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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #400 on: February 25, 2014, 10:39:31 AM »

For our foreign readers, know that this comes from Pravda on the Hudson, which has a distinct bias against people being armed:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/world/americas/vigilantes-once-welcome-frighten-many-in-mexico.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140225
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« Reply #401 on: March 04, 2014, 03:49:56 PM »

http://www.epicdash.com/mexican-drug-lords-home-raided-even-incredible-horrifying-ever-imagined/
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« Reply #402 on: March 05, 2014, 06:27:04 PM »

Gnarliest thing I've seen yet... a 13 year old kid working as an assassin for the cartel, caved the guy's head in with a hammer, took out his brains, and filled it with chopped tomatoes. Nothing surprises me anymore.
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« Reply #403 on: March 05, 2014, 06:29:15 PM »

That, or arresting one of my own partners for working as an assassin in the cartel.  It all goes on. I get a sense of not fearing anything anymore, because you know, you're already dead and no one, not even the law is untouchable, and well.. life is cheap. GM.... I'm still not dead.
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« Reply #404 on: March 18, 2014, 02:58:06 PM »


Opponent of Mexico’s Cartels Is Detained in Vigilantes’ Deaths

By DAMIEN CAVEMARCH 12, 2014

Photo
Hipólito Mora, who is from the southwestern state of Michoacán, has become well known in Mexico in connection with the vigilante movement. Credit Ulises Ruiz


MEXICO CITY — Hipólito Mora often said that he started the first self-defense group in the Mexican state of Michoacán to end the boundless cruelty of the Knights Templar cartel — the killing, the extortion, and the monopolistic control it exerted over local lime growers.

Now, a little over a year later, Mr. Mora, 58, whose ever-present cowboy hat and national commentary have made him the public face of Mexico’s vigilante movement, is accused of the very same offenses.

He was detained on Tuesday as a suspect in the death of two men working with a rival self-defense group, Mexican authorities said, heightening fears that what began as a citizen push for peace is now morphing into another layer of violent conflict over money and power in a region that has been out of control for years.

“Mora’s arrest tells us about the risks of vigilantes, acting according to their own standards,” said Rául Benítez Manaut, a security analyst at Mexico’s National Autonomous University. But, he added: “They are in a state where justice is a very relative thing; they are used to living in a context where justice dos not exist.”

The arrest is already being questioned by Mr. Mora’s allies. On the Facebook page that has become the group’s main forum, several people defended him, contending that he was a victim of a conspiracy because he had accused many of the other self-defense groups — including the group with the two men who were found dead Saturday in a burned-out pickup truck — of being infiltrated by the Knights Templar and other drug gangs.

“The arrest of Hipólito Mora is a mistake,” said Father Gregorio López, a local Roman Catholic priest. “He is the only one not corrupted by criminals.”

Mr. Mora and his men in the village of La Ruana have long had a testy relationship with the self-defense forces in the neighboring town of Buenavista, which are led by Luis Antonio Torres Gonzalez , known as “El Americano.” In December, Mr. Mora could often be heard on his cellphone arguing with the Buenavista leadership over deals they had made related to local lime groves.

Those groves, the heart and cash register of the local economy, have been crucial in Michoacán’s self-defense movement from the beginning. In December, Mr. Mora said he decided to form his group in early 2013 after a lime-packaging plant controlled by the Knights Templars refused to accept limes picked by his son. The cartel, he said, had gone too far, extorting pickers and limiting how much was packaged for export in order to drive up prices.

The goal of his self-defense group, he said, was to create a better, more just economy for his town and others. In mid-December, when a government helicopter arrived in a La Ruana pasture to take Mr. Mora to Mexico City to speak with top government officials, he carried in his shirt pocket a list of requests, including money for a university.

By that time Mr. Mora was already a well-known symbol of what he calls “the movement,” with his comments found almost daily in Mexican newspapers. But his fame soared a few weeks later when President Enrique Peña Nieto announced a $3.4 billion plan in Michoacán for job creation, education, health, infrastructure and pensions.

The government plan included efforts to work with self-defense groups, and together they have had some success against the Knights Templar. Vigilante groups control about 15 of Michoacán’s townships, and high-profile arrests and killings of gang suspects have risen.

On Sunday, Mexican authorities said they had killed Nazario Moreno González, the head of the Knights Templar cartel, also known as the Templarios.

But with some success and its spoils, the rivalry between Mr. Mora and Mr. Torres seems to have intensified. A few months ago, Mr. Mora always waved when Mr. Torres drove by in his black Range Rover — seized from a Knights Templar leader, Mr. Mora said.

More recently, Mr. Mora has suggested that too many of Mr. Torres’s colleagues have questionable loyalties. Critics of Mr. Mora have accused him of holding onto lime groves taken from the Knights Templar, rather than returning the land to its rightful owners. Both men have rejected the accusations.

