Author Topic: Mexico  (Read 366990 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Entrevista seria
« Reply #550 on: February 28, 2019, 07:18:55 AM »


Crafty_Dog

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DougMacG

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Re: Hezbollah-Los Zetas? and more
« Reply #554 on: March 15, 2019, 08:45:55 AM »
https://www.utep.edu/liberalarts/nssi/_Files/docs/Capstone%20projects1/Valencia_Evolving-Dynamics-of-Terrorism.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1snBcM8t9ODBSAjCCDkelJ52EggrlSK84_a8DycLnOEaiBr7GedVRdlXA

https://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2017/282846.htm?fbclid=IwAR3PtbR8ZglrSgDw_0GFcqULgaF6Ai7BK9s1dBWMYaWIa8mes8MB_XYRvUQ

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/10/mexico-drug-cartels-grip-on-politicians-and-police-revealed-in-texas-court-files?fbclid=IwAR183RJZRrj1UeVuzR5uRB83MIa14BlrQluMWqxGpeyq_DSvGfWS0BJcCAI

https://abc7chicago.com/mexico-cartels-now-fuel-deadly-chicago-opioid-epidemic/4605627/?fbclid=IwAR0t9uyE7t622Ddw__TzAaUnnsdelSVZa-LEVJhjYaor9AefA9QmHf3ymvc

Revelations about Middle East terror organizations forming alliances with gangs south of our border surprises me.  I didn't know we had a southern border.

Crafty, this post contains a wealth of (bad news) information.  How did we get to where one political party wants to abandon national security as the globe and our own neighborhood keeps getting more dangerous.

From the UTEP pdf:
"Hezbollah conducts criminal operations across the globe. They have formed alliances with multiple countries in Latin America. One alliance in particular that has received attention as 3 of late is with the “Los Zetas” drug cartel or drug trafficking organization (DTO) in Mexico. Hezbollah has created a criminal syndicate of drug trafficking through some of Mexico’s most well connected global drug dealers. This new partnership has assisted in laundering between $850 and $900 million."


Crafty_Dog

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Cartel Del Noreste
« Reply #556 on: March 22, 2019, 01:48:11 PM »
    The Cartel del Noreste appears poised to launch a push to seize control of Monterrey, Mexico's third-largest metropolitan area and a major regional business hub.
    This could lead to a significant escalation of violence in areas where many companies and organizations have interests, and where many of their employees live.
    Competing extortion demands would also present businesses in the region with a dangerous conundrum.

Editor's Note: This security-focused assessment is one of many such analyses found at Stratfor Threat Lens, a unique protective intelligence product designed with corporate security leaders in mind. Threat Lens enables industry professionals and organizations to anticipate, identify, measure and mitigate emerging threats to people, assets, and intellectual property the world over. Threat Lens is the only unified solution that analyzes and forecasts security risk from a holistic perspective, bringing all the most relevant global insights into a single, interactive threat dashboard.

The Cartel del Noreste (CDN), the remnant of the Los Zetas cartel that controls the lucrative Nuevo Laredo smuggling plaza, has taken actions over the past week suggesting it is preparing a push to seize control of Monterrey, Mexico's third-largest metropolitan area and a major regional business hub. Such an offensive would likely meet resistance from the groups currently in the area and so would involve significant violence — something businesses with interests in the area should prepare for.
The Big Picture

By 2013, the long process of balkanization — or splintering — of Mexico's cartels made analyzing them much more difficult. Indeed, many of the ones we had been tracking, such as the Gulf cartel, had imploded and fragmented into several smaller, often competing factions. From the Gulf cartel emerged the notorious Los Zetas, which also subsequently split into several smaller remnants including the Cartel del Noreste (CDN). That splinter group now appears poised to make a play for control of the major Mexican business center of Monterrey. Were the CDN to proceed, foreign businesses there would feel the heat.
See Security Challenges in Latin America

Over the weekend of March 16-17, a narcomanta — or banner with a message from a drug cartel — was hung in the city of San Pedro Garza Garcia, part of the Monterrey metropolitan area. The banner threatened to kill members of the Gulf cartel and "the people of El Gato" who do not leave the city. El Gato refers to Jose Rodolfo Villarreal Hernandez, a leader of a remnant of the Beltran Leyva Cartel who has established a strong presence in San Pedro Garza Garcia. The banner also threatened "people who pay a fee to El Gato" — meaning that businesses pay him extortion fees, and said that they would use murder to target businesses that do not instead pay extortion fees to the CDN. The banner also claimed that the mayor of San Pedro Garza Garcia, Miguel Bernardo Trevino de Hoyos, was working with the CDN — something the group probably would not broadcast were it true.

