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Author Topic: Mexico  (Read 303176 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #450 on: April 02, 2016, 08:26:44 PM »

http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-how-to-hack-an-election/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #451 on: May 05, 2016, 02:36:34 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_LMUZ8PZ9s
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #452 on: May 13, 2016, 08:49:29 AM »

Analysis

Editor's Note: This is the 15th installment of an occasional series on water scarcity issues around the world.

When determining borders, a river is often the clearest delineation between sovereign nations. But that clarity abruptly ends when countries must decide how to use the water that the river provides. Even managing rivers that do not determine borders, but rather travel through multiple countries, is precarious at best. The Rio Grande, which partly establishes the U.S.-Mexico border, is no exception. It has been and will continue to be vital to economic growth in the region, especially in Mexico, where the river and its tributaries are crucial to supporting new opportunities for manufacturing and energy.

But growing demands and environmental pressures will increase tension over water resources in the coming decades. Unlike the waters of the Colorado River, which originate entirely in the United States, the watershed of the Rio Grande is more evenly split between the United States and Mexico. Although Mexico depends on the water resources far more than the United States does, both nations are vulnerable to increasing water stress, making it difficult for them to meet anticipated water treaty obligations.
Exceptional Management

The Rio Grande is more than just the main river that runs along the Mexican border of Texas, emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. Its upper reaches stretch as far north as Colorado, though the majority of the basin area in the United States lies in New Mexico. Because of a combination of factors — such as high evaporation rates in the arid region, diversions for agricultural production in New Mexico and invasive plant species — a portion of the Rio Grande effectively dries up before being replenished at its confluence with the Rio Conchos. The Rio Conchos runs entirely through Mexico's territory, beginning in the mountains of Chihuahua and Durango and moving through the Chihuahuan Desert, and it accounts for roughly 14 percent of the Rio Grande's total watershed. On the U.S. side, one of the Rio Grande's primary tributaries, the Pecos River, runs through New Mexico before joining up again with the larger river farther south.

Yet the cooperation between the United States and Mexico over the river systems of the Colorado and the Rio Grande (or Rio Bravo, as it is known in Mexico) is in some ways exceptional by international standards. Treaties signed in the first half of the 20th century clearly dictate the volumes of flow guaranteed to each country, and those agreements have successfully forestalled many past disputes. Specifically, the river's use is governed in two separate sections, with Fort Quitman, Texas, acting as the dividing point for legislation and management.

It was not until the late 19th century that legal disputes over the use of the Rio Grande began. At the time, U.S. courts determined that the country had no legal obligation to deliver any water downstream. A 1906 case, however, determined that roughly 74 million cubic meters per year would be delivered to Mexico from the northwestern parts of the river but stipulated that the amount could be reduced in drought years. There were reductions in roughly a third of the years between 1939 and 2015. In fact, Mexico has not received the full allotment since 2012, and as little as 6 percent of the full amount was delivered in 2013.

Along the southeastern portion of the Rio Grande, downriver from Fort Quitman, the allotments are governed by the 1944 water treaty, which requires Mexico to receive two-thirds of the water from its tributaries and to deliver the remaining third to the United States. These deliveries are somewhat flexible because the amount (just over 430 million cubic meters per year) is tracked in five-year blocks, and one year's deficit can be accounted for in the next year if necessary. Even if a deficit spans the entire five-year block, as was the case for much of the 1990s as well as from 2010 to 2015, it can still be compensated for in the following five-year span. Mexico even made up its accumulated deficit of 325 million cubic meters within the first few months of 2016. Still, the uncertainty over consistent volumes of delivery sometimes leads to calls for political action, especially for consumers in Texas.

In addition to the two countries' shared surface water, Mexico and the United States share about 20 underground aquifers. Though these resources support the populations and economies of the border region, unlike surface water, no international treaty governs their use. Much like surface water, however, there is significant overexploitation and a decline in water quality. Consistent overuse ultimately threatens the viability of the aquifer systems.
Demand Factors

When these agreements were signed in the early 20th century, less was known about the hydrology of the region, and the Rio Grande's limited water resources were likely over-allocated based on above-average yearly flows. Furthermore, demand is growing, not shrinking. Agriculture is the primary consumer of the basin's water, but expanding populations that could reach nearly 20 million people by 2020, the rapid rise of manufacturing capacities in Mexico (following North American Free Trade Agreement) and energy production on both sides all play a role in increasing water stress in the region.

Mexican manufacturing capacity, especially in the automotive sector, may be slowing after having swelled between 2008 and 2014. But buoyed by the increasing number of nearby U.S. consumers, high-end manufacturing will soon determine Mexican economic growth, and water consumption by the sector will only rise.

Manufacturing growth has also propelled the rapid expansion of Mexico's electrical grid and, in turn, the demand for energy: Mexico continues to rehabilitate its energy sector to revive production levels. And while the full benefits of Mexico City's recent energy reforms have yet to be seen, the energy sector will likely increase its water consumption (including for hydraulic fracturing) at sites located in the Rio Grande Basin. Moreover, Mexico will not be the only country drawing from the Rio Grande or aquifers to support energy production. Agriculture is the primary consumer of water in Texas, but the Eagle Ford shale formation crosses the Mexican border, and production on the U.S. side has already increased water use in several river basins over the past decade, a pattern that will likely continue.

All of these factors contribute to current estimates that upper portions of the river will decrease by as much as a third by the end of this century, and lower portions will accumulate a deficit of more than 830 million cubic meters per year. The gap between supply and demand will grow, as will tension along the border. The treaties, signed decades ago, have been sufficient and their terms largely met until now. But overuse of water resources and environmental stress continue to rise, and basin conditions are poised to prevent amiable management of the water system in the long term. Efforts from both the private sector and governments will instead likely focus on implementing technological adaptations, including waterless hydraulic fracturing and water recycling, to mitigate water stress. Nevertheless, dwindling water supplies could hamper manufacturing growth and energy production in the basin, especially for Mexico. Moreover, Mexico's likely failure to meet delivery quotas will only ramp up tensions with the United States in the coming decades.

