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

Monday, March 21, 2016

Alejandro Hope: Silver or Lead? Dangerous Liaisons

DD For Borderland Beat-Republished with permission by Alejandro Hope El Daily Post

angerous liaisons. Over the past decade, every political party has been burned by revelations that some of their candidates or public officials had ties to organized crime. The price paid by the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) for the 2014 Iguala tragedy is a case in point (Note for those not in the know: the PRD mayor of Iguala was in cahoots with the drug gang that kidnapped and probably killed 43 students). More recently, the conservative National Action Party has been embarrassed by the intimate ties of one of its local legislators in Sinaloa with Joaquin El Chapo Guzmán. So to prevent those mishaps, opposition parties (the PRD, in particular) is calling on the government to vet their candidates to public office. That procedure seems superficially attractive, but it is actually a lousy idea.

 Here’s why:

All internal efforts to vet candidates would go down the drain once that task is subcontracted to the authorities. The first line of defense against the infiltration of organized crime in politics should be the parties themselves. If they simply throw the towel, my guess is that more candidates with ties to criminal gangs will make the cut.

The whole idea is predicated on the notion that the federal government is in a better position to determine if a candidate has links to organized crime. That’s not necessarily the case. This year, there are over 4000 candidates competing in local elections. Somewhere between 500 and 700 will run for office under the PRD banner. The Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) or CISEN (Mexico’s civilian intelligence agency) don’t have the time nor the resources to do anything but a perfunctory check on those candidates. Meanwhile, parties should a) know their members (at least those prominent enough to run for office) and b) have an incentive to avoid embarrassing nominations. In many ways, they are better located to make the call on who gets to run for office.

Do opposition parties really want to give the government (i.e., their supposed adversaries) a veto power over their candidates? Because that’s what they would be doing by subcontracting the vetting process to the authorities. Do they have any guarantee that the government will not abuse that power and use the vet as a way of getting rid of popular opposition candidates?

Even if a winning candidate is vetted and found to be clean before the election, she can still be coopted (or threatened into submission) once she is sworn into office. And that would still count as an embarrassment for the relevant party, even if the government certified the absence of ties to organized crime before the electoral contest.  

Bottom line. Government vetting of candidates is nothing but a gimmick. If parties want to avoid future scandals, they should do their jobs and get to know their candidates before letting them run under their colors. More importantly, they should promote a broader anticorruption agenda that establishes limits on government officials and fights impunity at all levels. Ultimately, that is only way to prevent organized crime meddling in politics.

This and that

Deafening silence. Why so few sexual assaults are ever reported in Mexico? A hunch: maybe because no one in officialdom really cares about the size. Details here.

Yet more F&F. It now seems that guns connected to the botched Fast and Furious operation made it all the way to Michoacán. Some were found at the site of a deadly clash, last May, between the Federal Police and members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) in Tanhuato, Michoacán. Details here.

The interactive section

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Things to look for:

On March 28th, the Senate will hold hearings on Mexico’s position at UNGASS 2016. For those not in the know, that stands for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (to be held in New York City on April 19th-21st)


  1. Off topic.

    Can anyone tell us who does most of the moderating of the comments here at Borderland ? Just out of interest ?

    1. Well i diagree a bit with my friend DD, Lucio qith DD or me lucio and DD. we have weeks where I can't log on so much, or Lucio will not be travelling and he and DD carry the weight. I was alone for years and I can't tell you how much I appreciate having a couple of others helping and making a team.

      I get most of the complaints directed at me, lol because for so long it was only me. But in reality it could be any of us.

      IMO we do a "brag-worthy" effort. It isn't easy, sometimes not pretty, and ain 2 languages, addition to mexican/spanish slang,colloquialisms, grammar errors sucks up time.

      AND for the record, we sometimes do not get to all the comments coming in. If you or anyone has a specific complaint, please send to me


    2. Chivis don't let the contrarian clowns get to you. - El Sol Perdido

    3. Chivis..
      Thank you very much for your answer,i don't blame you for anything girl.You kept this shit running before it was fashionable.

    4. Chivis, do you agree with Sol Perdido that anybody that has contrary point of view to yours is a clown? Can Sol clarify exactly what he/she means.

    5. Once again for those of you who ain't feeling the comments section,it's simple ey just read the article and skip the comments if your emotions or feelings are moved 'cause they don't post what you wanna read. But don't be coming overhere talking shit like if you think you could do better period.
      There is no other site like this pendejo/a .
      From Chiraq.

    6. @8:14 of course not, and I have stood corrected at times, when people with greater knowledge about a specific subject, offer a challenge.

      Organized crime in Mx is a complicated subject to study and write about, we can not possibly know in depth about each cartel and region, and the landscape is constantly in motion. that is where people on the ground help.

      I took the comment for what the intention was, a shout out of support. Sol appreciates the work.