In response, a narcomanta attributed to "El Felino," presumably a reference to El Gato, was hung threatening the people allegedly bringing deadly violence to the area. It also said his organization was well-established in the area, and was prepared to take on the intruders.

Competing extortion demands would also present businesses in the region with a dangerous conundrum.

The CDN has also reportedly been busily threatening journalists. The publication Proceso reported March 13 that CDN has threatened at least a dozen journalists in the Monterrey metropolitan area via calls to their personal cellphones. The callers revealed knowledge of personal information about the call recipients, such as where the journalists lived and their families' activities. The threatening callers also reportedly demanded payments to allow the journalists to continue to work. Threatening journalists is not a new activity for the CDN: In December 2018 it threatened the Expreso newspaper in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas state, by leaving a message in front of the paper accompanied by a human head in a cooler.

As we noted in our 2019 annual cartel forecast, the CDN has been locked in a protracted battle for control of Ciudad Victoria with the Zetas Vieja Escuela (Spanish for the "Old School Zetas"). This battle apparently has not drained the CDN's resources such that its leadership thinks it lacks the resources to mount an offensive for control of other areas.

It is quite possible that this apparent CDN activity could be a hoax or just empty bluster. But if the CDN's threats are sincere and it actually attempts to seize control of the wealthy enclave of San Pedro Garza Garcia and the rest of the Monterrey metropolitan area, it could produce a significant escalation of violence in areas where many companies and organizations have interests — and where many of their employees live. Competing extortion demands would also present businesses in the region with a dangerous conundrum.




Crafty_Dog

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US govt program facilitates remittances
« Reply #560 on: April 11, 2019, 05:17:19 PM »
   

Most of the $33 Billion in Remittances to Mexico Flow Via U.S. Govt. Banking Program

Though President Trump said he would block money transfers to Mexico to fund a much-needed border wall, Mexicans in the U.S. sent a record $33.48 billion in remittances last year and a big chunk of it flowed through a government program operated by the Federal Reserve.

This means that, amid an onslaught of illegal immigration, the U.S. government is largely responsible for the billions in remittances flowing south of the border from illegal aliens. Figures released by Mexico’s central bank show that 104 million transactions were executed in 2018, nearly six million more than the previous year.

Uncle Sam facilitates the process with a program called “Directo a Mexico” (Direct to Mexico), launched by the Federal Reserve, the government agency that serves as the nation’s central bank, more than a decade ago. President George W. Bush came up with the idea following the 2001 U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity to provide low-cost banking services to illegal immigrants and facilitate the procedure for those sending money home.

In its first year, 2005, remittances to Mexico topped $20 billion and the Federal Reserve reports “double-digit percentage growth for the past several years.” Remittances are transferred through the Federal Reserve’s own automated clearinghouse linked directly to Mexico’s central bank (Banco de Mexico). The Trump administration should eliminate it because it undermines our nation’s immigration laws and is a potential national security nightmare.

Back in 2006 Judicial Watch investigated the outrageous taxpayer-subsidized initiative and obtained government records that shed light on how it functions. Marketing materials target immigrant workers in the U.S.—regardless of their legal status—as well as banks, credit unions and other financial institutions.

The program is promoted as “the best way to send money home,” offering “more pesos for every dollar.” American financial institutions are charged $0.67 per item to transfer money from the United States to Mexican banks, ensuring a “highly competitive rate.” The Federal Reserve also provides participating U.S. financial institutions with Spanish language promotional materials to “help get your message out.” The marketing materials also include the number of Mexican migrants in the U.S. with no distinction between those here illegally or not. A separate list identifies thousands of Mexican banks receiving “Directo a México” transfers.

When the program was created Federal Reserve officials acknowledged that most of the Mexican nationals who send money back home are illegal immigrants so a Mexican-issued identification is the only requirement to use the government banking service. A colorful brochure promoting “Directo a Mexico” offered to help immigrants who don’t have bank accounts and assured the best foreign exchange rate and low transfer fees.