    Part 1: Yemen's Looming Water Crisis
    Part 2: U.S. Agriculture Wilts During California Drought
    Part 3: South Africa's Water Needs Will Be Costly
    Part 4: Indonesia's Disjointed Islands Make Water Scarcity a Problem
    Part 5: Mesopotamian Vitality Falls to Turkey
    Part 6: Water Use Reform Will Be Difficult for Fractured India
    Part 7: Sao Paulo Drought Could Benefit Brazil
    Part 8: Industrial Expansion Will Strain Mexico's Water Resources
    Part 9: China's Appetite Will Strain Australia's Water
    Part 10: Why Canada Cannot Export Its Water
    Part 11: The Sea Is a Relief for Spain's Water Problems
    Part 12: Central America: How a Drought Affects Migration
    Part 13: Algeria: A Desert Nation Fighting to Maintain Water Supplies
    Part 14: Southern Africa's Options Are Drying Up
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #453 on: June 01, 2016, 01:01:28 PM »

http://www.southernpulse.info/sp-pulses/mexico-city-vehicle-restrictions-boost-sales-of-bulletproof-cars-motorcycles?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=SPI+Networked+Intelligence+Newsletter&utm_campaign=Networked+Intelligence+Newsletter+1+June+2016
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #454 on: June 01, 2016, 01:03:19 PM »

Segundo del dia (second post of the day)

http://www.elfinanciero.com.mx/economia/hoy-no-circula-impulsa-compra-de-motocicletas-y-bicicletas.html?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=SPI+Networked+Intelligence+Newsletter&utm_campaign=Networked+Intelligence+Newsletter+1+June+2016
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #455 on: December 11, 2016, 07:46:50 PM »

Analysis

By Reggie Thompson

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Operation Michoacan, and to many, the start of Mexico's deadly war on drugs. But a decade later, the country's prospects for security and peace don't seem much better than they did when the massive crackdown on Mexican cartels began in 2006.

Most people point to Felipe Calderon's presidency as the moment when things began to go wrong for Mexico. In the face of rising crime, and under mounting pressure from the United States to stem the flow of drugs across its southern border, Calderon sent 5,000 soldiers and federal police officers into the streets of Michoacan state, firing the first shots of what would become a long and bloody struggle. But it is neither fair nor accurate to pin the blame for the conflict that ensued on a single decision. Crime-related violence plagued Mexico long before Calderon took office, albeit at a lower level than in the years that followed his declaration of war on the country's cartels. Moreover, Calderon was not the first president to deploy Mexico's armed forces against drug lords and their assets; he was just the first to do so on such a tremendous scale.
Cartels in the Crosshairs

Operation Michoacan signaled the beginnings of a concerted effort by Mexico City to tackle organized crime. Though day-to-day security tasks normally fell to local police agencies, corruption had become so pervasive at the lower levels of Mexican law enforcement that their federal counterparts — the army, marines and federal police — had to step in to maintain law and order in some areas. Under Calderon's orders, some 45,000 troops were deployed throughout Mexico each year to combat crime, more than twice the average manpower that Calderon's predecessor, Vicente Fox, had dedicated to the same cause. Upticks in arrests and killings of cartel members began to noticeably disrupt trafficking activities as crime groups' capabilities steadily eroded.

But the military's success came at a price. As Mexican crime groups came under greater pressure from law enforcement, they began to fight back against the government and among themselves, vying for the trafficking routes, recruits and resources that were left. Violence skyrocketed in several of the cities and regions that were vital to the drug trade and other illegal activities.
Treating the Symptoms

Ten years on, the future of Mexico's security environment looks no more promising than it did at the start of Calderon's campaign. Still, the intervening decade has brought some positive changes. From a tactical perspective, public safety has visibly improved in the areas that the government targeted because of their rampant violence, such as Ciudad Juarez and parts of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon. Meanwhile, most of the large cartels that once controlled swaths of Mexican territory have splintered as military operations have left them leaderless and riven by infighting.

What has not changed is Mexico's proximity to the massive market for drugs that lies just north of its border. Despite the heavy blows Mexican officials have dealt to major drug trafficking organizations, the smaller fragments left in their wake have picked up where their predecessors left off. Driven by persistently high demand for the drugs they have to offer, Mexican traffickers have kept supply chains to the United States and beyond running, even as state security forces try to shut them down. Though the power of individual crime groups has faded in the face of continued law enforcement efforts, the scope, location and intensity of violence has ebbed and flowed over the years, rather than declining permanently.

This reality is unlikely to change so long as there are profits to be made. Since the United States and its foreign partners began cracking down on cocaine smuggling routes through the Caribbean in the 1980s, Mexico — situated between Central America and the United States and blessed with well-developed transportation infrastructure — has proved ideally suited to serve as a land bridge for northbound drugs. Though the use of cocaine has sharply declined since the mid-2000s, heroin and methamphetamine have taken over bigger and bigger shares of the U.S. drug market, and both are increasingly produced and transported by Mexican cartels. The emerging preference for heroin and methamphetamine has even hiked up profit margins, since the cartels do not have to buy these drugs from South American producers.
A War With No End in Sight

With foreign demand propping up Mexican crime, it is unlikely that Mexico City will retreat from its drug war anytime soon. The country's cartels pose a threat to national security that is far too great for the government to address on its own. Consequently, Mexico City will continue to rely on Washington's help, in the form of security training and intelligence sharing, to target cartel members and criminal networks. Perhaps even more important, Mexico's enduring effort to quash drug trafficking across its borders is a fundamental part of its relationship with the United States. Any attempt to scale down its operations against cartels would immediately meet with pushback from Washington.

