By Jorge Carrasco Araizaga and J. Jesus Esquivel
Military sources in Mexico and the United States confirmed the existence of a plan to catch "Or Kill" El Chapo Guzman, prepared by the Pentagon and the Mexican government, proposed and accepted in principle by President Calderon. Virtually the same plan that led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, the plan would be carried out exclusively by members of the United States Navy, with no intervention of the Mexican military or Mexican police. Only outright rejection from the high command of the Mexican military has denied the operation....But the Pentagon remains hopeful that the next administration will be open to accept it.
Military sources in Mexico and the U.S. confirm the existence of the plan, which was developed by the Pentagon several months ago and now is being held back because it is an operation that was designed with only Americans in mind, an idea that is not viewed with pleasure by their Mexican counterparts.
The plan was introduced to Felipe Calderon who promoted it among the armed forces. And although there was a sharp rejection by the Mexican Army and Navy, Washington has not thrown away the plan and propose to show it to the next Mexican president, Enrique Pena.
The plan exists upon an order from the Department of Defense and the U.S. Northern Command who have it considered as a priority mission, said a senior Mexican Army source, who by agreement is kept an anonymous.
The Pentagon is frustrated that the Mexican government has not been able to recapture Guzman Loera since his escape from the maximum security prison Puente Grande, in Jalisco, on January 2001 during the presidency of Vicente Fox. El Chapo has escaped at least six times from being captured, military sources have confirmed.
The most recent occurred last February in a seaside mansion in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, one day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on an official visit to Mexico. The information needed to capture the drug lord has been provided by U.S. agencies, primarily the DEA, so Mexico's "failed attempt" at capturing El Chapo has angered Washington.
For Mexico, the eventual U.S. military intervention of detaining El Chapo on Mexican land is "Very Risky," because in addition to a clear violation of Mexico's Constitution could also lead to all sorts of problems, said the military official. The proposed operation is in accordance with Mexico and was designed by military strategists of the special forces of the Department of Defense of the United States (the Pentagon).
The execution of the operation would be run by the Navy SEALs, a specially trained group consisting of navy commandos trained for covert actions in enemy territory by sea, air or land. The operation would be similar to the one accomplished in Pakistan (Capture or kill) Bin Laden, who was killed in his hideout in May 2011.
Special Forces helicopters reached the Muslim leader's bunker on the outskirts of Islamabad, near the Pakistani military academy. From the success of the Bin Laden operation, Calderon explained that the plan to stop El Chapo would be "simple, quick and precise".
In the mountains of Sinaloa, where Guzman Loera is known to go in and out at will, The plan states that capturing him would require a special seals team with the support of three digital high-tech drones operated by remote control and armed with missiles. Special forces would move in from Sinaloa and Durango in weapons armed helicopters. On reaching the target, two of the teams would remain with one on the ground and another in the air, backed by drones, to prevent any retaliation from Chapo's soldiers.
In 10 or 15 minutes both teams would catch the target and complete the objective, according to the proposed operation. The special forces would eliminate any of Chapo's security on the spot (shoot to kill) as they did with the 'Bin Laden' operation and in case El Chapo were killed, the SEALs team would have to recover the body.
The operation against El Chapo would be observed and addressed in "Real Time" from the headquarters of the Pentagon's Northern Command, and also from the offices of the National Security Council of the White House.
In the operation against bin Laden, President Barack Obama followed step by step from the White House (the work of the Navy Seals), but in the Mexican operation, the Pentagon commanders would be responsible for monitoring the operation.
The plan does not include the Mexican military, Army or Navy. Mexican soldiers will enter only to present the results of the operation.
According to the military commander who consulted with PROCESO, it is clear that the U.S. has the capacity to capture Chapo in Mexico, but in order to do it, the U.S. soldiers would have to disguise themselves by wearing the uniforms of some kind of Mexican Law Enforcement, for example, the Mexican Federal Police.
The U.S. Northern Command was created in 2002 by the Pentagon after the attacks of Al Qaeda in order to perform "delicate" missions and to protect the security of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico," so capturing El Chapo is considered as a mission.
Washington equates the Mexican drug cartels with terrorists and therefore are (both) considered a threat to national security. Consequently, the Northern Command takes an obligation to act against drug traffickers, the military chief added.