Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, December 2, 2010

US has lost faith in Mexico's ability to win drugs war, WikiLeaks cables show
Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent

American diplomats paint scathing picture of Mexican army, branding it as unfit to combat drug traffickers

WikiLeaks cables are a bleak contrast to Mexican insistence that the state is prevailing in the drugs war declared by President Felipe Calderón in 2006.

The US has lost confidence in the Mexican army's ability to win the country's drugs war, branding it slow, clumsy and no match for "sophisticated" narco-traffickers.

Classified diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks also reveal a growing sense of alarm within Mexico's government that time is running out in the battle against organised crime and that it could "lose" entire regions.

The memos detail blunders in the fight against drug cartels and a desperate search for a new strategy to save President Felipe Calderón's administration from a bloodsoaked fiasco.

The assessments, made in a cable to Washington earlier this year, are bleak contrast to Mexican insistence that the state is prevailing in a war declared by Calderón in 2006. Four years later drug-related violence has killed more than 28,000 people and brought cities such as Ciudad Juárez and Tijuana to the brink of anarchy, with mayors, police chiefs and ordinary people gunned down with impunity and beheadings shockingly common.

Geronimo Gutierrez Fernandez, the undersecretary for governance, told US diplomats that "pervasive, debilitating fear" had infected even relatively safe parts of the country. "He expressed a real concern with 'losing' certain regions."

US diplomats painted a scathing picture of Mexico's armed forces, singling out the army as bureaucratic, parochial, outdated and unfit to combat drug trafficking organisations (DTOs).

"Mexican security institutions are often locked in a zero-sum competition in which one agency's success is viewed as another's failure, information is closely guarded, and joint operations are all but unheard of. Official corruption is widespread, leading to a compartmentalized siege mentality among 'clean' law enforcement leaders and their lieutenants."

The cable laments that only 2% of those detained for organised crime-related offences were brought to trial and said the army was "incapable" of processing information and evidence for judicial cases. "It has taken a serious beating on human rights issues from international and domestic human rights organizations, who argue with considerable basis, in fact that the military is ill-equipped for a domestic policing role."

It was a stinging verdict on the decision of Calderón, a White House ally, to deploy tens of thousands of troops, especially in Ciudad Juárez where narcos ran rings around them.

"The DTOs are sophisticated players: they can wait out a military deployment; they have an almost unlimited human resource pool to draw from in the marginalised neighborhoods; and they can fan complaints about human rights violations to undermine any progress the military might make with hearts and minds."

The diplomats also criticised the "dysfunctionally low level of collaboration" between Mexican military and civilian authorities along the border.

They praised Mexico's navy as a nimbler force which took down the drug lord Arturo Beltrán Leyva but even that risked a downside of making the army, the navy's institutional rival, more defensive and risk-averse.

The classified cables reveal the depth of US concern about its neighbour and partly explain why in September Hillary Clinton compared Mexico to insurgency-plagued 1980s Colombia and floated the possibility of US troops intervening. Mexican officials indignantly rejected the secretary of state's comments.

Privately, Gutierrez Fernandez admitted to US officials that Mexico bungled the early phase of the Mérida Initiative, a security pact between the US, Mexico and central America, by focusing too much on equipment rather than competent personnel and institutions.

"Gutierrez went on to say, however, that he now realizes there is not even time for the institution building to take hold in the remaining years of the Calderon administration." If there was no tangible success within 18 months the next government would have difficulty sustaining the drugs war, said the minister.

Gutierrez and Jorge Tello Péon, the national security system coordinator, said despite setbacks Mexico would "stay the course" and asked the Americans to aid a new strategy focusing on the most violent cities.

"If we could turn around Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and one other city such as Culiacán, it would solve 60% of the violence, and send a signal to the Mexican people that the war can be won," reported the cable. It urged Washington to back the strategy.

The US diplomats noted that Mexico's president had recognised the failure of army deployments and replaced troops with federal police. "Calderón has openly admitted to having a tough year … and contacts have told (political officers) that he has seemed 'down' in meetings."

Last month, in an interview with the BBC, Calderón insisted that as long as the US remained the biggest consumer of drugs in the world, the terror wrought by the drug cartels in Mexico would continue.

"They [the Americans] have a clear responsibility in this because they are providing the market for the drug dealers and the criminals," President Calderón said. "They need to do a lot more in terms of reducing the consumption of drugs and to stop the flow of weapons towards Mexico.


  1. What would you, meester Calderon, have our U.S. government or people do to help in the fight against drugs and drug cartels?

    1. Ban automatic weapons because we all know all, and I mean all of the cartels only use american smuggled weapons. Plus my buddies at the white house would love to take those crazy patriots their right to defend themselves against tyrannical government. The nerve of these people. I mean look at our country, those people are begging for the right to defend themselves. They don't even realize that they've always had the power but because of careful conditioning they've been reduced to slaves, at least in their minds. I get a pat on the back by my white house buddies for the great job we've done here in Mexico. Good work should be recognized. It's time those americans learn to live without them as well. They've had it too good for far too long.