Mexico’s broader question of which groups are clean, and which are criminal, has been impossible to answer. American officials say they believe some groups are receiving weapons and support from different drug gangs, but that it is hard to prove where groups fall on the spectrum of honest to corrupted.

The conflict between Mr. Mora and Mr. Torres is simply the most obvious sign of the problem. On Monday, the Mexican government sent hundreds of police and soldiers to La Ruana to try to mediate between the two men.

“We cannot permit this kind of confrontation to occur,” said Alfredo Castillo, the federal government’s envoy to Michoacán. On Wednesday, he added that Mr. Mora refused to turn over members of his group suspected of the killings, and that there was evidence suggesting Mr. Mora knew about them in advance and may have consented.

Experts warn that the longer the battle between vigilantes goes on, the greater the risk of increased violence and frustration with the government’s inability to establish a lasting peace.

“The government should be very careful,” said Mr. Benitez, the security analyst. “They can’t start arresting vigilantes indiscriminately, because people expect them to arrest Templarios, not vigilantes.”

Paulina Villegas contributed reporting.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #405 on: April 17, 2014, 09:17:09 PM »

Editor's Note: This week's Security Weekly summarizes our quarterly Mexico drug cartel report, in which we assess the most significant developments of the first quarter of 2014 and provide a forecast for the second quarter of the year. The report is a product of the coverage we maintain through our Mexico Security Memo, quarterly updates and other analyses that we produce throughout the year as part of the Mexico Security Monitor service.

By Tristan Reed
Mexico Security Analyst

During the first quarter of 2014, Mexican authorities managed to kill or capture a substantial number of high-level leaders of Mexican organized criminal groups, including top Sinaloa Federation leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera on Feb. 22 at a hotel in Mazatlan, Sinaloa state. In an unusually high tempo of operations, the Mexican military managed to capture several other Sinaloa leaders who operated under Guzman or Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada Garcia, another top-tier Sinaloa Federation leader. By the beginning of 2014, the Sinaloa Federation was already struggling to adapt to a series of significant leadership losses during the last quarter of 2013. Its losses during the first quarter of 2014 thus compound its pre-existing problems.

Meanwhile, the efforts of federal troops and the self-defense militias in Michoacan resulted in the death or capture of the bulk of the Knights Templar's top-tier leaders. Since the second half of January 2014, three out of four of the most prominent Knights Templar leaders have been eliminated, as have many of their lieutenants.

The arrest of Guzman is not likely to alter any of the trends during the second quarter addressed in our 2014 annual cartel report. By contrast, the massive losses for the Knights Templar in such a short period will likely trigger substantial shifts in organized crime dynamics in Michoacan, including the expansion of old or the creation of new, smaller criminal groups into the void left by the Knights Templar. Given that the Knights Templar were expanding domestically and internationally up to the end of 2013, the impact of successful federal operations against the group could be felt beyond southwestern Mexico. This is particularly likely in northeastern Mexico, where the Knights Templar helped the Gulf cartel defend its territory from Los Zetas. If this evolution does not occur during the second quarter, it probably will later in 2014.
Michoacan

Federal authorities could not have racked up such rapid successes against Knights Templar leaders during the first quarter were it not for the presence of self-defense militias in Michoacan state. The self-defense militias first emerged in February 2013 and have since expanded their operations to more than 26 of Michoacan's 113 municipalities (and over half the state's geographic area). Even so, Mexico City has decided it cannot tolerate the existence of well-armed and widely operating militias willing to supplant government authority.

At the end of 2013, self-defense militias in Michoacan had already expanded into nearly a dozen municipalities as part of a strategy of ejecting the Knights Templar from specific areas and then holding onto the newly won territory. With the expansion, the militias challenged government authority in many towns by taking charge of public safety, often detaining local law enforcement authorities whom the militias viewed as having links to the Knights Templar. The growing presence of the militias presented yet another substantial security challenge for Mexico City in the state, particularly as the militias expanded around the transportation routes surrounding the port city of Lazaro Cardenas. Rising levels of organized crime-related violence, the continued expansion of well-armed militias into much of the state and disruptive violence such as the Oct. 27 attacks on Federal Electricity Commission installations in Michoacan prompted several deployments of federal police and the Mexican military to Michoacan throughout 2013 (in addition to drawing international media coverage of Michoacan's security woes).
Cities With Self-Defense Groups
Click to Enlarge

In January 2014, Mexico City created the Commission for Security and Integral Development in Michoacan, led by Alfredo Castillo, to oversee its security strategy in Michoacan, coordinate federal and state security forces and purportedly address political, social and economic issues in the state. One of the commission's first actions was to bring the various militias, operating in a coordinated manner, into an agreement with the federal and state government Jan. 27. Among other things, the self-defense groups agreed to integrate with federal troops by joining the Rural Defense Corps, a longtime auxiliary force of the Mexican army. In addition, the agreement provided Mexico City with greater oversight over the inner workings of the militias and their leadership. However, no substantial integration of militia members into the Rural Defense Corps had occurred by the end of the first quarter.