Lacking other means of going after the country's criminal groups, Mexico's government will keep tasking federal forces with protecting the Mexican public. Over the past three years, Mexico City has tried to create new law enforcement bodies to bridge the gap between the military and local police, since soldiers do not have the writ or capacity to conduct criminal investigations and combat low-level crime. But forming and implementing these organizations will take years, leaving Mexico City with little choice in the meantime but to count on the military to protect its citizens from the criminals in their midst.

In all likelihood, Mexico's decadelong drug war will continue for decades to come. Fueled by geography and the economics of the illegal drug trade, trafficking and violence will remain a thorn in Mexico's side and a blemish on U.S.-Mexico relations. Though crime may not linger at the heights the country has seen over the past 10 years, Mexican cartels are central to the global drug market, and for now they have made it clear that they are here to stay.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #456 on: February 07, 2017, 06:01:06 PM »

https://magnet.xataka.com/asi-lo-hemos-vivido/un-periodista-espanol-paso-tres-meses-en-el-cartel-de-sinaloa-esto-es-lo-que-vio
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #457 on: February 10, 2017, 07:24:41 AM »

https://warontherocks.com/2017/02/the-border-wall-making-mexican-drug-cartels-great-again/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #458 on: February 12, 2017, 12:33:57 AM »

https://www.facebook.com/nayaritenlinea.mx/videos/10154208666502256/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED
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DDF
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« Reply #459 on: February 19, 2017, 12:30:19 PM »

Right next to here.
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« Reply #460 on: February 25, 2017, 10:31:00 AM »



The acrid political atmosphere between the United States and Mexico created by the issue of immigrant deportation dominated the visit to Mexico City by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and John Kelly, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The shifting U.S. stance toward immigration enforcement will play a significant part in shaping Mexico's domestic political landscape and will affect future relations between the two countries.

The most recent dispute between Mexico City and Washington revolves around memos written by Kelly to his department and made public Monday concerning how to implement executive orders issued by President Donald Trump that give authorities greater latitude to deport foreigners who break U.S. immigration law. Under Kelly's instructions, the United States could send those people to the contiguous country nearest to their point of detention — meaning Mexico in tens of thousands of cases — until their immigration hearings were resolved, although he said people whose cases were decided would be transported directly back to their home countries.

What is a Geopolitical Diary?

The policy outlined by Kelly, who at a press conference Thursday promised to prioritize the deportation of criminals and take a cooperative approach with Mexico in the matter, opens the door to increased deportation of Mexican-born migrants. This will create a number of headaches for authorities in Mexico City. Adding thousands of deportees to the ranks of the unemployed is certainly an unappealing prospect for Mexican officials, who are already dealing with federal budget cutbacks spurred by slumping oil prices. But increased deportations of Mexican citizens also could damage the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) ahead of the 2018 presidential race by creating the impression among voters that the PRI's leaders are weak in the face of unfavorable U.S. policy. This could drive up support for opposition parties such as the PRI's traditional foe, the National Action Party (PAN), or the upstart National Regeneration Movement (Morena), founded by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The prospect of voters flocking to Morena is a major concern for Mexico's business and political elite. The private sector knows what to expect from PRI or PAN, but Morena has never held power. Lopez Obrador is not exactly a political outsider: He was previously mayor of Mexico City under the Party of the Democratic Revolution and twice ran unsuccessfully for president. But 2018 could produce a different result for him; polls indicate that he has the support of around a third of the electorate, and the current tussle with the United States could add to his popularity. But even as Lopez Obrador has publicly signaled a shift to the center by meeting with business leaders, economic and regulatory risks abound concerning his election. For example, he has repeatedly vowed to slow the pace of the country's 2013 energy reforms, which opened exploration and production in Mexico's oil and natural gas sectors to private foreign investment. Most recently, a Lopez Obrador spokesman said that if elected, the Moreno leader would halt Mexico City's oil and gas licensing rounds and review existing agreements. Lopez Obrador most likely made the promise in the hopes of bolstering support in areas hit hard by the downsizing of state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos and then riding a wave of nationalism to the presidency.

While his shot at the energy reforms may merely represent populist rhetoric intended to appeal to voters already angry with the government, it suggests that if Lopez Obrador assumes office, he would use his presidential powers to slow the pace of private capital entering Mexico's energy sector. This in turn raises the specter of political gridlock and infighting at a time when Mexico can ill afford it. With the United States pushing the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), such a divisive energy issue could be in front of Mexico's congress at the same time it might need to address changes in the trade status with the United States, a priority that congressional infighting could delay.

But aside from the political difficulties that changes in U.S. immigration policy could create, another angle of the issue has raised concerns in Mexico City. Accepting deported migrants from other countries (mostly those from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) without any promise of assistance from the United States would put Mexico in a difficult position. Though Mexico would accept its own citizens, the establishment of communities of largely jobless, sometimes criminal migrants from other nations (many of whom would never leave Mexico) would create long-term difficulties for the country. The number of Central Americans attempting to enter the United States illegally has surged, and the economic pressures that influence them to cross Mexico's southern border are not diminishing. That, combined with the Mexican administration's fears of a voter backlash if it acquiesces to the DHS directive, makes it no surprise that Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said Mexico would not entertain cooperating on that portion of the new orders, although Mexico could face U.S. pressure to give in.

Discussions on security issues, particularly on ways to counter illegal migration and organized crime, will continue parallel to the NAFTA discussions, slated to begin in June. Before then, one of the main tools Mexico will use to shape negotiations on security and economic matters will be the threat of refusing to help the United States rein in illegal migration. Mexico has already suggested that it would reduce security cooperation if the United States pushes for changes to NAFTA that are unfavorable to Mexico. But putting that threat into practice will be a risky proposition for Mexico. The Trump administration can retaliate by cutting off most U.S. government assistance, a threat set up by the language of the DHS memos instructing agencies to identify any sources of aid to Mexico.