    2. I'd like to say to all the american tax-payers that their money is being spent on the good men and women of our nation. Us government officials work very hard and have been in need of a good raise for quite some time. I think it's about time somebody helped them out. We sure can't, that's out of the question. Haha, no, but on a serious note, we do use the Merida money on good government programs. Why, the other day we helped a police station by having their walls painted in a brand new blue pastel. They wanted new bullet-proof vests, but we thought the place looked like shit so we instead bought a couple of cans of paint and some painter's overalls so they could do the job themselves.

    3. And perhaps a couple more helicopters, you know, those big fancy ones with the bells and the whistles. Would it kill you americans to send some more of those over this way? We don't have any money to buy ourselves choppers like that. What you saw at the bicentennial military parade were all, shall I say, not in very good condition. You understand, we simply don't have the uh, como se dice, the technology. We live in a third-world nation, we're practically cave-men over here. Haha, I keed, I keed, but you know what I'm saying, que se mochen.

  2. hmmm...interesting, but nothing shockingly new...

  3. Whether it is true or not, I can't see any reason why the whole entire system isn't already corrupt, has been for decades, and now it's simply a changing of the guard. Whatever it is, they are deep trouble if you ask me, and someones pride is probably going to cost everybody else more than anyone can imagine.

    I just hope they don't invade or try to counter an insurgency which is essentially the entire nation. I could be exaggerating.

  4. Here are the helicopters; see that you keep narkos using them to kill innocent civilians.

    November 24, 2010: Coordinated Northeast Operation -
    1. reinforce federal and military police at border states of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas and stop the roadblock tactic that cartel gunmen have used to harass citizens and ambush local and state police.

    2. ...delivered three Black Hawk UH-60M helicopters to Mexico's federal police force.

  5. Just capturing all these cartel leaders isn't enough. Mexico needs to do more. The american government knows that the mexican government is inadequate. This is sad because it sets a bad example to the mexican people.

  6. There is no question that the US has fueled the drug takeover in Mexico however Mexico was and is a bastion of criminal chaios of non drug activity. Is there honor amoung thieves is it OK to supply drugs but bad to kidnap extort take bribes demand protection money lie steal ?? The moral ethical structure of Mexico has always been low and has declined in recent years to the level of disfunction ,Reports from American diplomats about the state of affairs in Mexico are right on and it will take decades of Calderons to change the culture of criminal tolerance in Mexico. Its about time that Mexico developed a national idenity separate from the U S and discouraged its paricite syndrtome.

  7. Wow, Alzafar, your ignorance is exceeded only by your anger. The information this article relates has been quite obvious to many, I am assuming, for some time. I am sorry to have my fears for Mexico substantiated, but there it is, and now someone must find a way of fixing it. It will not do any good for us to wring our hands and lay blame on anyone. It is a problem so large, I wonder what can fix it?

  8. Im tired of Mexicans blaming the US for there problems. Drugs are used more here than anywhere else but the rule of law still reigns in this country. I can call 911 and expect help from police. I could be murdered and expect my death to be investigated and most likely the culprits to be punished. But when u have a society like Mexicos with nobody to defend the innocent then Mexico as a society has lost its right to blame others. Animo pinche raza. Stand up and fight. Rise!

  9. Nothing is going to be solved soon either in the US or Mexico, because the economies are continuing to tank and the supposed leaders in both countries are a group of louts without any plans to do anything other than the same old corrupt policies they have backed and that have created so many problems to begin with. Just how big will they bloat the police and military meanwhile?

    'US diplomats painted a scathing picture of Mexico's armed forces, singling out the army as bureaucratic, parochial, outdated and unfit to combat drug trafficking organisations (DTOs).'

    Oh? And what great success has the absolutely gargantuan Pentagon and allied military and police forces really had in fighting their damn international 'drug war'? NONE. The Mexican armed forces trained by US armed forces are just part of that D.C. made pattern of 'unfitness'.



    The row erupted at lunch when Uribe complained about Venezuela blocking border trade, it said. "Chávez ended a verbal and physical tirade with: 'You can go to hell. I am leaving.' Uribe responded: 'Don't be a coward and leave just to insult me from a distance.'"

    The cable continued: "Verbal and body language continued to escalate, until Raúl Castro stepped in to urge civilised discussion. Outside of the dining room Venezuelan security officials were scuffling with Mexican security guards in an attempt to assist their president."

    The US memo called the summit poorly conceived, inadequately managed and badly executed for allowing Venezuela and its leftist allies to derail proceedings.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    ...poorly conceive, inadequately managed and badly executed...

    That's the problem. It's not the heart it's the head. The Ruling Class have got to get in the game - they are too far removed from the action.

    If it gauls Mexico to get US planning assistance - hell, find another country.
    Look at Israel, they have learned how to do more with less than any other nation- they are pretty good at zeroing the right targets too. Oh, that's right they're jooos. Well, Y'all better get off your high horse and get some assistance from somebody who knows how to seal-the-deal and get'er done or there won't be no Mexico left to save.