By contrast, the agreement did succeed in fostering a great deal of cooperation between the militias and federal troops with regard to targeting the Knights Templar. The combined efforts of the self-defense militias and federal troops against the Knights Templar yielded substantial gains. The day of the agreement, federal troops captured Dionisio "El Tio" Loya Plancarte, the first of the top Knights Templar leaders to fall in the first quarter. On March 9, the Mexican military killed Nazario "El Chayo" Moreno Gonzalez, the founder of the Knights Templar, in Tumbiscatio, Michoacan state. Moreno's death occurred as a result of substantial militia operations in the city just days before. On March 31, top leader Enrique "El Kike" Plancarte Solis was killed during a military operation in Colon, Queretaro state. Of the Knights Templar's best-known leaders, only Servando "La Tuta" Gomez Martinez remains at large.
Municipalities With Self Defense Groups
Click to Enlarge

Significantly, the spread of the militias in Michoacan has greatly hindered the group's mobility in the state. This greatly diminished the operational capabilities of the Knights Templar during the first quarter, lessening its hold over profitable criminal activities in the state. And this in turn has created a power vacuum, allowing smaller independent crime groups, including the remnants of the Knights Templar, to emerge. (The second quarter will likely see these lower-tier groups continue to emerge.)

In the weeks following the March 31 death of Plancarte, the federal commission overseeing Michoacan's security developments called for the disarmament of the militias because, the commission said, the Knights Templar had largely been defeated. Self-defense militia movement spokesman Jose Mireles rejected calls to disarm, citing the persistence of the Knights Templar under Gomez and other lower-level bosses.

The federal government then set a deadline of May 10 for the militias to voluntarily disarm or face forced disarmament. In response, the militia movement threatened blockades. Various militias could erect these, presumably on major roads in Michoacan, should the federal government not satisfy militia demands. These include the release of 100 incarcerated militia members, the killing or capture of remaining Knights Templar members in the state, the restoration of the rule of law in Michoacan and the recognition of the self-defense militias' right to exist.

The commission and militia leaders from 20 municipalities struck a new deal April 14. Though the agreement followed a recent ultimatum by the federal government that the militias voluntarily disarm by May 10 or have federal troops forcibly disarm them, the new deal's 11 points do not call for a total disarmament. Instead, the militias accepted an offer to be incorporated into a Rural State Police body beginning May 11. Under the terms of the deal, self-defense militias will turn in "high-caliber" weapons. The deal calls for all remaining militia arms to be registered with the federal government. The April 14 agreement also allows militia members to join the Rural Defense Corps, just as the agreement signed Jan. 27 did.

According to Security and Integral Development Commissioner Alfredo Castillo, the agreement means that self-defense militias in Michoacan will disappear by May 11. Whether the agreement will actually produce that outcome remains unclear, given that it allows the self-defense militia members to continue to bear arms and does not specify just how the militias will be formally integrated into government-controlled security forces. Moreover, divisions within the militia movement could threaten the viability of the April 14 agreement.

The April 14 agreement highlights the federal government's intent to halt the expansion of vigilante groups in Mexico. The challenge to governmental authority apparently has been deemed greater than the benefits the militias bring of reducing the need for military involvement in the fight against drug-trafficking organizations.

To this end, Mexico City has sought to bring the militias to the bargaining table. But implementing any deal will face a challenge from increased divisions among the militias. Although at present the militias mostly act in concert, the movement comprises various militias operating in towns among dozens of municipalities.

Internal discord has already emerged, albeit currently isolated to a few personalities within the militias. Since the beginning of 2014, various self-defense militia leaders have accused one another of belonging to organized crime and have said that organized crime is infiltrating their groups. Though such claims are impossible to verify, their existence underscores concerns among self-defense militias that their members may be interested in taking over criminal enterprises left by the power vacuum that emerged from the Knights Templar's decline. If these concerns become reality, the government will face an even more fractured militia landscape during negotiations for their incorporation into federal forces.

If the broader movement fractures during the second quarter, the likelihood of any negotiated settlement between the militias and the government greatly diminishes, given the lack of any coordinated leadership. However, divisions within the militia movement would pose a diminished threat to Mexico City. If the movement remains largely intact yet fails to honor the April 14 agreement, it is possible that Mexico City would still delay any efforts to disarm the militias during the second quarter. This would provide more time for the militias to fragment, thus reducing their collective ability to challenge state authority while obviating the need for any military confrontation. However, such a decision would risk further proliferation of the militias, bringing in more weaponry and bolstering their ranks. The longer Mexico City allows the militias to expand without any permanent resolution that brings the militias fully into the fold or disarms them, the greater the threat militias will pose to government authority.

