Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Pena Nieto's opposing coalition threatened with his security policy

Sunday, September 9, 2012 |


Enrique Pena Nieto
By Chris Covert
Rantburg.com

Throughout last spring's campaign Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) presidential candidate Enrique Pena Nieto, as with his rivals travelled in Mexico with the message of a frontrunner, that of unity and national pride.  Pena Nieto could afford to act as above the fray because from the start he had maintained a solid 20 plus percentage point lead.

One of the issues that Pena Nieto spoke about with caution was security policy.  His rival Partido Accion National (PAN) candidate also tread lightly on the issue after having suffered years of attacks from the Mexican mainstream left over president Felipe Calderon Hinjosa's war on the cartels.

But once the election was over, Pena Nieto rolled out his newest advisor of security policy, heralding that he would deal with Mexico's powerful cartels with a new strategy.

Retired Colombian police chief General Oscar Adolfo Naranjo Trujillo was presented as having ideas on how to shift the current strategy to one which is supposed to reduce the violence which has marked much of Calderon's presidency.
General Oscar Naranjo

General Naranjo Trujillo has been credited with reducing the violence in Colombia during the 1980s and 1990s.  His tenure was marked with an emphasis on security for the legal and security structure in Colombia, plus an active record of drug arrests.  Other Spanish language sources suggested General Naranjo Trujillo gained the upper hand in Colombia through the use of targeted killings..

How General Naranjo Trujillo will apply his experience to Mexico's massive organized crime problem is cloaked in mystery.  Colombia is half the size and population of Mexico and unlike Colombia, Mexico has at any one moment in time at least extremely violent drug  six cartels competing for shipment routes and warm bodies.

By contrast, at the current time, Colombia just dealt with a well financed leftist guerilla army, while Mexico has destroyed virtually every attempt at establishing an armed leftist presence.

Last Thursday chief of Pena Nieto's transition team for security matter  Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said that at least temporarily, Mexico's military would remain on the streets in counternarcotic operations.  The subtext in that announcement is twofold.

First it appears that President Pena Nieto will shift responsibility, as well as resources, from the national armed forces to its police apparatus, probably the Policia Federal (PF).  The PF along with the military current patrols Mexico's highways and city streets in large numbers, and like the military some units at east have been accused of sparking violence in the areas they patrol.

The second is purely political.  Mexican news has been report in the first few days of last week that the Partido Revolucion Democratica (PRD) and PAN have been in talks in advance to the seating of the Chamber of Deputies for common ground to deal with many issues before Mexico, mainly before the weakened PRI caucus.

Among the issued discussed in private meetings were reform of media, transparency, fighting corruption, debt control of state governments and non-use of public resources for electoral purposes, according to an article which appeared in El Sol de Mexico news daily website.

The last four items can be closely tied together, as state debt has been used, if you believed PAN and PRD politicians, as a means of gaining a funding advantage in state elections.

One issue that PRI politicians will not talk about but which last year cost their leader, Humberto Moreria Valdes, is state debt levels.  With Coahuila state just one of the most egregious examples of PRI governed state with massive amounts of contracted public debt. 

States which had currently large amounts of public debt include Mexico state, Pena Nieto's old job just before he ran for president.  Pena Nieto himself has been accused by politicians of using the proceeds from banks loans to the state, to bolster the political fortunes of allies in Mexican statehouses throughout his term of governor of Mexico state.

Many of Mexico's 33 political entities have laws which prevent such transactions from being hidden, but many do not.  Coahuila's example was so egregious because laws were in place which should have prevented the government from contracting so much public debt without transparency, but did not.  The result of such bulging state treasuries, however, led to social spending on such projects as income supports, including health care and supplemental income payments for the elderly. 

But those programs funded by debt cannot last long and a return to fiscal responsibility is inevitable.