A frequently asked question section posed this: “If I return to Mexico or am deported, will I lose the money in my bank account?” The answer: “No. The money still belongs to you and can easily be accessed at an ATM in Mexico using your debit card.” In short, the U.S. created this special banking system specifically for illegal aliens and tens of billions of dollars have streamed through it.

As a presidential candidate Trump proposed a plan to get Mexico to fund a border wall by cutting off remittance payments from Mexican migrants in the U.S. In a memo to a mainstream newspaper Trump wrote that Mexican migrants send $24 billion in remittances annually and the estimated cost of a border wall would be between $5 billion and $10 billion.

According to his plan, the U.S. Patriot Act would be amended to block wire transfers from Mexican nationals using companies such as Western Union. Nowhere in the document is the Federal Reserve’s special program, which clearly caters to illegal immigrants. The president is well aware that the overwhelming majority of remittances to Mexico are sent by those living in the U.S. illegally.

In fact, his proposal was to create a rule that “no alien may wire money outside of the United States unless the alien first provides a document establishing his lawful presence in the United States.”  The Federal Reserve’s “Directo a Mexico” has no such requirement as the commander-in-chief completes his first term.
 






Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor: Caravans not behind crossing slowdowns
« Reply #564 on: April 22, 2019, 04:01:49 PM »


Why Migrant Caravans Are not Behind the Recent U.S.-Mexico Border Crossing Slowdowns
A Central American migrant caravan on Nov. 11, 2018, passes through the Mexican state of Guanajuato on its way to the United States.

Highlights

    Much has been made of so-called migrant caravans heading toward the U.S.-Mexico border, but they are a relatively small part of a broader problem increasing processing times for legal land border crossings into the United States.
    These slowdowns affect the operations of businesses reliant on cross-border trade.
    While current record levels of immigration will eventually drop off, seemingly intractable staffing challenges at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the national political fight over the border will continue.

Editor's Note: This security-focused assessment is one of many such analyses found at Stratfor Threat Lens, a unique protective intelligence product designed with corporate security leaders in mind. Threat Lens enables industry professionals and organizations to anticipate, identify, measure and mitigate emerging threats to people, assets and intellectual property the world over. Threat Lens is the only unified solution that analyzes and forecasts security risk from a holistic perspective, bringing all the most relevant global insights into a single, interactive threat dashboard.

About 3,000 migrants from Central America crossed into Mexico from Guatemala via the Rodolfo Robles International Bridge on April 12, joining about 4,000 others already in Mexico's southern state of Chiapas hoping to make it to the United States. Based on the patterns of previous caravans from Central America, the migrants will take an additional three to four weeks to make their way north to the U.S. border, arriving sometime in early May. This timeline could be delayed, however, by an apparent crackdown by the Mexican government: Reuters reported on April 17 that Mexico City has sought to slow the caravans by closing visa offices in southern Mexico and stopping the processing of visas, stranding migrants in camps.

The Big Picture

Staffing shortages, a highly charged atmosphere over immigration and border security, and record-high numbers of would-be illegal border crossers — many of whom are children — have overwhelmed U.S. officials, with so-called migrant caravans a relatively small contributor to the slowdown in border crossings. Consequent delays at official crossing points where U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents process thousands of commercial and personal vehicles every day have caused major problems for legitimate businesses. While current record levels of immigration will eventually drop off, the perennial challenge of securing the border and the national political fight over the issue will persist.

See Crossing Borders

But while some migrants will turn back and some will seek shelter in Mexico, the majority will eventually push on to the U.S. border and will even be joined by others — swelling the size of the caravan. Nongovernmental organizations will help by arranging bus rides, providing meals and leading the group on foot at times. As the caravan moves north, it is likely to break up as groups head toward major crossing points into the United States at Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez and Piedras Negras.

The caravans are contributing to a surge in illegal border crossings into the United States, which has experienced more illegal crossings from Mexico than it has in 12 years. To boost patrols in overwhelmed sectors, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reassigned hundreds of agents from high-traffic ports of entry, such as San Diego, and Laredo and El Paso in Texas. This in turn has slowed down the processing of legitimate border traffic.