In the second quarter, the fracturing of organized crime in Michoacan will likely lead to more organized crime-related violence as these smaller groups move, hampering federal and state government bids to improve security in the state. And although Knights Templar operational capabilities in Michoacan have declined, the group will still retain a substantial presence in the state during the second quarter. Violence between rival criminal organizations and between criminal organizations and the self-defense militias will combine with the continued presence of the Knights Templar to keep the state unstable.

Editor's Note: The full version of our quarterly cartel update is available to clients of our Mexico Security Monitor service.

Read more: Mexico's Drug War: Substantial Changes Seen in Michoacan | Stratfor
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elf-Defense Groups in Mexico's Michoacan State
Media Center, Image
April 17, 2014 | 1057 Print Text Size
Self-Defense Groups in Mexico's Michoacan State
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Since the second half of January 2014, three out of four of the most prominent Knights Templar leaders have been eliminated, as have many of their lieutenants. Federal authorities could not have racked up such rapid successes against Knights Templar leaders during the first quarter were it not for the presence of self-defense militias in Michoacan state. The self-defense militias first emerged in February 2013 and have since expanded their operations to more than 26 of Michoacan's 113 municipalities (and over half the state's geographic area). With the expansion, the militias challenged government authority in many towns by taking charge of public safety, often detaining local law enforcement authorities whom the militias viewed as having links to the Knights Templar.

Mexico City has decided it cannot tolerate the existence of well-armed and widely operating militias willing to supplant government authority, which led to the government and militia leaders from 20 municipalities striking a new deal April 14 to resolve their status. Though the agreement followed a recent ultimatum by the federal government that the militias voluntarily disarm by May 10 or have federal troops forcibly disarm them, the new deal's 11 points do not call for a total disarmament. Instead, the militias accepted an offer to be incorporated into a Rural State Police body beginning May 11. Under the terms of the deal, self-defense militias will turn in "high-caliber" weapons. The deal calls for all remaining militia arms to be registered with the federal government. The April 14 agreement also allows militia members to join the Rural Defense Corps, just as a previous agreement reached Jan. 27 did.

According to Security and Integral Development Commissioner Alfredo Castillo, the agreement means that self-defense militias in Michoacan will disappear by May 11. Whether the agreement will actually produce that outcome remains unclear, given that it allows the self-defense militia members to continue to bear arms and does not specify just how the militias will be formally integrated into government-controlled security forces. Moreover, divisions within the militia movement could threaten the viability of the April 14 agreement.

« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 09:22:27 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #406 on: April 30, 2014, 07:13:01 AM »

Mexico: Mayor Detained in Organized Crime Investigation

By PAULINA VILLEGASAPRIL 29, 2014


The mayor of Lázaro Cárdenas, the city with Mexico’s second-largest port, has been detained as part of an investigation into allegations that he is involved in organized crime, as Mexico struggles to regain control of a region under the thumb of a powerful criminal gang. The gang, the Knights Templar, had so infiltrated the port, in the Pacific Coast state of Michoacán, that the military took it over last year. The arrest of the mayor, Arquímedes Oseguera, on Monday came a day after five people were killed on the outskirts of Lázaro Cárdenas when vigilante groups clashed with gunmen who they suspected were criminals. Mexico this week plans to begin to disarm the vigilantes and restore state authority.
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« Reply #407 on: May 23, 2014, 10:54:33 PM »

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2637789/Threatening-cartel-billboards-warning-police-choose-silver-lead-come-complete-hanging-mannequins-appearing-Texas.html

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/05/20/Former-Border-Patrol-Union-Only-Cartels-Benefit-From-Border-Monument
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 11:11:16 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #408 on: June 17, 2014, 05:49:19 PM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/17/feds-armed-mexican-troops-police-jump-border/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #409 on: July 07, 2014, 12:29:58 PM »

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/immigrants-from-latin-america-and-africa-squeezed-as-banks-curtail-international-money-transfers/?_php=true&_type=blogs&emc=edit_th_20140707&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0
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« Reply #410 on: July 15, 2014, 06:10:50 PM »

15 July 2014
MEXICO – Audit puts PAN party’s status at risk

National Electoral Institute (INE) data released on 11 July 2014 from June shows that the National Action Party (PAN) has just 222,928 members, after discovering that 48,704 registrations were duplicates. This puts PAN at risk of losing its status as a national political party, as electoral law dictates that a recognized national political party have a minimum number of members equivalent to 0.26 percent of the population, or approximately 219,608 citizens. The INE will now crosscheck the registrations of the other political parties and, if necessary, request that citizens express their final preference.
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« Reply #411 on: July 21, 2014, 02:46:50 PM »

http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/07/21/it-is-a-horrifying-place-to-be-glenn-reflects-on-his-visit-to-the-rio-grande-river-with-louie-gohmert/
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 09:16:28 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #412 on: July 21, 2014, 09:17:30 PM »

second post of the day

ditor's Note: This week's Security Weekly summarizes our quarterly Mexico drug cartel report, in which we assess the most significant developments of the second quarter of 2014 and provide a forecast for the third quarter. The report is a product of the coverage we maintain through our Mexico Security Memo, quarterly updates and other analyses that we produce throughout the year as part of the Mexico Security Monitor service.

