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Thursday, May 26, 2022

US Senators Request Information from DEA on Mexico's Level of Cooperation

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram was sworn in on June 28, 2021.

Two senior U.S. Senators have written to the head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requesting information on the agency's foreign operations, especially in Mexico, following news reports about the Mexican government slashing cooperation.

In April, Borderland Beat reported Mexico had shuttered an elite unit that had worked for decades with the DEA, and earlier this month published another report detailing how the DEA had withdrawn its plane used for high-profile operations from Mexico after officials rescinded its parking spot.

Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, who chairs the influential Senate Judiciary Committee, and Republican Senator from Iowa, Chuck Grassley, a ranking member of the body, said they wanted the DEA to respond to the developments in Mexico.

In a letter to the DEA chief, Anne Milgram, they urged the agency to answer detailed questions about the closure of the elite unit and the removal of the plane, according to a statement by Grassley's office on Tuesday. "If accurate, these reports raise additional concerns about the status of DEA operations in Mexico and the DEA's working relationship with foreign law enforcement units," the two senators said in a letter dated May 23.

The senators asked for answers to its questions within two weeks and for an urgent briefing to the Judicial Committee to be set up. The letter follows their earlier request in November for a briefing over DEA's foreign operations amid reports there were long-standing problems with its oversight.

The senators also cited Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's allegation the elite unit had been infiltrated by criminals, comments made during a morning news conference when he was asked to confirm the Reuters report about its closure.

Woodrow Wilson Center Report from 13 Former US-Mexico Ambassadors

One of the most urgent challenges to U.S.-Mexico relations is reducing cross-border crime and the harm it is doing to Mexican and American communities. So states a report released in March, under the sponsorship of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute by 13 former U.S. ambassadors to Mexico and Mexican ambassadors to the United States.

Tens of thousands of Americans and Mexicans are dying or suffering from overdoses of drugs smuggled from Mexico into the U.S., and from the violence fueled by Mexico’s drug-trafficking criminal groups. Over the past year, government cooperation has improved with a new High-Level Security Dialogue framework and ambitious goals and objectives to guide law enforcement, justice, financial cooperation, community safety, and health aspects of this lethal cross-border commerce.

However, we need more progress in reducing the deadly effects of these criminal activities, including measurable metrics to demonstrate success in reducing illicit smuggling, arms trafficking, money laundering, and related violence and deaths. The ambassadors’ public security recommendations emphasize the importance of having a shared, detailed analysis of the situation that can be the basis for comprehensive, long-term cooperation, which too often was not the case in past efforts.

There is also a vital need to rebuild trust. In recent years, U.S.-Mexico developments have weakened mutual confidence and cooperation. Greater sharing of intelligence is necessary to be effective against criminal groups. However, the ambassadors warn in their report that “without trust and means to ensure the protection of information, however, there will not be and should not be increased sharing of information.” Sadly, such trust-based cooperation between U.S. and Mexican agencies has suffered greatly and remains legally limited in Mexico. Recent reports suggest that mistrust remains among agencies on the front lines.

The ambassadors emphasize the advantages of deploying newer technology along the U.S.-Mexico border, where over $1 million worth of legitimate commerce passes each minute. At present, border facilities and technology on both sides fall short. New U.S. border infrastructure funding could help address the problems. Importantly, there must be regular meetings from the cabinet-level down to measure and evaluate progress and encourage better public understanding of the security landscape and “accountability” up and down the chains of authority.

These recommendations — along with the other ideas shared in the report for strengthening U.S.-Mexico ties — provide solid direction for the two governments moving forward in 2022. It’s heartening to see progress in agreeing on new mechanisms and shared goals for public security, but it is not clear that common metrics or detailed action plans are being implemented, and new evidence underscores the urgency of action.

US Drug Overdoses & Mexico Homicide Rates

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced, for example, that over 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021, up 15 percent from 2020. Of this total, over 71,000 overdose deaths were from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. Synthetic opioid-related deaths jumped 23 percent in 2021. Most illegal fentanyl enters the U.S. from Mexico, according to the Commission on Combatting Synthetic Opioid Trafficking. Improving practical U.S.-Mexico law enforcement and justice cooperation is clearly more important than ever. The Biden administration recognizes this in its National Drug Control Strategy, which lays out steps to deal with the overdose crises, but more effective coordination with Mexico remains a pillar for success.

In Mexico, homicides are down slightly from an all-time high of more than 34,000 in 2019, but the outlook remains bleak. A report by the Global Initiative Against Organized Crime, for example, ranks Mexico as the fourth worst of 193 countries studied for overall criminality, with particularly bad scores for “Mafia-style” groups and “criminal networks,” as well as for synthetic drug trade. Mexico just revised upward its list of missing persons to 100,000, growing over 25,000 in the last two years. As of December 2020, Mexico had an estimated 350,000 internally displaced persons because of conflict or violence. Not surprisingly, many Mexicans do not feel secure in their hometowns and see public security as a top national issue.