The ultimate intent of such a policy seems to be to pressure Mexico to accept U.S. demands, whether to agree to the suggestion that Mexico fund a border wall between the countries or to concede points in NAFTA negotiations. A reduction in Mexico's security cooperation with the United States, whether on intelligence gathering or migrant interdiction, could lead to retaliation from Washington, which could replace NAFTA with a bilateral trade agreement. The demise of NAFTA would result in more uncertainty for Mexico, which would find itself in the difficult position of negotiating a bilateral trade deal at a time when political relations with the United States are at an ebb.

Mexico's government would probably want to divorce security cooperation from the economic talks, but doing so may no longer be possible. As the negotiations go on, long-standing security issues such as migration and drug trafficking (and Mexican cooperation on those issues) will intersect with the purely economic aspects of Mexico's relationship with the United States. Mexico would clearly be at a disadvantage in NAFTA negotiations, but for now, Mexico City will wait to see what constraints limiting the White House's ability to act on NAFTA present themselves. The future of NAFTA is uncertain, even among Washington policymakers, and Mexican leaders likely hope that uncertainty will give way to a renegotiation of the pact, rather than to a rapid deterioration in economic and political ties.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #461 on: February 26, 2017, 10:25:26 AM »

https://www.facebook.com/uniradioinforma/videos/1487013984642714/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #462 on: March 15, 2017, 01:38:22 PM »

Mexican attorney general confirms discovery massive clandestine graveyard in Veracruz



3/14/17 | Mexico | Security — The Mexican state of Veracruz Attorney General’s office confirmed the discovery of 250 skulls in a clandestine graveyard in the state of Veracruz on 14 March 2017 (El Economista). Authorities believe the site was a cemetery for a narcotrafficking cartel’s victims since the territory was once controlled by Los Zetas, but had been the subject conflict after penetration by the Jalisco Nuevo Generación cartel beginning around 2011 (El Economista). Veracruz Attorney General Jorge Winckler believed many more remains could be uncovered and revealed the site could be the largest known clandestine cemetery in the world. Winckler also noted the looting of public funds during the Javier Duarte administration have led to a lack of resources for forensic help in identifying victims (Proceso).



Violence flares in Oaxaca and Sinaloa, Mexico



3/12/17 | Mexico | Security — Authorities in Sinaloa reported on 12 March at least fourteen murders occurred from 10 to 12 March 2017 in the municipalities of Navolato and Culiacán (Excelsior). The wave of killings comes as a surprise to state authorities as a decrease in violence was expected in central areas of the state following the confirmation of the death of Julio Óscar Ortiz alias El Kevin, a man linked to the sons of ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán (Excelsior). Authorities in the state of Oaxaca also reported at least nine murders, including one soldier during the same time period (El Universal).


Mexican police forces arrest Sinaloa cartel operative in Tijuana



3/12/17 | Mexico | Security — Mexican authorities confirmed the capture a Cártel de Sinaloa operative, Octavio Leal Hernández alias El Chapito Leal, in Tijuana, Baja California on 10 March 2017 (Milenio). Leal Hernández was wanted in connection with violent acts and drug trafficking in Tijuana and was arrested along with six others (El Sol de Tijuana). El Chapito Leal was a lieutenant in part of the criminal group linked to the Cártel de Sinaloa led by brothers Alfonso and René Arzate García, alias El Aquiles and La Rana. Leal Hernández had been arrested previously in 2012 but was released from prison in 2015 (El Sol de Tijuana and Milenio).


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #463 on: March 17, 2017, 01:28:58 PM »

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/world/americas/mexico-trump-pena-nieto-wall-drug-war.html?emc=edit_th_20170317&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0
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Cecilio Andrade
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« Reply #464 on: March 27, 2017, 10:17:45 AM »


El 17,18 y 19 del presente mes de Marzo se impartió con grandes y exitosos resultados los siguientes cursos en el campo de Las Mesas  organizados por PST Capacitaciones.

Curso uno: Tiro a Distancias Extremadamente Cortas.


Curso Dos: Tiro con Vehículos.


Curso Tres: Tiro Para Oficiales De Protección.


¿Lo mejor?

La calidad personal extrema de los alumnos, independientemente de su capacidad técnica y habilidades previas.

Ellos son los protagonistas.

Gracias.
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que, obedientes a sus leyes,
aqui yacemos."
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WebBlog: http://cecilioandrade.blogspot.com
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #465 on: March 28, 2017, 11:51:46 PM »

http://www.sdpnoticias.com/pitorreo/2017/03/27/amlo-invita-a-mars-aguirre-a-convertirse-en-lider-juvenil-de-morena
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #466 on: March 31, 2017, 12:07:46 PM »

https://bluelivesmatter.blue/mexican-attorney-general-edgar-veytia/
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DDF
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« Reply #467 on: April 19, 2017, 08:18:51 AM »

Came home to another dead body right next to my house....again, and then this here last night... far from the only one I've seen here now. Starting to lose count.

https://www.facebook.com/accesozac/videos/1809837469032501/
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« Reply #468 on: April 19, 2017, 10:34:40 PM »

 shocked shocked shocked
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #469 on: May 14, 2017, 12:50:30 AM »

https://www.elsoldezacatecas.com.mx/zacatecas/en-zacatecas-tres-nuevos-carteles-se-disputan-la-plaza
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« Reply #470 on: May 16, 2017, 11:26:06 AM »

http://agenciacatolicamx.blogspot.mx/2017/05/un-musulman-frances-apunala-un.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #471 on: May 23, 2017, 07:22:41 PM »

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/us-world/border-mexico/article/Judge-presiding-over-El-Chapo-s-case-shot-in-9980271.php
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« Reply #472 on: June 25, 2017, 05:15:09 PM »

https://sicdbma.wixsite.com/sic-kali/sic-kali-gathering
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DDF
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« Reply #473 on: July 06, 2017, 10:21:20 PM »

Apostado por pedida de PGC

Voceros de Zacatecas

https://www.facebook.com/noticierostelevisa.zacatecas/videos/829591367206942/?pnref=story

Melina Gonzalez
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« Reply #474 on: July 06, 2017, 10:25:46 PM »

Gracias DDF.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #475 on: July 13, 2017, 02:13:53 PM »



    Articles

    Regions & Countries

    Topics

    Themes

A serious challenge from populist politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador awaits Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in next year's presidential election. That's what polling data and the close results of the June 4 gubernatorial election in Mexico state suggest as Lopez Obrador looks ahead to a third presidential run in July 2018 after second-place finishes as the candidate for the Party of the Democratic Revolution in 2006 and 2012. Now leading his own party, the National Regeneration Movement, Lopez Obrador is in a statistical tie in recent polls with the PRI and National Action Party candidates.