By Tristan Reed
Mexico Security Analyst

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto aggressively pursued a strategy of targeting top organized crime leaders throughout Mexico in the second quarter -- and not just in Michoacan, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas, the states that the country's major criminal groups call home.


In Michoacan, Mexico City achieved substantial success against organized crime in the first half of 2014. Self-defense militias and Mexican authorities have dismantled most of the senior leadership of the Knights Templar. Only Servando "La Tuta" Gomez Martinez remains at large.

Federal forces also continued to inflict significant leadership losses on organized crime groups in Sinaloa, particularly the Sinaloa Federation. The arrest of top Sinaloa Federation leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera on Feb. 22 capped the government's successes in Sinaloa. The Mexican military on June 23 also arrested Fernando "El Ingeniero" Sanchez Arellano, one of the primary leaders of another criminal group in Sinaloa (despite its brand name), the Tijuana cartel.

Mexico City announced a renewed campaign against organized crime in Tamaulipas on May 13, highlighting its intent to crush the leaderships of all organized crime groups in their respective domains. Successes mounted just days after the announcement: Already, federal forces have arrested or killed several significant Gulf cartel and Los Zetas bosses. And at least so far, the campaign against organized crime in Tamaulipas has not distracted the government from its pursuit of crime bosses elsewhere.

Successfully targeting crime bosses in Mexico does not ensure improved security over the long term. It also does not guarantee the collapse of any group. For example, the arrest of Zetas leader Miguel "Z-40" Trevino Morales on July 15, 2013, did not appear to meaningfully affect Los Zetas' capabilities or operations.

Opportunities for new crime bosses to emerge or expand their control will remain as long as vast quantities of highly profitable drugs are flowing through criminal territories and other highly profitable criminal activities are proliferating. If Mexico City is to translate its recent successes into enduring security improvements, it will have to continue to pressure crime bosses and strengthen the government institutions that maintain the rule of law.

Economic Incentives

It is more than just a desire to end the drug-related violence that motivates Mexico City's recent campaigns against organized crime in Tamaulipas, Sinaloa and Michoacan. The Mexican government is also protecting its own economic interests. Not only do Mexican criminal groups traffic drugs into the United States, but they are also increasingly engaged in the theft of hydrocarbon products, as well as illegal mining and illegal logging.

In Michoacan, the Knights Templar had enjoyed an increasing share of shipments of illegally mined ore to China until the second quarter. Meanwhile, the theft and sale of hydrocarbon products by these groups has grown throughout Mexico. Criminal groups in Tamaulipas in particular have an extensive reach into Mexico's energy resources: Groups have stolen gasoline from Petroleos Mexicanos' pipelines, trucks and even directly from refineries, then sold it on the street for less than half the official price.

Organized crime's exploitation of Mexico's hydrocarbon resources is one of the principal forces pushing the new campaign in the northeast. As Stratfor noted in its second quarterly cartel update, the recent surge in violence in Tamaulipas was mainly because of the collapse of the Tampico Gulf cartel faction and the continued Gulf cartel factional fight for control of Reynosa. However, Mexico City has thus far targeted virtually all organized crime groups based in Tamaulipas -- from Los Zetas to the various Gulf cartel factions -- and government operations have extended into Guanajuato, Mexico, Nuevo Leon and Veracruz states.

The long-term consequences of Mexico's high-value target campaign are difficult to forecast. Security improvements -- where there have been any -- as a direct result of military and law enforcement operations in the most violent areas of the country have been modest. Those operations have, however, accelerated the trends Stratfor underlined in its 2014 cartel annual update.

In northwestern Mexico, the series of arrests of high-level Sinaloa Federation leaders has further balkanized organized crime in states such as Sonora, Baja California and Sinaloa. In north-central Mexico, La Linea has re-emerged in Chihuahua without resorting to the levels of violence seen when the Sinaloa Federation initially pushed into the state and challenged it. The picture in Mexico's northeast is still hazy, especially given the recent operations in Tamaulipas. Nonetheless, the combination of escalated turf wars among Gulf cartel factions and the government's targeting of crime bosses from Los Zetas and the Gulf cartel will accelerate the organizational shifts Stratfor noted in its 2014 cartel update.