The Biden administration introduced course corrections with a wary Mexican administration led by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), who was skeptical of bilateral public security cooperation under the U.S.-Mexico Merida Initiative began in 2008. The rebuilding effort led to an October 2021 cabinet-level “High-Level Security Dialogue” and a new “Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health and Safe Communities” to replace the Merida Initiative. The two governments issued a fulsome joint statement with a comprehensive set of commitments, and then negotiated and released shared objectives in January 2022. It is not clear if this progress has included detailed agreement on how to achieve the goals or to measure progress.

More comprehensive U.S.-Mexico collaboration is welcome. Dedicated officials from both countries are working to counter the criminal groups responsible for violence and deaths on both sides of the border. But, as the former ambassadors make clear, the U.S. and Mexican governments must demonstrate that they are rebuilding mutual trust and making the practical progress needed to counter these voracious criminal enterprises.

36 comments:

  1. I knew it I was waiting for the day Congress of USA, will put in the agenda, of Obrador and his government not wanting help from DEA. Obrador will be on the spotlight. Let's see if he will back peddle on this one. I will be laughing when USA starts slashing the millions spent every year on Mexico.

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    1. Poncho, you should do a better job of following mexican politics, furthermore improve on your English speaking abilities... 五五五

      AMLO is lining up his ducks so that Mexico becomes self reliant and no longer depends on U.S foreign aid. AMLO does not want foreign aid from the U.S. He wants to cut as many strings as possible. Crawl from out of the rock you live under Poncho Villa.. Take off your blinders, the U.S is losing its spot as the number 1 nation.

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    2. I am writing to my US Congress member to stop wasting money on Mexico.

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    3. @12:42 ok let's say what you wrote is what's happening regarding the future of M矇xico as planned by AMLO.
      This article is specifically about the cooperation by AMLO on drug interdiction, recently tons of coca have been getting busted by MARINA and in states along the Pacific cristal and fentanilo shipments have also been getting busted. Coincidence?
      To me as long as that MF leaves when his 6 year term is over it'll be the best for M矇xico, don't want him trying to imitate his communist/socialist buddies.

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    4. IPA drinker glad you can see through the smoke people try to create that ALMO is the best president for Mexico, I think the quagmire and impunity will continue to happen even when a new president arrived, he will become the puppet of cartels and seniors in the military. It's visible that the Marina is playing catch up with busts and arrests, since cut off of Aid is going to the American Congress.

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    5. Like 12:42 said, AMLO is preparing to be self reliant. You have people like 6:46 talking about smoke, but in reality it's obvious that he doesn't know what's truely going on in Mexico nor the things AMLO is doing. If he did his post would be very different. If anyone thinks AMLO is making these busts to appease the U.S. and for the aid, you should look into things a little better. If he cared about appeasing the U.S. then he would of not closed down or atleast opened back up Volca"s (U.S. company) operations. AMLO is more concered about Mexico"s future and trying to set things right for the long term. He's already shown time and time again that the U.S. is not getting what it wants or asks for for the simple fact that they're the U.S. nor are they unwilling to tell the U.S. no. People might not see what AMLO is truely up to or what his intentions are because he's strategic in his planning and thinking. He's playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers, and just like chess no one sees the check mate coming untill it's sprung on them. That's when all the moves are seen and truely understood.

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    6. @659 it would take me several replies to show you all of the evidence that backs up my beliefs, but let's start off with this article. Although the article mentions cooperation it also cites what I've mentioned in a recent comment I made and that is the recent moves mexico made back in April and May of this year. Check Socals hyperlinks at the top of the article.

      I've read several articles where American and European media outlets claim AMLO is a socialist , but I disagree. AMLO is basically establishing the same benefits many Americans have access to which is free or affordable Healthcare, free or affordable education and a type of social security for the disabled and elderly. I don't understand how people see that as "socialist" when a Latin american country does it but don't accuse the U.S of socialism while we have access to all of those benefits. Sounds like a double standard if you ask me.

      As far as the uptick in drug seizures it's one of the agreements in the Bicentennial initiative. Google the "Bicentennial initiative vs. Merida initiative" so you can get an idea of the slight changes. Basically it's AMLO's way of keeping U.S agencies out of mexican soil. Of course this website is going to highlight any drug seizures that occur on both sides of the border but ask yourself if we ever get as many articles regarding firearm seizures into Mexico. Not really, mind you that's part of the Bicentennial initiative.