The recent slowdown in processing times threatens the operations of businesses reliant on trade with Mexico. In El Paso, for example, wait times increased to two to three hours in early April 2019 compared with an average of about one hour in April 2015. At Otay Mesa, California, crossing was taking close to 4.5 hours in early April versus minimal wait times in November 2018. And California's San Ysidro crossing, just a few miles west of Otay Mesa, was shut down by protests and immigrants trying to force their way across. Laredo is also experiencing unusually high wait times of about four hours. No caravans, however, will arrive at the border in April. Moreover, the last time a caravan arrived on the border — when about 1,800 Central Americans reached Piedras Negras in early February — its arrival didn't cause a significant jump in legal border crossing times.
Migrant Caravans, a Small Part of the Overall Problem

While caravans have been drawing a great deal of attention in the national debate over immigration and border security, they are just one of a number of factors that have contributed to the crisis unfolding along the border with Mexico. Immigrants attempting to reach the United States by caravan make up a small percentage of total immigration from Mexico and Central America. The February Piedras Negras caravan, for example, accounted for little more than 2 percent of the 76,535 individuals that CBP agents apprehended that month trying to cross into the United States.

March 2019 in turn saw the highest levels of monthly reported apprehensions (103,492) at the border since April 2007, a 105 percent increase over March 2018. In March 2019, apprehensions were up 516 percent from March 2017, when migration along the border with Mexico was at record lows. From January to March 2019, CBP apprehended more Honduran and Guatemalan family units than in all of 2018 combined. So it is actually the overall increase in illegal immigration that is overwhelming the border, not the caravans themselves.

Seasonal Surges and CBP Staffing Woes

Immigration to the United States from Latin America is currently in the middle of its annual increase as seasonal workers attempt to make their way in. In a historical trend, border apprehensions — an indicator of overall illegal immigration patterns — tend to increase from February through May before dropping in June and July. So with or without caravans, the seasonal pressure on immigration authorities along the border should continue for the next one to two months.

Making it harder for the government to cope with the surge, and thus increasing legal crossing wait times, CBP has simultaneously been struggling with staffing shortages. In late March, CBP ordered the redeployment of 750 agents from El Paso and Laredo; Tucson, Arizona; and San Diego to address the surge along less-patrolled sections of the border. That number could go up to 2,000 agents during April, and CBP could request even more if it deems it necessary — further straining resources at busy ports of entry.

Less personnel means fewer open lanes, delays in processing vehicles and backlogs that compound the wait time — ultimately raising shipping costs for companies and individuals that rely on products from Mexico.

During 2018, similar but smaller redeployments saw shorter delays. CBP moved 100 agents from El Paso to the Arizona and California sectors in November, causing wait times to double to about an hour in El Paso. This reallocation of resources has closely corresponded to the increase in wait times during early April. The agents' absence is forcing ports of entry to limit their operations. For example, Laredo was operating only 10 of 12 commercial lanes on April 12, while Otay Mesa was using only eight of 10. Less personnel means fewer open lanes, delays in processing vehicles and backlogs that increase wait times — ultimately raising shipping costs for companies and individuals that rely on products from Mexico.

The apparent shortage of CBP agents is nothing new. According to a 2017 report from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, CBP hasn't hit its hiring goals since 2014. It is also trying to fill 7,000 to 8,000 positions for new agents and officers to secure the border and ensure commerce continues without unreasonable delays. But nothing so far indicates the CBP will overcome its personnel shortages any time soon.

Faced with an influx of immigrants and a shortage of personnel to deal with them, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has chosen border security over the swift processing of commercial and private traffic from Mexico. While the president didn't go so far as to shut down the border as he threatened in early April, the redeploying of limited human resources away from entry points has still hampered trade.

The importance of border security to Trump, as evidenced by his insistence on a border wall, means the subject will remain a politically intractable issue. And while current record levels of immigration will eventually drop off, relieving some pressure on border security forces, the perennial challenges of an understaffed CBP and the national political fight over the border will continue at least through the next round of U.S. elections in 2020.

Crafty_Dog

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Varias
« Reply #575 on: May 17, 2019, 05:53:54 PM »








Crafty_Dog

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Un analysis de la Tarifa Trump
« Reply #583 on: May 31, 2019, 07:47:35 PM »
Comparto lo siguiente sin estar de acuerdo con varias partes:

A Tariff Threat Against Mexico Could Be Trump's Riskiest Yet

On May 30, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods from Mexico starting June 10 unless the country takes "substantial" steps to stem the flow of migrants crossing the U.S. border. According to Trump's statement, that tariff would continue to rise by 5 percentage points on the first day of each following month until eventually capping off at 25 percent in October, where it would remain until Washington deems enough has been done to counter northbound migration flows from Central America.