Decades ago, a PRI government at the national level would have had no problem in bailing out states which found themselves in fiscal trouble, but reforms in put in place by successive PAN governments tie the president's hands of how much federal resources he can steer towards his friends in the statehouses.  If Pena Nieto had privately promised to help out PRI statehouses, he will have to come to the Chamber of Deputies to do it. 

One of the problems PRI faces now is that despite a string finish in the presidential polling and in municipalities, PRI failed to get a majority in the Chamber of Deputies.  In fact, the one party which did increase its seats is the PRD, the main griever in the post election vote buying scandal.

Angry and united, Pena Nieto's political opposition alliance on the face appears to be ready to make PRI pay if it wants to bail out  Mexican states.
Ricardo Monrel

But the legislative coalitialon is fragile.  Among the elements which threaten it is Ricardo Monreal. Monreal, PRD's Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's campaign coordinator has been threatening to impeach the judges on the panel of the Mexican Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federacion (TEPJF), the public juridical body which settles violations of election law in Mexico.  Said Monreal, according to a news article posted on the website of El Sol de Mexico last week, he charged,"...the comfort presented here does not reflect insecurity and unemployment, the high cost and anxiety of the Mexicans, what a bad start, bad ending: that was the lesson of the last 6 years of an illegitimate government that ends today."

Perhaps the most potent threat to the coalition comes from Pena Nieto himself.  Osorio Chong's announcement coming on the heels of the conclusion of the meeting between PAN and PRD can be seen as a wedge between two ideologically disparate parties, which can weaken the coalition sufficiently so that Pena Nieto can push his agenda through the Chamber of Deputies without reforms demanded by his opposition.

PAN implemented the current security strategy, which PRD in league with Mexico's independent left have for the past six year attacked PAN mercilessly over Calderon's security policy, which the left claims has killed between 50,000 and 65,000 Mexicans.

In security policy, PAN and PRI are political soulmates.  It is possible PRI will split the coalition using Pena Nieto'a security policy to leverage a bailout of Mexican states.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com

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19 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

The Mexican left will do anything to gain power and impose their version of a dictatorship. Look at Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina if you want to know what they have in mind.

Anonymous said...

The only way to get rid of the cartels is to plant every single one of them in the ground!

Anonymous said...

@ 12:18pm - In the 70's the Liga Comunista 23 de Septiembre funded by Russia and trained in Cuba, tried to impose it's presence in Mexico. Half of those are buried in the Mexican ocean's, the rest are into politics or out of them. The leftists has no chance hence they lack any resources, unlike Venezuela, it's leftist backbone lies in the oil that they control. In order for civil unrest to be a force to be reckoned with, it needs heavy funding. Mexican left does not have it.

The only way to get rid of cartels is to reduce them to one or two, get rid of the thieves that extort taco stands.

As long as there are humans, there will be a need that will be supplied.

Problem got out of hand when puny politicians
started selling the plazas two or three times to rival gangs, young greedy and very dumb politicos like the ones in Monterrey and Coahuila, Veracruz, what were they thinking?

You cannot mess with the civilan population and get away with it, drug commerce is another matter, but getting involved in racketeering, extortion to give some of that share to a sick politico? They have it coming sooner than later, the money making machine that illicit drugs produces needs to continue, and will do so because the higher powers need that money.

You don't have to go into a big scale to understand supply and demand, just visit any jail in any part of the world, and ask if they have ilegal substances inside? They deal in all kinds of drugs and make alcohol with fruit. That's inside a contained prisson where everybody is checked and there could be as little as 100 people inside. Now with that in ind what or how would you stop something as big as en entire country's demand for anything?

You can't. You can only organize it and diminish the innocent casualties so that the noise tunes down.

I maybe wrong and vegas has nothing what so ever to do with the mafia anymore, if that si true then there is hope that the drug trade cna be stopped.

Anonymous said...