      This whole notion that AMLO is making more drug seizure because he's afraid the foreign aid is going to be cut off is silly. The tables are turning as a result of what AMLO is doing in M矇xico. He'll be out in 2 years but if all goes as planned, the next president will be one of his close subordinates. I think he has like 4 or 5 presidential candidates he is grooming while PAN and Pri have no one. I wouldn't be surprised if the next Mexican president is a female. There will definitely be a female candidate, mark my words.

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    7. @8:29 Claudia Sheinbum? What are the chances she'll make her boytoy Garcia Harfuch her top cop? Otro vividor del erario publico y aparte corrupto. Nos cargar穩a m獺s la chingada con esos chilangos lacras. Nom獺s falta que esos ojetes tengan su propio grupo llamado "CARTEL DE LOS CHILANGOS". SIR can provide the times , days and years of all the marranadas that bloodline has caused in Mexico. Marcelo Ebrard? Otro inservible. Ah穩 te va una buena, el que sigue va ser LCB. Tiene el linaje y jerarqu穩a.
      Ya sabes qui矇n escribe estos comentarios, ten la cortesia de tu tambi矇n ponerle autor穩a a los tuyos y el tiempo dir獺 qui矇n fue m獺s acertado.

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    8. 8:29 the US is a socialist as it can be... The only capitalist are the corporations... Try getting food stamps and all the aid you get in the US in Mexico...LMAO

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    9. 339 Since the vast majority of Mexicans approve of the job the President is doing, AMLOs world leader approval rating standing at number 2 and him showcasing them as potential candidates, both Shienbaum and Ebraurd have a viable chance at the mexican presidency. You can continue posting comments under whatever name you like and I'll continue to do as I do. All I ask is that we keep it respectful. By the way, who is or what is LCB?

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  2. By the way, thanks for this article Socal. I don't necessarily agree with most of the mexico politic news written by Reuters but this one was okay.

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  3. Almo is now really going to shit his pants, taking out the DEA from Mexico was a very bad move, Almo don't go switching moves, you have let MEXICO go downhill, even more when you take out the DEA. Now let's see what you do when the money stops. Those that live Almo I am sorry, but the truth is coming out.

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    1. Dea came in as an agency to take over the drug industry and got mad when they found that corruption was already there and they couldn't just tear it away for themselves* you think the timeline of nocking down poucha and Pablo. You see how fast they took down the KGB Cali, then strolled out to Mexico for a campaign of justice in which kiki had the most to gain from that crop dusted.... Where were his ops fields.... Texas I believe maybe some in Colorado Canada and possibly even California and Oregon. The were really hoping for a coup and would of had one if not for the existance of corruption already in place making things too difficult for them to put there's in place, but it does seem they cleared the path for norteville or who ever it is that is still in place, what 30 years later????? Come the fuck on Jackson. I ain't buying the b.s. especially when I see first hand how many of them are snakes and cowards. Policing for profit and their own agenda with no true respect for the justice system just lust for the authority they feel and how they can just do what they want with zero accountability, well I tell you what boys it takes a man to face himself. Dumb motherfuckers justify what they do just because they got the authority to do it. And to all of the bacon in the world that snores fast asleep every night thinking of the days events; you are greasy cause they can't feign ignorance from an observational position they desired and sought out to be.

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    2. Fkem Obrador causing troubles in Mexico for it's citizens, but criminals get a free pass to kill.

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    3. Why do people act like all this bs started when AMLO became president? Cartels, corruption, killings, disappearances, etc. were already happening before him. And if people expected him to wave a magic wond and all that would be fixed, that has never been the case. It's hard to make a quick change when the people and justice system that supposed to help you tackle these problems are making it harder for you. Corruption has been ingrained in the political system for so long that they even passed laws making corruption and other crimes legal. The old political system and politiciams are so rotten that they have for example a solar park that was paid for with tax payer money and is on the books for it, but no one can physically find the solar park and another solar park hasn't produced not 1 kilo watt of energy, and gets millones of pesos in tax payer money every year for maintenance, And these things are not crimes because the politicians decriminallized them so they could do as they please with no risk. AMLO is changing all that. I would love to see him go after these dirty pos, but it seems like he's content to put those that have done corrupt things on blast as long as they don't continue with those habits. I understand his strategy though.

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    4. We have this guy defending ALMO, yet is blind, that while ALMO is in office little is being done on criminal violence, since he is soft on them, many have grown out through out Mexico.Quuck to defend a lazy grampa lol.