While a Lopez Obrador victory would be historic, his ability to make sweeping changes in keeping with his populist rhetoric will be greatly constrained. Even if Lopez Obrador wins the presidency, Mexico's political and economic path will remain relatively stable.

As we've discussed the possibility of a Lopez Obrador victory with our contacts in Mexico, we've noticed that many of them believe he would seek to undertake a dramatic change in the way the government deals with Mexico's powerful criminal drug cartels. The idea is that as president, Lopez Obrador would seek to address Mexico's violence problem by cutting a deal with cartel leaders, and on the campaign trail, he has promised to end the deployment of military forces in the country. Such a deal would allow traffickers to operate in the country as long as they did so without violence. While the concept may sound possible in theory, there are simply too many obstacles to permit such a dramatic shift in policy.
A Look at History

The idea that a Mexican presidential candidate would place more emphasis on stopping violence in Mexico than on stopping the flow of narcotics to the United States is not new. Indeed, we heard similar talk during the 2006 and 2012 elections. Here is a quote from a Stratfor analysis I wrote in June 2011:

    One of the trial balloons that the opposition parties, especially the PRI, seem to be floating at present is the idea that if they are elected they will reverse [President Felipe] Calderon's policy of going after the cartels with a heavy hand and will instead try to reach some sort of accommodation with them. This policy would involve lifting government pressure against the cartels and thereby (ostensibly) reducing the level of violence that is wracking the country.

The people who believe such a shift is possible base their belief on a mistaken historical narrative. This holds that Mexican organized crime groups were controlled by the ruling PRI and were largely nonviolent until President Ernesto Zedillo, who was elected in 1994, abandoned the party's deal with the cartels after a corruption scandal enveloped his predecessor, Carlos Salinas de Gortari. When Zedillo unleashed the military on the cartels, this myth goes, violence spiked.

This rendition of events is deeply flawed. There were indeed close ties between the cartels and PRI figures at all levels of the Mexican government as well as between the cartels and powerful figures in other political parties. The cartels also fostered deep corruption into every level of law enforcement in Mexico. However, quite simply, the PRI did not control the cartels. Rather, the inverse was true. The cartels had a significant amount of control over some politicians and portions of the government.

The cartels were too rich and powerful to be corralled in this manner. In the 1980s, interdiction efforts forced an increasing amount of cocaine trafficking away from Caribbean routes and through Mexico. The vast wealth connected to the cocaine trade made the Mexican cartels far more powerful than they had ever been. It also caused them to become more protective of the source of their wealth. One of the first widely publicized manifestations of this protectionist streak was seen in the 1985 kidnapping, torture and murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique Camarena. While his death caused the United States to focus heavily on Mexico's powerful Guadalajara cartel and pressure the Mexican and regional governments to follow suit, cartel violence was not a new manifestation: The cartels assassinated rivals and journalists well before 1985.

After Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo and other leaders of the Guadalajara cartel were arrested in the wake of Camarena's murder, Gallardo's primary lieutenants assumed responsibility for the various areas where they operated. This resulted in the creation of the Tijuana cartel (Arellano Felix organization), the Juarez cartel (Carrillo Fuentes organization) and a group of cartels led by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, Ismael Zambada and others, known as the Sinaloa Federation. Tensions quickly flared between Guzman and the Arellano Felix brothers over control of smuggling routes — and profits — resulting in a bloody turf war that began in 1989 and wracked northwestern Mexico in the early 1990s. One of the high-profile side effects of their battles was the May 1993 murder of Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo and six other people at the Guadalajara airport. It is believed that a Tijuana cartel hit team sent to assassinate Guzman accidentally killed the Catholic Church leader. After Posadas' murder, Mexican law enforcement began to dramatically step up operations against both the Tijuana cartel and the Sinaloa Federation. This heat caused Guzman to flee to Guatemala, where he was arrested in June 1993.

In the early 1980s, many cartel figures served as their own enforcers, but as tensions escalated among competing gangs over control of the cocaine trade, violence escalated as the Tijuana cartel and others began to employ teams of police officers and street gang members to serve as enforcer units. Competing gangs formed similar enforcer groups. Osiel Cardenas-Guillen, the leader of the Gulf cartel, upped the ante by hiring a unit of special forces soldiers, and Los Zetas were formed. Again, rival cartels followed suit and hired their own groups of soldiers to counter the power of Los Zetas, leading to the militarization of cartel enforcer groups. The introduction of paramilitary forces brought along with it military weapons, and cartel enforcers graduated from using pistols, shotguns and submachine guns to regularly employing fully automatic assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and hand grenades.

A careful review of cartel history makes it clear that cartel violence in Mexico was a significant security problem well before Zedillo came into office in 1994. In fact, Salinas in his inaugural address in December 1989 noted that "narcotics trafficking has become a grave risk to the security of the nation." It was cartel violence, and corruption within law enforcement agencies, that led Zedillo to put the military into the fight against the cartels. They were not the cause of the violence, and taking the military off the streets will not end the violence that is plaguing Mexico — especially when there is no other force to replace them.