Changes in Tamaulipas and the Northeast

The collapse of the Tampico faction of the Gulf cartel during the first quarter, leaving no major group in control of organized crime in the city of Tampico, marked the beginning of substantial shifts in organized crime in the northeast. In addition to Tampico, Reynosa and Ciudad Victoria saw renewed organized crime violence. Gulf cartel factions fought each other for control of Reynosa, and Los Zetas continued to face off with security forces in Ciudad Victoria. However, because Tampico lies on drug smuggling routes into the United States and is a hub for the theft of hydrocarbon products, it is almost a given that a group such as Los Zetas or another Gulf cartel faction will vie for control. Competing groups could launch a direct incursion, or they could sponsor one of the old Tampico faction's successor groups.

Areas of Cartel Influence in Mexico



As Stratfor detailed in the first quarterly update, a shift of control in Tampico could affect the landscape of organized crime in all of northeastern Mexico. We did not, however, predict the sweeping federal operations targeting all major criminal groups in Tamaulipas that began in May. Sharp increases in violence and subsequent military operations are not new to Tamaulipas. Since 2003, the state has experienced a series of bloody criminal turf wars followed by substantial military and law enforcement operations. The turf wars reflect the state's value to organized crime. Given its location on the Lower Rio Grande, Tamaulipas offers access to U.S. ports of entry where contraband can be smuggled into the United States. This has made Tamaulipas one of the major regional bases for organized crime in Mexico. The various major groups based there, namely, Los Zetas and the Gulf cartel factions, collectively operate in roughly half of the country.

The operations that reshaped the security environment in Tamaulipas in the second quarter will continue at least into the third quarter. Fighting between gunmen and military forces has increased in multiple areas of Tamaulipas, particularly Reynosa, Tampico and Ciudad Victoria, though the increased troop presence in hot spots in the state has diminished intercartel violence.

The wide net Mexico City has cast in targeting crime bosses from groups based in Tamaulipas reveals that the government's ambitions go beyond simply quelling cartel violence in the state. Numerous Tamaulipas crime bosses have been caught, many after fleeing the state. The number of crime bosses fleeing Tamaulipas only to be arrested in their new refuges stands out. These include Gulf cartel boss Juan Manuel "Juan Perros" Rodriguez Garcia, apprehended May 25 in Nuevo Leon state; Los Zetas leaders Juan Fernando "El Ferrari" Alvarez Cortez and Fernando "Z-16" Magana Martinez, both apprehended in May in Nuevo Leon; Luis Jimenez Tovar, Los Zetas' plaza boss for Ciudad Victoria, arrested July 3 in Leon, Guanajuato; and Gulf cartel boss Juan Zarate "El Sheyla" Martin Chavez, apprehended June 18 in Mexico state. The high volume of fugitives from Tamaulipas suggests that the crime bosses fear this security operation more than major ones in the past, such as the operation launched against Los Zetas in 2011 and the one targeting the Gulf cartel in 2012.

Violence stemming from the turf wars between rival criminal groups in Reynosa and Tampico slowed in the last few weeks of the second quarter, supplanted by fighting between authorities and criminal gunmen. While organized crime groups will continue fighting one another in Tamaulipas, the heightened number of federal troops and aggressive targeting will continue to limit their ability to fight one another in the third quarter.

It is highly likely that more Gulf cartel and Los Zetas leaders will fall this quarter, though it is uncertain whether Mexico City will apprehend the senior leaders of Los Zetas, such as leader Omar "Z-42" Trevino Morales, brother of former leader Miguel Trevino Morales. The faction of the Gulf cartel based in Matamoros, a town where the family of former Gulf leader Osiel Cardenas Guillen still has considerable power, has weathered the federal operations the best. As a result, this faction could expand its reach onto the turf of other Gulf factions in the second half of the year.

Editor's Note: The full version of our quarterly cartel update is available to clients of our Mexico Security Monitor service.
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« Reply #413 on: August 23, 2014, 08:45:26 AM »

Mexico Unveils New Police Force
Scaled-Down Unit Aims to Protect Mine and Farm Operations
By Dudley Althaus and José de Córdoba
WSJ
Aug. 22, 2014 3:57 p.m. ET

Members of the newly formed gendarmerie march in unison during an inaugural ceremony at the Federal Police headquarters in Mexico City. Associated Press

MEXICO CITY—Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto inaugurated a new unit of the federal police force—a scaled-down version of what was initially planned as a larger, independent gendarmerie—that aims to protect key parts of the economy, like mining operations and farms, from drug gangs.

The new 5,000-strong force, modeled after similar units in France, Spain, Chile and elsewhere, was a key element of Mr. Peña Nieto's public security strategy during his 2012 presidential campaign. Having criticized former President Felipe Calderón's use of the army and navy to take on drug gangs, Mr. Peña Nieto and his team envisioned a new 40,000-strong force, with recruits drawn largely from the military, which would answer to civilian authorities and allow the army to return to the barracks.