The Big Picture
________________________________________
U.S. President Donald Trump has made immigration a clear priority as he gears up for his re-election in 2020. After shutting down the government in December in a bid to fund his U.S.-Mexico border wall, Trump is now threatening an unprecedented tariff hike on Mexican imports in the hopes of getting Mexico City to stem the increasing number of Central American migrants showing up at Washington's southern doorstep. However, combined with the president's ongoing disputes with other key U.S. trade partners, a full-blown trade war with Mexico could be the final straw that pushes the United States into a recession.
________________________________________
The U.S. and the Balance of PowerThe Importance of MexicoNorth America Unrivaled

What's the likelihood Trump will follow through? 

Other than fewer migrants flowing through, it remains unclear what other criteria the United States would be use to judge Mexico. Following Trump's announcement, a White House official only noted that the criteria would be "ad hoc." Given this ambiguity, it's possible that Trump could back down from the full threat — using it instead as leverage to reach a modest agreement with Mexico that he could then declare as a victory. On the other hand, the president has also shown that he is willing to tolerate significant collateral damage in order to implement his immigration policy, as evidenced by the 35-day government shutdown earlier this year. Trump made a similar threat in April, in which he gave Mexico one year to halt migration flows before imposing tariffs on its exports.

But now, he's significantly turned up the heat with a new June 10 deadline — a nearly impossible timeline for Mexico to fully implement any kind of plan. There are rumors Trump made the threat in haste after hearing a report about an increase in migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Thus, it is possible that Trump is willing to make a quick withdrawal from the threat if Mexico can make modest concessions.

What's behind Trump's threat?

Securing the U.S.-Mexico border was a key pillar of Trump's 2016 campaign platform that ultimately ushered him to victory. But over the past two years, migrant crossings into the United States — largely from Central America — have risen to decade-high levels. In April alone, Customs and Border Protection officers arrested nearly 100,000 migrants crossing illegally, most of whom had families requesting asylum.

In addition to threatening Trump's campaign promise of a security crackdown on the southern border, this sudden influx of migrants has also strained the U.S. border security forces' ability to process and hold people awaiting removal or a hearing on asylum. And while the Mexican army and police forces are involved in operations to detain or deter migrant flows, the number of crossing points and corrupt security officers have hindered Mexico's ability to meaningfully stem the movement of people.

Does Trump have the power to impose such tariffs?

The short answer is possibly, though it'd be an unprecedented move and could be challenged by the courts. The International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) gives the U.S. President significant power to regulate aspects of global commerce in the event of a national emergency that is either wholly or partially international. And the White House has already declared a national emergency on its border with Mexico in an effort to redistribute the $6.7 billion in government funds towards Trump's wall and border security.

However, the IEEPA does not explicitly authorize the president to implement tariffs as a way to deal with a national emergency. Instead, it affords the power to "regulate" certain commercial activities with the country in question through foreign exchange transactions or the transfer of payments between banking institutions. The IEEPA has also never been used to implement tariffs against another country. In fact, the law was initially passed in 1977 as a way to limit some of the powers Congress previously delegated to the president in times of emergency.

Combined with Trump's ongoing disputes with other key U.S. trade partners, a full-blown trade war with Mexico could be the final straw that pushes the United States into a recession.

It can certainly be argued that using the IEEPA to implement tariffs is an expansive interpretation of the law. However, the U.S. judicial system does tend to defer to the president on issues of national security. Congress also still has the power to reverse national emergencies and block tariffs, though doing so would require a joint resolution signed into law, something that would demand significant bipartisan backing. And despite Trump's previous trade wars irking many members of his party, Republicans have yet to overturn a single tariff Trump has implemented. The extent to which the federal law can be used to implement tariffs has not been determined by U.S. federal courts, and would thus set an important precedent for U.S. foreign policy.

How will this affect USMCA approval?

Trump's tariff threats certainly risk sticking a pin in the process to approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on both sides. Mexico had submitted the agreement to its legislature for ratification on May 30. But Trump's threat — announced just hours later — now risks making the USMCA a sideshow. Even if President Trump fully removed the North American Free Trade Agreement to allow Mexico and the United States to instead deal on World Trade Organization terms, the average tariff that Mexican exporters would face would be less than five percent — which is where Trump's threatened move starts. And the full 25 percent tariff would be more than seven times higher.