Besides, like the violence between the Tijuana cartel and Sinaloa Federation that led to the Posadas assassination, a substantial percentage of the violence in Mexico is spawned by cartel-on-cartel attacks and is not initiated by the government.
The Impact of Balkanization

Another severe constraint on the Mexican government's ability to reach some sort of arrangement with the cartels is that the cartel landscape has changed dramatically. Two main groups — the Guadalajara and Gulf cartels — controlled most drug trafficking in Mexico in the 1980s. Even a decade ago, there were only a handful of groups controlling most of the activity. But today, infighting caused by greed and suspicion, as well as decapitation caused by the arrest or killing of cartel leaders, has led to the Balkanization of Mexico's cartels. This fracturing has caused us to change the way we think about and analyze these groups. Instead of a monolithic Sinaloa Federation, dozens of organized crime groups have splintered from it. Likewise, what was the Gulf cartel is now a constellation of geographic gangs that are often at odds — and at war — with one another. Even if the Mexican government wanted to pursue deals to end the violence, and even if each group in this array of criminal gangs was willing to entertain such an offer, it would be impossible to reach any sort of comprehensive peace agreement with this many parties.

The 2011 analysis quoted above referred to campaign rhetoric from PRI candidate Enrique Pena Nieto. However, after he won election in 2012, Pena Nieto has not been able to dramatically reverse course as he proposed on the campaign trail. In fact, he has struggled to enact many of the more gradual changes he proposed, such as "mando unico," or unified state command over police forces and the creation of a gendarmerie, or paramilitary police force, to replace the military force deployed against the cartels. Without a replacement, it is impossible to pull the military out of the fight because to do so would create a security vacuum in the areas where the military is deployed. This would be socially and politically unacceptable.

Speaking of politics, the Mexican Congress also serves as a severe constraint on the power of the president to enact reforms. Without congressional support, the president could make only limited changes, and lawmakers would resist making any radical shifts in cartel policy.

This means that, much like immediate predecessors Pena Nieto, Calderon and Vicente Fox, Mexico's next president will not have much freedom to change the country's cartel policy.
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« Reply #476 on: August 02, 2017, 02:21:05 PM »

Drug Cartels Fuming at New U.S. Policy Screening 100% of Mexican Cargo Trucks

AUGUST 01, 2017

In a major shift from lax Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is finally allowing customs officers to screen all cargo trucks entering the U.S. from Mexico and sources on both sides of the border tell Judicial Watch Mexican drug cartels are fuming. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is using X-ray technology and other non-intrusive tools to screen 100% of cargo trucks crossing the southern border after eight years of sporadic or random screening permitted under the Obama administration.

“We felt like we were the welcoming committee and not like we were guarding our borders,” said veteran U.S. Customs agent Patricia Cramer, who also serves as president of the Arizona chapter of the agency’s employee union. “The order was to facilitate traffic, not to stop any illegal drugs from entering the country,” Cramer added. “We want to enforce the law. That’s what we signed up for.” Cramer, a canine handler stationed at the Nogales port of entry in Arizona, said illicit drugs are pouring in through the southern border, especially massive quantities of fentanyl, an opioid painkiller that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says is more potent than morphine.

Approximately 471,000 trucks pass through the U.S-Mexico border monthly, according to figures published by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The busiest port of entry is in Laredo, Texas where 167,553 trucks enter the U.S. from Mexico monthly, followed by Otay Mesa in California (76,953), El Paso, Texas (58,913), Hidalgo, Texas (45,355) and Nogales with 29,439. Other busy ports include East Calexico, California (29,173), Brownsville, Texas (16,140) and Eagle Pass, Texas (12,952). Trucks bring in everything from auto parts to appliances, produce and livestock. In fact, a veteran Homeland Security official told Judicial Watch that cattle trucks passed without inspection during the Obama administration because Mexican farmers complained that the security screenings frightened their cows. “Our guys were livid that we were not allowed to check cattle,” the federal official said.

Frontline customs agents stationed along the southern border confirm that trucks containing “legitimate” goods are often used by sophisticated drug cartels to move cargo north. This is hardly surprising since most illegal drugs in the United States come from Mexico, according to the DEA, and Mexican traffickers remain the greatest threat to the United States. They’re classified as Transitional Criminal Organizations (TCOs) by the government and for years they’ve smuggled in enormous quantities of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. Last year the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the nonpartisan agency that provides Congress with policy and legal analysis, published a disturbing report outlining how Mexican cartels move record quantities of drugs into the U.S. Because cartels move the drugs through the Southwest border, western states have become part of what’s known as the “heroin transit zone,” according to the CRS.

Federal law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch Mexican cartels operate like efficient businesses that resort to “other more treacherous routes” when necessary, but driving through a port of entry in a cargo truck is a preferred method of moving drugs. Cartels station shifts of spotters with binoculars in Mexican hills near border checkpoints to determine the level of security screenings. “They know if we’re on the job, the level of screening that we’re conducting,” Cramer said. “The cartels watch us all the time.” Nogales is a favorite for cartel spotters because the U.S. checkpoint sits in a valley surrounded by hills on the Mexican side, where unobstructed views facilitate surveillance. “They see everything,” Cramer said. For years the cartel spotters saw that much of the cargo passing through the checkpoint was waved through, according to agents contacted by Judicial Watch.
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« Reply #477 on: August 05, 2017, 06:54:21 PM »

Aug 3, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
Mexico's Cartels Find Another Game Changer in Fentanyl
By Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Scott Stewart
Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are shown at a press conference at the office of the New York Attorney General.
(DREW ANGERER/Getty Images)


In my July 13 On Security column about the Mexican government's anti-cartel policy, I discussed how the dynamics of the cocaine trade affected the historical trajectory of Mexican organized crime. In short, cocaine provided cartels with unprecedented quantities of cash that they then parlayed into power. Starting in the 1980s, Mexican criminal organizations began fighting over the immense profit pool produced by the lucrative trade in powder, and this infighting has continued in one form or another to this day.

But cocaine was merely the first of several drugs that were game changers for Mexican organized crime groups. The latest of them, fentanyl (and related synthetic opioids), is the most profitable yet, and is rapidly becoming the deadliest drug for users north of the border.