The smaller force will instead be another unit of the Federal Police. Critics said the new force was too small and would leave the bulk of the fight against the cartels to Mexico's army and navy.

The original plan for the gendarmerie was opposed by the military, which spearheaded the bloody, unresolved campaign against organized crime, according to some analysts. Tens of thousands of Mexican troops still patrol the country's hot spots, including many of the states just south of the U.S. border.

"It was planned to be a very ambitious police force, separate from the federal police as well as the army. But there was a lot of infighting between the army, the navy and the federal police," said Raúl Benítez, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

That left Mr. Peña Nieto's team struggling with how to fulfill a campaign promise without losing face, some analysts said.

"This is a police force in search of a mission," said Alejandro Hope, who served as a senior official in Mexico's civilian intelligence agency under Mr. Calderón. "It has a political logic, not a security one."

Gendarmes combine civilian policing with military discipline and organization. They act as a national police in France, its former colonies and other European countries as well as in Chile, Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America.

As many as 100,000 Mexicans have died or disappeared since late 2006 as rival criminal gangs battle one another and security forces for territorial domination. The violence has eased this year in many former hot spots; government statistics show a 15% drop in murders so far this year compared with the same period in 2013.

Even in its reduced form, Mexico's gendarme force will increase the number of federal officers involved in actual field operations by nearly a fifth, said Monte Alejandro Rubido, who as National Security Commissioner oversees the federal police. The gendarmes will be a seventh division of the now 41,000-strong force.

The idea is to provide "greater quantitative and qualitative reaction capacity to the federal police," Mr. Rubido said. "The goal is public peace…to protect family, school and work spaces."

Mr. Rubido cited key farm areas in Tamaulipas state, bordering Texas, and in west central Michoacán state as two examples of where gendarmes might deployed should producers be threatened by those states' vicious gangs. He also pointed to a recent rash of kidnappings in the tourist town of Valle de Bravo, near Mexico City, as the sort of problem the gendarmes will handle.

The new force won't be used to protect particular companies, Mr. Rubido said, but will provide security for regions where murder, extortion, kidnapping and theft have disrupted economic and community life.

Mexico's gendarmes have undergone both law enforcement and military training aimed at forging a "sense of discipline, of corps, of belonging," Mr. Rubido said. Rank-and-file officers are young men and women—the average age is 28—with slightly older commanders drawn from federal police ranks, he said.

Half the new officers have completed high school and a fifth have university degrees. The officers' net monthly starts at $1,100, which Mr. Rubido said "isn't a bad salary by the police standards in our country."

Apart from their operational duties, the gendarmes are intended to bring in "new blood to refresh the daily work of the federal police," Mr. Rubido said.

The federal police are widely considered the best trained and most trustworthy of Mexico's civilian security forces. But they account for less than a 10th of the 440,000 police officers nationwide, most of whom serve with undertrained, outgunned and often corrupt municipal and state forces, according to Mr. Benítez and other analysts.

The new force would prove a step forward if it is "able to create a niche space where you have noncorrupt police," Mr. Benítez said. "It will depend on the commanders chosen to head the Gendarmería."
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DDF
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« Reply #414 on: August 26, 2014, 03:57:49 PM »

Mexico Unveils New Police Force
Scaled-Down Unit Aims to Protect Mine and Farm Operations
By Dudley Althaus and José de Córdoba
WSJ
Aug. 22, 2014 3:57 p.m. ET


The smaller force will instead be another unit of the Federal Police. Critics said the new force was too small and would leave the bulk of the fight against the cartels to Mexico's army and navy.

The original plan for the gendarmerie was opposed by the military, which spearheaded the bloody, unresolved campaign against organized crime, according to some analysts. Tens of thousands of Mexican troops still patrol the country's hot spots, including many of the states just south of the U.S. border.


A couple of things; the author/s doesn't/don't know a whole lot or intentionally wrote a biased article.

The military is less than pleased because it will be taking about 40 million dollars (the amount to spent on the Gendarmería), and they're bent.

The military and Fuerzas Federales and Fuerzas Estatales will all be forking over people to man it. It isn't operational yet but will be in full swing within a year.

Not every state gets to send troops. We here are sending 1500 elements with additional elements coming from three other states.

This is a very good thing. I am very much looking forward to this.
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« Reply #415 on: August 27, 2014, 09:52:03 AM »

Good input DDF.
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« Reply #416 on: September 02, 2014, 01:26:42 PM »



http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/world/americas/billboard-drives-home-extent-of-corruption-as-schools-suffer.html?emc=edit_th_20140902&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
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« Reply #417 on: September 03, 2014, 08:30:49 AM »

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's state of the union address Tuesday offered key insights into Mexico's direction over the next few years. Among the high points of the speech were reforms in the Mexican energy sector that ended the state's monopoly on hydrocarbons production. Pena Nieto's speech also touted reductions in the nation's homicide rate over the past year.