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    5. 835 AMLO is very smart and very well seasoned in politics. It's bad enough mainstream American, European and mexican media outlets call him a socialist for trying to provide a lot of the same benefits for its citizens that Americans already receive. If he and his current government were to imprison the past presidents and members of those administrations those same media outlets would label him as a dictator. He'd be treading in very dangerous waters. He's best off exposing them for what they did and allowing the U.S to prosecute... the thing is the U.S will not prosecute because a lot of U.S, Canadian and European companies took part in the ransacking of mexican resources under Pe簽a Nieto, Calderon, Fox, Zedillo and Salinas... think about how a dictator who imprison his opposition is viewed amongst other world leaders.

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    6. Lol at the fool that says ALMO is well seasoned. A charmer for the president that does little for it's citizens. Bribes coming in what he looks forward to, after buying, his brother a multi-million dollar home in the luxury part of Texas, I am sure he does not make that type of money being president. I can't believe the extent some moron will come in and cover his mis-deeds.

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    7. @915 Hi Puncho. Back to making your ignorant comments? Did you read the article? Did you read this part?
      " In Mexico, homicides are down slightly from an all-time high of more than 34,000 in 2019..."
      If according to this article and official stats, violence is down then how do you explain the comment you made, "...that while ALMO is in office little is being done on criminal violence..."
      Poncho, get outta here with your fake news. 不不不不 what are you gonna do, cry like a baby and say that "the AMLO nutthugger" is belittling you for exposing your stupidity?

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    8. @1100 LOL. AMLO does little for his citizens? Really, like what issues are we talking about? Education? Infrastructure projects? Public health sector? Job creation? Money for the elderly? Is it crime? This very article states that the homicide rate was down last year for the first time since probablythe start of the "war on drugs". Lol. Provide us a link to the whole multi million dollar home purchase. I wanna read what you're clinging on to...but you won't because you just make stuff up.

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    9. @11:33 your the Moron they are talking about in here. You can't blind us all on the Mexician president. He should be impeached.

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    10. @150 blind you? LOL. Puncho, you're a idiot. I could point out the moon and you would point at my finger.... tell me please, why should he impeached? On what grounds. I wanna see what stupid answer you come up with. 不不不不

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    11. 8:35 am wow You guys are opening your eyes DEA came in with big Characters puro show actors playing to be big fishes and with this game sacrifice our people the young ones Mexico it’s suffering por el pendejo de Obama y Biden quieren todo just like they finance Guerrillas in Colombia to take their part of the share Mexico people are strong and will fight back we need more blinds to see and take back what belongs to Mexico viva la revolution,

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  4. Mexico level of cooperation with USA.
    From 1-10 1 only

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  5. No wonder the Marina is doing many drug busts, usually they do a goal of 3 or 4 per year. Trying to impress USA, hummmm bug a little to late.

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  6. Not exactly, greed and they have all those leads from encrypted phone busts and all the leads they produced. OCDTEF'S pledge is to dismantle and control all aspects of the drug world they can, but don't wanna make it legal???

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  7. Curupt Lopez Obrador is going downhill for this one.

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  8. DEA Administrator Milgram. The irony; do they are these names up?

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  9. Chuck Grassley is part of the problem, Dick Durbin should not be talking to Grassley's ass.
    Ask genarco garcia Luna and all the corrupt police officers he unleashed all over mexico still on the job, but always keep present, the shit rolls down hill, AND The Hill is just one more corrupt Fawx News outlet and ambassadors like jorge casta簽eda or fidel Herrera Beltran zeta (1#2)are pieces of shit too.

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    1. Everyone in Mexician political arena is curupt

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    2. 6:39 "they" are letting AMLO get his way, because it will allow for some mexican recovery, then it will be "A簽o de Hidalgo" all over again, (chingue a su madre el que deje algo), with mexican army and carlos slim helu kissing his ass, bet your ass the jig IS There to stay, and ready to spring the trap when "ALMO" is gone, I really believe the revolution will be a pedradas y garrotazos by real pueblos.
      Trump tried that, with guillotines outside of congress, lucky it did not work.

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  10. To the guy saying a multi milllion dollar home in texas.. the house his brother purchased was worth 400k in US dollar. Multi million pesos yes,Dollars no. 400k is not out of reach brother. Might want to do your homework.

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    1. @11:01 The home that Lopez Obrador bought his son is purchased at 1.2 million US dollars not pesos as you imply.
      He also bought his son a $70,00 Brand New SUV Mercedes.
      Also according to US records, the Mansion is located in Cypress of Harris County, Texas
      Actually you should do your homework before you decide to bring people down in here.

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    2. 9:12 1.2 million is not multimillion is 2 mill and up

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    3. 9:12........
      That dumbass said in the $400,000 wonder why he is covering for Lopez Obr., Then he tried to say it in Pesos lol.
      Good to expose Curupt officials. That President can't be making millions yearly in US dollars, we all know that part.

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