Disruptive Drugs

Mexican criminals have been incredibly flexible and adaptive in terms of the drugs they supply to the massive illegal narcotics market in the United States. Much of this flexibility naturally comes in response to consumer demand for certain types of drugs. But enforcement and interdiction also heavily influence the activities of Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. Increased disruption of Caribbean cocaine-trafficking routes, for example, led Colombian cartels to rely more heavily on Mexican groups to move their product over land into the United States. This change transformed the Mexicans into a critical link in the cocaine supply chain and allowed figures such as Gulf cartel leader Juan Garcia Abrego to demand larger profit cuts.

Methamphetamine is another good example of Mexican cartels recognizing and seizing business opportunities created by market forces and enforcement activity. U.S. law enforcement action targeting industrial-scale methamphetamine labs in California's Central Valley, and state and federal legislation such as the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, made it increasingly difficult to manufacture methamphetamine in the United States. Mexican criminal organizations, especially several Sinaloa cartel affiliates, recognized the opportunity presented by these developments and dramatically expanded their methamphetamine production in response. They also improved the quality and purity of the drug, compared to the product made by smaller operations in the United States. As a result, methamphetamine for sale on American streets became better, cheaper and more widely available.

Sinaloa cartel lieutenant Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel even became known as the "king of crystal" due to the large quantities of methamphetamine his organization produced. Unlike cocaine, which they had to purchase from Colombian producers or, more expensively, Central American middlemen, Mexican cartels could produce methamphetamine from relatively inexpensive dual-use precursor chemicals. So, though the cartels had been making good money in the cocaine trade, methamphetamine was even more profitable, since the cartels could control the lion's share of the profit pool. And groups that had strong connections to Chinese chemical providers and could oversee the flow of chemicals through Mexico's ports had a competitive advantage. Indeed, the rise of Tierra Caliente organized crime groups such as La Familia Michoacana, the Knights Templar and the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion occurred largely because they controlled Mexico's ports and the methamphetamine trade.
Areas of cartel influence in Mexico.

Fentanyl: Low Costs, Big Profits

Lately, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has cracked down on pill mills prescribing opiates in the United States. As a result, people addicted to opiates have turned to alternatives such as Mexican black tar heroin. Mexican growers have planted record amounts of opium poppies in recent years, and the large influx of Mexican heroin to the United States has filled the coffers of growers and traffickers. Mexican heroin was strong, plentiful and inexpensive. And Mexican organizations also pioneered new distribution methods, even delivering heroin to the homes of users. One no longer had to travel into inner cities to obtain the drug, and heroin use expanded in all strata of society.

However, poppy cultivation is limited by geography. In Mexico, poppies grow best along the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain chain, on ridges above the 1,000-meter mark (3,280 feet) where the air is dry. So, there is a finite amount of space where opium poppies can be planted, and these locations are not difficult for the Mexican government to find and eradicate. Mexico has a relatively gentle climate and poppy growers ordinarily can manage two harvests of opium gum a year, but heroin production is nevertheless limited. It takes about three months for an opium poppy to mature and produce opium gum.

Fentanyl and other synthetic opiates, on the other hand, are not bound by geography or growing cycles. Fentanyl can be produced anywhere a laboratory can be set up, such as a warehouse in an industrial park, a home in a residential area or a clandestine lab in the mountains. It can be synthesized as long as there is access to the required precursor chemicals, which are almost exclusively imported from China. Fentanyl is also relatively inexpensive to produce — the DEA estimates it costs about $3,300 to produce 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). It is also very potent, so a little goes a long way. According to the DEA, fentanyl is some 50 times more potent than heroin — and carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl. This makes the drug a smuggler's dream due to its compact nature. Smuggling 1 kilogram of fentanyl into the United States is, from a dosage standpoint, essentially the same as smuggling in 50 kilograms of heroin, and 1 kilogram of carfentanil is roughly the equivalent of 5,000 kilograms of heroin.

Due to fentanyl's strength, 1 kilogram can fetch more than $1 million on the retail drug market, making fentanyl the most profitable drug the Mexican cartels are trafficking. Fentanyl's inexpensive nature is why drug dealers have attempted to pass it off as various more expensive narcotics, such as "China White" heroin for example, or pressed it into pills to mimic pharmaceutical opiates such as oxycodone or hydrocodone. The potency of fentanyl, carfentanil and other derivatives also seriously increases the risk overdose. Dealers processing the drugs for sale on the street often struggle to accurately dispense the very small doses required — and small mistakes in dosage can be deadly. In fentanyl, a deadly dose is measured in milligrams — one thousandth of a gram. In carfentanil, a deadly dose is in micrograms — one millionth of a gram. When dealing with such microscopic amounts placed into a medium purporting to be heroin or a pharmaceutical pill, it isn't hard to see why miscalculations are made and why so many users are overdosing.

Lucrative Ports

Fentanyl is also relatively easy to synthesize; the chemists who work in Mexico's more complex methamphetamine labs have little problem manufacturing it. And given America's appetite for opioids, fentanyl is poised to become the latest in a line of drugs offering a competitive advantage to the organizations that produce them. As in the methamphetamine trade, those that control Mexico's ports are in the best position to benefit from the fentanyl trade: The same networks that produce and smuggle methamphetamine precursors can be used to bring fentanyl precursors into the country.

All Mexican cartels are able to smuggle some finished fentanyl from China and some quantity of the drug's precursors, but as fentanyl's popularity grows, the organizations that control the ports and have close ties to Chinese chemical providers will be able to produce the largest quantities with the most consistency. In terms of the current cartel landscape, this means that Tierra Caliente-based organized crime groups are the largest beneficiaries of the fentanyl trade — much as they have benefited the most from the methamphetamine trade. Indeed, synthetic drugs have largely fueled the rapid growth of the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion.

