls well that ends well...and we could still call it mexico...and no matter what... it is the fault of the USA

i said it last year... mexico ..the worlds first true narcocracy

Anonymous said...

They only control HALF of Mexico?? I wouldve thought it was MUCH more!!!

Anonymous said...

Mexico can't win it. The US can't even beat the Taliban and it's funding is exhausted. Legalize and regulate it. Take the money out of the Cartels hand and put it in the governments hands. Lets move on to a new chapter in history. Richard Nixon's "War on Drugs" failed. LOL, and don't give me that Criminal Justice 101 crap either. And please don't give me another "if only the US Marines" bunch of bullshit. We have to legalize it and get out from under the huge prison systems we are having to sell ours childrens' souls to China to borrow to support. If you want to declare your war on drugs, go whip a street dealers ass.

Anonymous said...

Staying with this war is like "Sticking money up a dead dogs ass." There is no purpose, he isn't coming back to life. Let's move on!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Another professor type with animosity for the USA finger pointing as they always do. If the US wanted to dictate to Mexico, they'd simply use national security as an excuse and you would find US Marines running through the country. This guy is a typical leftist idealogue and the reason why the US should start taking money away from all the countries that think like this asshole. Libya is a perfect example of a waste of money.....We are in a no win situation....With or without US drug consumption, the animals in Mexico will continue to extort, kidnap and harrass the public.

Jose Angel said...

Jorge Carrillo Olea is responsible for the mess Mexico finds itself in today, he worked with the most corrupted and vil mexican presidents in history, he participated in the messy and negligent administrations of Lopez Portillo, De la Madrid and Salinas de Gortari, three presidents Mexico wants to forget every day. He and other imbeciles with him created the weak police and state intelligence structures that resulted in fiasco and lack of control and that opened the way to drug cartels.

Cartel del Golfo, Sinaloa Cartel, Zetas, Beltran Leyva, etc. they were all created during the years Carrillo Olea participated in the federal government, Calderon and the Mexico of today inherited the mess from negligent, corrupted personalities the likes of Carrillo Olea, and Calderon is now trying to do what Zedillo, Salinas de Gortari and De la Madrid never did, which is precisely to fight the cartels instead of trying to live next to them and allowing the to take control.

Finally, the cartels have no control, they are on the run, they had control, a lot of it during the days when Carrillo Olea was a member of the federal government, he was the one who negotiated with them, everyone knows that in Mexico.

Anonymous said...

I find it rather amusing how gringos are calling Mexico a "failed state". Last time I checked it was America who was 14 trillion in debt, while Mexico's economy is growing at an average 5% a year. Oh and you want to send U.S. troops to Mexico? It's a FACT that during the last 2 years more U.S. troops are dieing from suicides than by enemy gunfire. We're talking suicides in the HUNDREDS. So instead of sending your troops to war like it's no big deal, you should STOP and look at what it's doing to them psychologically.

Ardent said...

Why should it be Mexico's job to interdict the flow of drugs to the US? Actually... there is no real reason other than US government pressure to do so. After all, does the US make much real effort to stop the flow of illegal arms into Mexico? No it doesn't. So why then does it become Mexico's task to somehow police for the US government inside its own Mexican borders? The US hardly does the same for Mexico when it comes to armaments.

As for inside Mexico itself, the Mexican government needs to decriminalize drug use for Mexico's own citizens, treat the addicts medically, and then legally allow the transport of the drugs straight into the US without efforts to stop the flow by having Mexican police and military act as agents of the US Border Patrol. Let the US government itself run around and play cops and traffickers on its own soil if it so desires? But leave Mexico out of it! It is not Mexico's duty to do this work for the US government if American society as a whole remains stuck into trying to wage a militaristic and Prohibitionist war against multiple substances made criminal to use by the US government. If it were already doing os on the terms it forces the Mexican government to battle on in this stupid 'war, then the American people, too, would defect even faster than Mexicans want to.

Anonymous said...

NO Mexican can run an INTELLIGENCE organization without his prejudices filtering into his conclusions.

Anonymous said...

The lower image is a good one. Thanks for the post BB.

The drug wars in both the US and Mexico are epic failures but its no accident.

Its embarrassing to see people point the finger at Mexico as corrupt. For years we have had state and business sponsored drug trafficking. A simple logistics study would prove it. There is too much product and money being moved to not have protection and assistance.

Anonymous said...

Un Saludo Para el Ingeniero y el compa Edgardo Leyva La Plaza Sigue al Cien

Anonymous said...

Tell Us Something we dont know! Its not 1/2 but ALL of Mexico is a FAILED STATE.

Anonymous said...

This Article, as an earlier poster suggested, is a wish list that will never happen. There is no turning back the clock. Corruption in the military, police and the political elite is endemic and if fully exposed, which full blown intervention from the US would inevitably do, would simply collapse the Mexican government and send the country into chaos. The cartels, while fractured, have evolved into enterprises that would quickly exploit the governments fall. (It's a no win situation for the US governent, why would they all but ignore the sky rocketing violence and near complete deterioration of security of the last 4 years in Mexico ? Becuase the US would have to step in and install a transitional authority if it collapesed and it would only serve to enforce global opinion of the US as an imperialist occupier) Suggesting a Europen style force like NATO step in to root out the cartels is a joke. Legalizing drugs in the US would only help minimally. Marijauna is the only drug the US would legalize and criminal enterprizes have become entrenched and would still have a market for Meth, Heroin and cocaine. The Mexican government has obviously settled on the only path that will allow them to continue enriching themselves while maintaining any semblance of authority. Chapo's Sinaloa group is the governments chosen benefactor.