With the legislative hurdles cleared, Mexico will use the next few years to implement reforms achieved in 2013 and 2014. The energy reform in particular portends an increase in Mexican oil output and government revenue over the next decade. Mexico will also continue using federal authorities, including the newly formed gendarmerie, to counter the violence generated by organized crime. However, these are short-term political moves in Mexico's larger geopolitical narrative, in which Mexico's economic future will remain inextricably connected to the United States, and Mexico City will continue searching for ways to mitigate ongoing competition between drug trafficking organizations.

To a large degree, Pena Nieto will focus his presidency on maintaining the steady economic growth of the past 20 years. Since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, Mexico's real gross domestic product climbed by about $383 billion to more than $1 trillion. This growth, which placed Mexico second in Latin America in terms of GDP and 15th in the world, primarily rose due to the advantages gained by Mexico's proximity to the United States. Mexico has defined its economic strategy around these advantages, which include short transport distances to the world's largest consumer market and Mexico's relatively low wages compared with the United States -- low wages that have spurred investment into manufacturing (with the United States being a leading investor) for decades. NAFTA accelerated this trend, and nearly 80 percent of Mexican exports worth some $300 billion went directly to the United States in 2013. Although Mexico is attempting to eliminate tariff barriers with like-minded trading partners in the burgeoning Pacific Alliance, its trade flows will remain overwhelmingly focused on its neighbor to the north.

What is a Geopolitical Diary? George Friedman Explains.

This long-term economic focus northward will define Mexico's immediate economic moves. Over the next several years, Mexico will continue building out its natural gas pipeline network to take advantage of the U.S. role as a major natural gas producer and supply Mexico's growing industrial base and electricity generation. Because the pipelines that import U.S. natural gas into Mexico are operating near full capacity, Mexico will add three additional pipelines to its grid over the next two years. Mexican state-owned energy firm Petroleos Mexicanos is planning five additional pipelines in upcoming years. Together, these lines will add nearly 55.9 billion cubic meters per year to Mexico's existing pipeline import capacity.

Mexico will also focus heavily on implementing the centerpiece of its reform drive, namely, energy reform. Much of Pena Nieto's political legacy rests on successfully securing meaningful foreign investment into Mexico's oil sector. To this end, the government will auction 169 oil blocks in May 2015. There are growing indications that Pemex is willing to make the necessary moves to restructure the firm to become more competitive. A successful auction is unlikely to bear fruit until several years down the road, but it would set Mexico's deteriorated oil sector on the path toward recovery.

Pena Nieto will also continue dealing with the ongoing violence from Mexico's drug war, an unwelcome inheritance from his predecessor, Felipe Calderon. Mexico remains one of the last destinations in the cocaine supply chain to the lucrative U.S. market, and this role will not change soon. Despite rising cocaine traffic through the Caribbean, the vast majority of cocaine shipments from South America still pass through Mexico -- and thus into the hands of the numerous drug trafficking organizations competing there for dominance over supply routes northward. This violence, which spiked sharply in the years after Calderon sent federal forces directly after drug trafficking organizations in 2006, has remained a challenge for the Mexican government. The government will continue to try to contain the violence associated with criminal competition, and the U.S. interest in stemming the flow of drugs through the U.S. border is unlikely to wane in the coming years.

Despite a major U.S. interest in countering drug flows north, Mexico will likely enjoy significantly less success on the security front. There are simply too many people within criminal organizations and institutions benefiting from the drug trade for its effects to be reduced through law enforcement pressure alone. Although several major drug traffickers were captured during Pena Nieto's term, including Sinaloa Federation leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera and Los Zetas leader Miguel "Z-40" Trevino Morales, the elements remain in place for continued cartel wars across Mexico. The lucrative profit margins available to Mexican drug traffickers will keep spurring competition over supply routes and gateways into the United States. Though the names of individuals and organizations involved in the trade over the next several years will change, the overall dynamic of drug trafficking organizations exporting cocaine, heroin and marijuana into the United States will not. With local police forces highly penetrated by narcotics traffickers, Pena Nieto will continue to rely on the military and other federal security bodies to stem ongoing violence, but setting up lasting law enforcement institutions will prove elusive.

Despite its lasting role in the drug trade, Mexico's future for the remainder of Pena Nieto's tenure looks bright. Reductions in U.S. consumer demand notwithstanding, the country is well-positioned to continue to benefit from high levels of foreign direct investment and trade with the United States. If successful, the energy reform will provide significant revenue flows for both the central government and private firms by the decade's end. Overall, Mexico is set to continue its trajectory toward securing its position as a Latin American economic power.

Read more: The Mexican President's State of the Union Suggests a Bright Future | Stratfor
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