  11. My hart goes out to the good people of Mexico. They deserve better. the country is about to fall.

  12. I love how in pictures, felipe calderon is covering his mouth and always looks frustrated. He has a tough job. It ain't easy being the leader of mexico right now. But there's one thing that felipe is missing and that el chapo has, and that's guile. He thought that he would declare war on the cartels and that his army would destroy and conquer. But he underestimated the bad guy and now he has a HUGE mess in his hands. Poor lil' guy. In order to beat the bad guy, you have to think like the bad guy.

  13. The US and Mexican economies are not tanking. They are doing ok. Mexico a bit better. Calderon is a good guy. He's committed to his country. The mess on his hands is not the result of a lack of guile. That's stupid.

    I think 'lito is right. Nothing new really except this article shows US/Mexico communication, at least one Mexican official has a good grasp of the situation, Mexico is not giving up and will accept more US support.

    It's always darkest before dawn. We can defeat these fuckers together. Hang tough Felipe. The good people of the US support you and love Mexico.

  14. chinga el policia estatl corrupto de neuvo leon..

    anoche i talked to my wife and she told me she was accosted by two pinche madre hijo de putas policia estatls ..she was in front of the 7 and they were whistling at her and she motioned for them to viete y leave her in peace and then they gave her the dirty finger ...these are the protectors of the people? ...these are the men who we trust to fight the narcos?...these creepy corrupt culeros?...untill the police are really the police there is NO hope for Mexico no matter what Calderon or anybody else does..every day in Mexico the unarmed ,defenseless people are bullied by putas like this...only the people can defend their rights...and to do that they need martial equality...and that is it

    fuck all the people say guns are the problem..unequal distribution of guns is the fucking problem...

    she is saying that people are saying they want the Americans to come and kill the narcos and police

    i told her that is not a good idea..jesus please let there be some other solution..

    i wish i could go to the seven and wait ...maybe these chupandos de verga cobardes will like it when i stick MY cuerno up their asses

    but no ..we have gun control in Mexico and we depend on our police y gobierno to protect us , because we can't be trusted to protect ourselves

    i got good gun control..i can hit what i aim at

    and i don't want to hear a fucking word about how the USA is behind it all...these fucking cops don't even know there is a USA...they are just cocksuckers who take advantage , they would be the same if they were on the fucking moon

    iieeeee!!!!!sooo fucking mad

  15. Please keep Izreal out of this.
    if it werent for the massive amounts of welfare we give them, they would not even afford rocks.
    im loosing all faith in the American Militarys
    ability to win its own war on what is it?

  16. izreal is unreal..they get 3 billion a year ...check AIPAC...what tha fuck, why are they on the welfare roll?....are they using that 3 bills to choke the life out of the palestenians...there could be a whole otra blog about unreal y the palestinians

    the only country we need to give a shit about is Mexico....we are close in all ways, and are never gonna be separate

    is it really gonna take the US marines to go and kick the shit out the fucken criminals y corrupt police?

    when my esposa can't even walk the four blocks to the 7 and get a coke in peace , I am starting to wonder

    in the back of my mind i sometimes think this whole thing is a way to draw the USA into Mexcio , so it will alienate the common person and rally them against the USA and the Mexican gob , and then there will be some sort of civil war and revolution shit and the narcos with all their money will come out on top

    we need to guard our borders

    ...yesterday i seen a couple of guys around that didn't look right ...i looked at them , they looked back, i can see it in their eyes ,,,fuckn no bueno..and they are drivin a big ass suburban with rines fukn narco wrote all over them..i can tell they would like to make a move , but jajaj, they can't because they are in the USA and got to watch their asses ...cant get to act the way they do in unlike in Mexico ..i just stare at them and smirk...feels good to not be afraid what they might have a gun...i got fuckn guns too...i hate the feeling of being powerless in Mexico,,, got to drop the head and look away and hope they will leave you alone...

    people who don't believe that these fuckfaces are already here are asleep

    we need to do something about all the drug addicted putas in the ghettos ...these assholes are the front troops for the intended narco invasion..these sicko weak ass shit breaths will do any thing they are told for the drugs and the money...and to strut around like some big MTV shit...they think they are some gangsters , but when the real boys show up they will be treated like children and pushed aside

    ok thats enough of my ranting ...still pissed off

  17. Ernest1 and 'lito 'brito for being regular contributors and using an identifier, if you send me your address and shirt size, I will send you a t-shirt before Christmas!

  18. The only thing that will save Mexico and its citizens is the public execution/death penalty of all narcos, kidnappers and excursionists, regardless of social class, political level, Etc

    Even if some will executed unjustly, it will never sum up to the ones being murdered and killed daily in Mexico - Que empiece la limpia de la escoria en Mexico - Muerte y fusilamiento!!!

  19. You go 'lito. Know exactly what you mean. The people in Mexico are getting riled up just like you. Drastic problems call for drastic solutions. Keep posting dude! Love it!!


  20. @Tapatio,

    That will never happen, el sistema jurídico Mexicano esta corrompido hasta el tuétano.


  21. Legalize pot, ban assaut weapons, close the gun show loophole, end the war in Mexico. It's that simple.


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