The Mexican navy assumed security responsibility for Mexico's ports in June, but the ports are rife with corruption and it is going to be a tall task for the navy to put a substantial dent in the flow of precursor chemicals and other contraband. Thus the ports will continue to be valuable possessions.

As with the fighting we have seen over lucrative smuggling corridors on the border, it is likely that other organizations will attempt to challenge the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion's control of Pacific coast ports such as Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas, as well as Veracruz on the Gulf Coast. With the amount of money at stake, any challenge is likely to be met with force and could result in significant intercartel violence. And of course, such potential for violence is of major concern to the many legitimate businesses that use Mexican ports for shipping.
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« Reply #478 on: August 05, 2017, 06:57:16 PM »

segundo post del dia

Mexico: Lawmakers Propose Reforms to Piece Together a Fractured Congress
(Stratfor)
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Mexico's ruling Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) proposed reforms to federal legislation that could lead to a coalition government by 2018. The purpose of legalizing a coalition government is to overcome logistical challenges posed by Mexico's political fragmentation. Since the 1990s, Mexico's political landscape splintered as several competing parties gained seats at the expense of the PRI. The PRI, which once held virtually all major elected offices in Mexico, now jostles with the conservative National Action Party (PAN) and the more leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) for power in Congress . Meanwhile, former Federal District Head of Government Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, formed his own party, the National Regeneration Movement, for the 2018 presidential campaign, which threatens to further divide Congress.

Such a fragmented political scene is a potential recipe for a legislative impasse in Congress. Heavy gridlock because of poilitcal divisions has hindered the latter half of President Enrique Pena Nieto's term. Introducing a coalition government that enables opposition parties to hold politically influential Cabinet posts may provide the government with a tool to reduce legislative obstruction from the opposition and pass legislation more easily.

The political reforms, proposed by PRI legislator Manlio Fabio Beltrones, would enable the president to incorporate legislative blocs into a formal coalition. According to the proposal, the president could choose whether to invite legislative blocs into a coalition after putting the coalition up to a congressional vote. The proposed coalition also would have to represent a majority of congressmen. The potential election of Lopez Obrador (who has never held a legislative, governor, or Cabinet position) is another possible reason that PRI is attempting to facilitate a coalition government. Successfully forming a coalition government with Lopez Obrador would allow opposition parties to more directly influence his political agenda.

But the proposed legislative changes, which come less than a year before Mexico's 2018 presidential election, may not make it through Congress. To approve legislation, PRI will have to convince legislators from PAN and PRD that forming a coalition government is in their interest. Time is running out to negotiate, discuss and approve such laws before the 2018 presidential and legislative campaign season heats up. Meanwhile, it's far from certain that the legislation necessary to formalize the creation of a coalition government will make it through Congress in time for the next president to use it.
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« Reply #479 on: August 29, 2017, 09:46:48 AM »

•   Mexico: Mexican government sources told Reuters that their government is studying the possibility of stepping in to replace Venezuelan oil program Petrocaribe if the government of President Nicolas Maduro were to fall. Petrocaribe is a trade initiative that provides subsidized oil to friendly countries. Cuba, a beneficiary of the initiative whose shipments have declined, has already had to limit retail fuel sales and request help from Russia. Mexico’s foreign minister was in Havana last week and reportedly tried to persuade Cuba to help fix Venezuela while reassuring Havana that Mexico will support it if Maduro falls. We need a better understanding of Mexico’s role in this situation. Is this the first sign of a more assertive Mexico?
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« Reply #480 on: September 21, 2017, 07:51:41 PM »

https://www.texasobserver.org/los-zetas-inc-author-mexicos-drug-war-isnt-drugs/
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« Reply #481 on: October 04, 2017, 11:04:17 PM »

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Forecast Update

Stratfor previously forecast that, even if populist Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wins the presidency in 2018, the nation's military-centered public security policies will not change significantly. The release of a document outlining Lopez Obrador's tentative policy positions confirm this overall assessment, although there is room for him to selectively withdraw the armed forces from public security duties.

According to a new policy paper, Mexico's populist presidential candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, will deliver few surprises on public security when he officially reveals his platform. On Oct. 3, Mexican news outlet La Politica Online obtained a document outlining domestic and foreign policy priorities for a potential Lopez Obrador administration. The document suggests a Lopez Obrador administration would take a similar approach to public security and fighting cartels as his predecessor, current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The Pena Nieto administration — much like the potential Lopez Obrador administration — has taken note of the military's shortcomings as police officers. The longer they remain deployed to stem the violence from cartels, the more vulnerable they become to corruption. Further complicating matters is the fact that military forces don't operate within a clear legal framework, although military authorities supported legislation to correct this earlier in the year.

Although the policy paper criticizes prior administrations for overreliance on the armed forces to pursue and arrest drug traffickers, it doesn't suggest completely withdrawing troops from their now-permanent deployments. Instead, the paper calls for studies on a possible new force, the National Guard, to replace the military in its domestic security role. In this sense, Lopez Obrador's approach to public security is the same one Pena Nieto took when he entered office in 2013. Nieto attempted to create an auxiliary paramilitary force, called the gendarmerie, to gradually supplant the military. But the force was plagued by the same corruption issues faced by Mexican law enforcement at virtually all levels of government. The gendarmerie was expensive, and it was virtually impossible for the force to supplant the military during Pena Nieto's tenure. In 2015, when Mexico implemented budget cuts, the gendarmerie's lost 25 percent of its funding.

Previous Stratfor analysis said it was unlikely that a Lopez Obrador administration would move away from Mexico's current approach to government security. This development confirms that analysis, but it's important to remember that Lopez Obrador's proposals are not policy yet. If he comes to power, he could still attempt a gradual military withdrawal even without replacing the troops with an alternative force. However, because such movements would worry Washington, it's highly unlikely that Lopez Obrador would tear down the status quo with quick action. The White House has made it clear that border security is a major priority, and Mexico is not about to risk ruining relations with its largest trading partner. 
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