What General Oscar Naranjo did in Columbia was to bring the drug industry under the control of those sanctioned by the state (today more Columbian coke is produced and supplied to eager consumers than during Escobars heydays).
That is also the goal of Mr Pena Nieto. Why? Because drugs is a very powerful political tool. Allow certain comunities to be flooded with drugs (passifying or destroying them), punish certain drugs harder than others (crack vs coke), allow certain individuals to do the trade (clandestine favours expected) and lock others away. This works so beautifully in the US (remember: thats were all the drugs from the mexican cartels end up) or are the US cops to lazy, stupid or under equipped to stop the distribution, sale and consumption of those drugs originating south of the border?
The solution? LEGALIZE IT. The effect would be that you do away with drug crime and the drug politics in one stroke.

Anonymous said...

I smell a revolution coming real soon......

Anonymous said...

Any word on Pena being backed by CDS??

Anonymous said...

I smell more of the same coming forever.........................

Anonymous said...

Hello BC-Are you in there? Maybe you should consider saving the day here and getting the fuck back to work. Summer's over. I'm tired of you "no showing". Did u notice your other pet project here seems to be tubing without your tutelage! What is your dos centavos on this present unfortunate situation?

Anonymous said...

So they aren't going to use Mexicans to fix this after all, but instead of insisting the US helps, they go to this guy? Wow. So this guy kills a few dozen higher ups and then demands they pay off the President's party even more? IF you really wanted to get rid of cartels, planting them in the ground will only sprout more. You have to not take bribes. Mexico is way too corrupt for it's own good. Must be a race thing.

Anonymous said...

They U.S. has not been able to stop the flow of drugs into its own country so why go to them for help? As for Mexico, it's corrupt down to the core.

Anonymous said...

“…Pena Nieto rolled out his newest advisor of security policy…General Naranjo Trujillo..."
“…that of unity and national pride… suggested General Naranjo Trujillo gained the upper hand in Colombia through the use of targeted killings..”

ROTFLMAO!! Great start for clean government. But what the hell, whatever works!

Anonymous said...

Mundonarco administrater reported assasinated at his home in culiacan in front of his family rip

Anonymous said...

the zetas leaders will be targeted just like AL Queda leaders were and NEUTRALIZED, all violent drug lords will come in line or get got. Chapo will remain bc SINALOA is old skool.

Anonymous said...

One language, One people.... lol eso si k es!

Anonymous said...

I would call u ignorant if saying ignorant wasn't being ignorant itself. So now the u.s. can save the day on this too? Is that why the u.s.' ATF, CIA and FBI are under investigation for corruption in money laundering and weapons charges? Thats truly speaking out of ur ass my friend. Must be a race thing. NOT. Its Ur singular pathetic mind PENDEJO

Anonymous said...

General Naranjo Trujillo's brother was caught in Europe (Germany) with a load of cocaine. All Enrique Peña Nieto wants from the Colombian general is to be introduced to the general's drug dealing friends to start doing business right away.

Anonymous said...

The giant corporations should do ok but everyone else will have to fend for themselves. Booze and cigarettes will be plentiful.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say ,stop bring communism and countries which honestly.have nothing to do in.this topic. Research and probably you will see why communism was attacled and stopped. The presence in.Mexico funded by foreign countries was and is EZLNN the zapatista movement. Which was created to.counter attack the free trade agreement btw us n.south America which only benefits us. Then thebus helped create the elite forces.mexico to.counter them.
Now Venezuela,peru and auch countries even cuba ate doing.much better then us at poverty and education level. They spending on.the people rather then expanding their capitalism. Is all on the books. Facts are there. I hate to read ignorance posted by people who want to bring shit down without knowing it. And.worst they sound like the fucking tv instead of a.person trying to write and make a point .

Anonymous said...

Old school huh. Well it just goes to show what you know about old school. No snitching, no backstabbing,, no killing women and children. Thats was the code. Men with honor now you wanna cheer for la chaparra and snitchalottas. Please child go somewhere else with this bullshit. All cartels are scum,backstabbing,women and children killing cowards like you.

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