    7. Chivis, thank you for responding to my question about contrary views.

  2. Chivis, Lucio, and me (DD) all do moderating. For the last month or 2 I have been doing the most so you can blame me when you have a gripe.

    1. dd the rest of us thank y'all for given us voices that can be heard.

  3. ... Enough With Mr. Hopeless Articles Already ... The 2 Fast & Furious Guns Were Probably Taken Out Of The Federal Police Trucks Like The Other Planted Arms On The Ranch ... They All, That Is Correct, All Policia Federales Have Extra Pistols, Rifles, Drugs In Their Trucks, "Just In Case" ... Not 1 U.S. Agency "Trusts" The Policia Federales ... Not " 1 " At All ... Put That Mr. Hopeless In Your Pipe And Smoke It ...

    1. I will and I'll light it with a spark from IRIS!!

    2. There is no 'probably'. You can see exactly where those guns came from, and they weren't taken from federal police trucks. They were all purchased by known people, and then moved into Mexico and that is where the chain of custody ended. For instance, one gun shop in Phoenix called the ATF about a 21 year old gang banger covered in gang tattoos and on public assistance who was trying to buy a $14,000 Barrett .50 cal, and the gun shop owner begged them to deny the sale, but they pushed it through anyways.

  4. 9:48 You maybe right and you may be wrong . I certainly don't know and I bet few people on this planet knows for sure . All we can do is speculate . Obviously the people tasked with enforcing the law there are very dangerous and deadly and often times corrupt . Where these innocent young men that they killed ? I doubt they were innocent but still it is hard to believe it was necessary for them all to die .
    It does resemble doing away with competition . Then again I am not one of the few that know .

  5. A. Hope: Legalizing poppy for medical uses (in Guerrero) will accomplish nothing. The world has a legal poppy glut right now. And even if this were not the case, the legal market will not erase the illegal market, which pays much more:

  6. 10:45 if you have a name, use it, it gets confusing enough with the report.
    --what is not confusing is: the government is "classifying" THE REPORT and that is something THE NAZIS themselves did not do.
    --Well maybe the NAZIS did not have time to, they just burned the evidence all they could, they had no big thick black markers to select what grown men could see or not...

    1. The Germans have a reputation as being very efficient people. The Nazis were very meticulous record keepers of everything they did. Those records were used after the war to convict several war criminals.
      The Mexican govt. may have learned a lesson from that. Might not be such a good idea to keep to many records available for those that follow to use against them.

    2. 1:47 my name today is 10:45 . Like I said , I doubt these guys were innocent . These people weren't rounded up and brought to a obscure location and then killed . To compare this to Nazi Germany is absurd and offensive . Maybe it was handled heavy handed but this don't resemble innocent victims . When a soldier is being fired on by a group , who does he pick his target ? Its not like they were laying face down with their hands on the back of their heads . Looked like a big hacienda . Why dint they stay inside . There will always be families of those killed in the drug war that say they were murdered .Locals admit these people sold drugs . The best method of surviving the drug war is to STAY OUT OF IT . Its like the poor innocent farmers milking poppies . Now all the shit has come back to where he lives . The chickens come home to roost (Obamas X minister reverend Wright) And you shall reap what you sow (the holey bible) As a rule you live a good clean life with integrity and you can go out the same way .

    3. I don't know that you can sell that many drugs to the locals around a farm in the middle of nowhere...
      --We are not asking for the reports from the family and friends of the deceased...
      --the government's own redacted and manipulated, blacked out, doctored reports, is what is being denied, by the government,
      Same thing on all the other mass murders the mexican governing narco-mierdocracia has been doing all over mexico, blaming past and present "narcos" that also work to pay the government its "dues"...

    4. 9:30 are you aware that you are pushing the government lines and blaming the usual suspects? That is your world...
      --In our world, the usual suspects are the government, the different police corporations, the military, the paramilitary, the money the US gives the mexican satrapy, and the likes, based on a lot of recent history...

  7. Some of the so-called "men" on here ? I don't know ?

  8. The former Palacios negro de lecumberry, was used to store the records of MEXICO68 AND JUEVES DE CORPUS, with the archives of the nation... --there, the highest of the government officers get accused by the army and police of ordering the murders and tortures of mexican citizens suspected of being "comunistas"...
    --I suspect that has been "classified" since vicente fox left power...
    --the mexican government is starting to spend more time covering up their dirty deeds that stealing, they are a bunch of cowards trying to cover their arses, they pay good for propaganda...

  9. Plata ó plomo translation into English is not precisely correct, Colombian nationals when they refer to "plata" is regarding to actual money, to hard currency, is a very typical term to refer to money as plata (silver) la "platica" amongst working class peasants, of course the term in Spanish is appealing because it "rimes" What do you want, Money or lead, you choose.


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