Such a sizable tax hike would likely force Mexico City to consider delaying a full passing of USMCA until after this particular issue is resolved, just as it did earlier this year when it stalled the process until the United States removed steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexican products. Meanwhile, in Washington, the Senate had been blocking the agreement over the steel and aluminum tariffs as well, and will likely try to do the same should Trump follow through on imposing these new tariffs. That said, it's also possible Trump could use the threat of a trade war with Mexico as leverage against Congress to get USMCA approved.

How might Mexico respond to the threat?

Countries typically retaliate when a trade partner tacks on higher tariffs, hence the name "trade war." But for Mexico, a full retaliation will be difficult due to its sputtering economy, which has not seen positive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for three of the last four quarters. Trump's announcement, unsurprisingly, has already jarred global markets, with the Mexican peso falling 3 percent. The tariffs risk pushing Mexico into an even deeper recession. And if Mexico responds by upping its own tariffs on U.S. goods, that would only make matters worse — limiting the extent to which Mexico is willing (or able) to match the United States tit-for-tat in a potential trade war.

Instead, Mexico could try a more targeted approach to minimize the blowback on its economy, such as imposing taxes on only agricultural goods. Still, the safest option may indeed be to appease Trump in some capacity and allow him to declare a victory of some sort in exchange for no tariffs at all. And indeed, Mexico appears to already be taking such a route, with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sending an emergency delegation to Washington on May 31.

What would be the economic toll for both countries?

The extent to which President Trump's threats hit the U.S. economy would depend on the level of Mexican retaliation, and whether or not the tariffs end up reaching the 25 percent cap in October. Compared with the other global tariff disputes Trump has waged so far, a trade war between the United States and Mexico would undoubtedly be the most damaging one yet. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. imports from Mexico are through intracompany trade, meaning goods can cross the border several times before becoming a finished product. This highlights the high degree of economic interconnectivity between the two countries.

In the worst-case scenario, both Mexico and the United States could both slap each other with 25 percent tariffs. Should such tariffs last for months, U.S. economic growth in the short-term could be hit by more than 1 percent of GDP and Mexico's could go well beyond 10 percent. But this extreme case is highly unlikely because it would almost certainly be met with backlash in Washington. Even a modest scenario of just 5 percent tariffs with comparable retaliation from Mexico could result in a roughly .25 percent drop in U.S. GDP, and an up to 5 percent drop in Mexico's GDP.

What are the implications for Trump's other trade wars?

Trump is threatening to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on a total of roughly $1 trillion in U.S. imports from Mexico. When adding up the potential impacts of Trump's threatened tariffs on almost all imports from Mexico and China as well as Japanese and European cars, he risks sending the United States into a recession — thus damaging his re-election hopes in 2020.

Waging a trade war against Mexico could serve as a lesson to China, Europe and Japan that even a quick deal capitulating to some of Trump's demands does not necessarily neutralize the threat of tariffs from the United States. It could very well prompt Beijing, for example, to harden its position amid its own trade negotiations with Washington — no longer able to trust Trump's promises that tariffs would be reduced long-term should China meet Washington demands.

What's the main takeaway?

While there's a chance Trump could actually implement the tariffs in full as a punishment for Mexico's failure to stem the northward flow of migrants, he may also be keeping them in reserve to spur the Mexican government to devote more forces to resolve the problem at hand.

A lot still depends on if — and to what extent — the president follows through on his threat. Trump's tariffs not only risk freezing the USMCA approval process, but plunging the United States and Mexico into recession. Though, in sending the Mexican economy into an even deeper tailspin, Trump risks making matters even worse on the U.S.-Mexico border by prompting even more desperate Mexican citizens to head north in search of work.


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Re: Mexico
« Reply #590 on: June 24, 2019, 05:28:26 PM »
ISIS Jihadi on entering America through border:
https://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2019/06/isis-fighter-affirms-what-jw-exposed-years-ago-terrorists-enter-u-s-via-mexico/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=corruption_chronicles&fbclid=IwAR35MW3XfJr12rqLQu1Uig1qPa5wKrXcYOmCv9ZvPGihuiCEjQGgIpD3Qu0
ISIS Fighter Affirms What JW Exposed Years Ago—Terrorists Enter U.S. Via Mexico - Judicial Watch
Five years after a Judicial Watch investigation uncovered evidence of Islamic terrorists infiltrating the United States through Mexico, a captured ISIS fighter is providing details of a plot in which jihadists enter the country through the southern border to carry out an attack. The terrorists...