"L"B said...

Ardent said...

Why should it be Mexico's job to interdict the flow of drugs to the US? Actually... there is no real reason other than US government pressure to do so...

gee erny..so maybe the cartels aren't killing each other and everybody who gets in the way over the rights to do so

this is a classic even for you

Anonymous said...

For all you Mexicans who support, who insist that this war must be continued for the perceived U.S benefit of the U.S government at any cost no matter how high to the Mexican government, you must be a direct descendant of Santa Ana.

Why isn't the U.S military out in full force patrolling the areas in the inner city/suburbs where drugs are sold in the U.S in order to stop their sale? Why isn't the U.S military setting up roadblocks on the U.S border to check for out flowing arms? Why isn't Obama coming out challenging U.S criminal elements to a war, after all they exist just as much as they do in Mexico?

Think about it Mexicans think about it, before you think twice about supporting this boneheaded drug war at any costs to our citizenry.

Anonymous said...

@ LB
Yeah Brito Mexico is a narcocracy and your hometown of Monterrey is the new Juarez.

Anonymous said...

gee erny..so maybe the cartels aren't killing each other and everybody who gets in the way over the rights to do so

Wrong, even Calderon pointed that the increased pressure on the drug cartels had led to so much of the death. In fact he and others like you have probably celebrated he 40K dead.

Remember it wasn't the cartel that publicly declared a war, it was the government which first used the phrase, which is exactly what it got.

Anonymous said...

I don't think this guy is correct. The Us shares responsibility for what is going on in Mexico and has an obligation and responsibility to assist Mexico. Let's remember that the US is supporting Mexico with billions of dollars though plan Merida and this gives the US a shared responsibility for results and accountability.

Anonymous said...

I think any american who is involved with foreign cartels should be charged with Treason.

ajulio said...

@ ardent

HUH???

There you go again trying to force your anti-American ideology into your comment. That comment did'nt make sense.

I don't know about the other border city crossings but from my own experience, Juarez, Nogales, and Tijuana are not that easy for the average joe to cross over drugs. You got agents who harrass you constantly, sniffing dogs, x-ray machines, car weight scales and cameras to deal with. Customs agents are a pain in the ass. Now, to cross over to Juarez you have to go through sheriffs, american and mexican immigration, car scales, mexican millitary and federal police check points.

Mexico does decriminalize small amounts of drugs now. If you have an amount that is considered big enough for selling, then you are breaking the law. But it does'nt really matter. What matters is if the cop is an asshole or not.

It is Mexico's responsibility to try to intercede the smuggling of arms into their country and to protect it's southern and northern borders.

As far as the other stuff you said.....Come Again??

Anonymous said...

Start over? Mexico is full of Mexicans,that is what it is. If you have spent your life dealing with them then you can understand the comment means. The only way to make Mexico functional is with absolute brutal law enforcment in Mexico,done by Mexicans, unfortunatley this will never happen ,mexicans are opportunistic to a fault and will exploit anything for money,so they are not trustworthy, given power they will abuse it vigirousley.

Anonymous said...

I laugh every time I read some retard say send troops to Mexico. My bet would be that people calling for it have not paid a single dollar as taxes from their income.

Yeah pay the glorious marines with the money we dont have, good way to have our loans degraded to junk faster than Greece did.

Anonymous said...

@Ardent,
After reading your comment (worthless babble), I see as usual you don't have a clue! It is because Mexico has such a poor social/economic structure..a structure that only benefits the rich..is why DTO's have grown to the point of being out of control. Even if your silly idea with regards to legalizing the manufacturing and distribution of narcotics (on a large scale) in Mexico was done, it would absolutely destroy political relations with the U.S. You think Mexico could survive the economic sanctions that would surely be put in place? Don't think so, without relations with the U.S.- Mexico is nothing..you know it and I know it and that fact is the exact reason why you hate the U.S. Your a hater like a lot of Mexicans on here, who blame the U.S. for all of Mexico's problems simply because it's easier to blame someone else rather than accept responsibility.

chewtool said...

even if drugs were legal in mexico, the narcos would be shaking the legal drug stores down for a mordida,

"L"B said...

Anonymous said...
@ LB
Yeah Brito Mexico is a narcocracy and your hometown of Monterrey is the new Juarez.
August 28, 2011 7:07 PM

EXCUSE ME ANY NINNY MOUFS ..COULD YOU MOVE YOUR NOSE ..I WOULD LIKE TO SIT DOWN...THANK YOU AND FEEL FREE TO ADD THIS TO YOUR DOSSIER

Anonymous said...

Jose Angel is exactly correct. Like I said, Carrillo just wants to sell books. He sees Anabel Hernandez getting rich writing bullshit and he wants some for himself.

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