Looking to fundamentally transform America with undocumented voters:

Pelosi On Immigrants: ‘Violation Of Status Is Not A Reason For Deportation’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that a violation of immigration status should not be a reason to deport someone illegally living in the U.S.
https://dailycaller.com/2019/06/24/nancy-pelosi-violation-status-not-reason-deportation-illegal-immigrants/?utm_medium=email

Thank you President Trump:
Report: Trump’s Asylum Program With Mexico Is Adding Two Additional Cities
The Remain in Mexico program will add two Mexican border towns, the latest sign that Mexico is doing more to mitigate illegal immigration into the U.S.
https://dailycaller.com/2019/06/24/two-cities-added-remain-in-mexico/?utm_medium=email&fbclid=IwAR2D4zMIAbzbrxNKNijuB3V4ncjOcPOzWwLlmPpe0iMegn0rW48-4yXUSrE


Mexican law enforcement reality:
mexiconewsdaily.com
Four coordinated attacks against Jalisco police leave five dead
Five people were killed on Friday in four coordinated attacks against Jalisco state police in Tlajomulco and Zapopan. Two of the dead were police officers.
https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/attacks-against-jalisco-police-leave-five-dead/?fbclid=IwAR0NTGblbaKMohFje8mIBMKbtnIN5EZYwIfS1-MxlVZLX1GAdw0LgIdekI4




Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor: Narco Wars
« Reply #594 on: July 14, 2019, 05:04:07 PM »


Highlights

    Mexican news outlet Milenio counted 2,249 murders nationwide in June, the highest monthly total since it began keeping its own tally in 2007 and the first time its numbers have ever surpassed 2,000 for a given month.
    According to Milenio, the four Mexican states with the highest murder counts in the month were Jalisco with 206, Mexico with 202, Baja California with 181 and Guanajuato with 176, an unsurprising development for those who have been tracking the country's cartel dynamic.
    The Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion is playing either a direct or indirect role in nearly every part of the country experiencing elevated violence.

Editor's Note: The full version of this security-focused assessment is one of many such analyses found at Stratfor Threat Lens, a unique protective intelligence product designed with corporate security leaders in mind. Threat Lens enables industry professionals and organizations to anticipate, identify, measure and mitigate emerging threats to people, assets, and intellectual property the world over. Threat Lens is the only unified solution that analyzes and forecasts security risk from a holistic perspective, bringing all the most relevant global insights into a single, interactive threat dashboard.

To those who closely follow violence in Mexico, the reports can sometimes seem overwhelming: Two shot dead in Cancun; 15 murdered in the last 24 hours in Tijuana; 12 dismembered bodies found in trash bags in Jalisco, etc. The headlines come in day after day in a steady rhythm of violence, and the photos are worse than the headlines. Images of dismembered bodies or of "narcomantas," messages from cartels on banners, left next to severed human heads appear at least weekly.

Mexican news outlet Milenio on July 1 published its unofficial count of murders in Mexico for the first half of 2019. Milenio counted 2,249 murders in June alone, the highest monthly number the news outlet has recorded since it began keeping its own tally in 2007. In fact, this is the first time that Milenio's numbers have ever surpassed 2,000 for any given month.

According to Milenio, the four states with the highest murder counts in June were Jalisco with 206, Mexico with 202, Baja California with 181 and Guanajuato with 176. While these numbers are not official, they still serve as a good barometer by which to measure the state of the country's violence. As expected, the country appears well on its way to another record-setting year for murders.

The Big Picture

Viewed individually, daily acts of violence in Mexico can appear senseless — but the violence is not senseless when seen through the lens of the overarching dynamics driving it. While some violence in Mexico results from personal disputes or local grievances, the majority results either from competition between cartels or among a cartel's members. Since 2006, Stratfor has worked to analyze, understand and chronicle the cartel dynamics that have driven the preponderance of the violence in Mexico. We present our findings in our annual cartel report, which helps clients understand what is driving the violence in Mexico.

Based on the trends we outlined in our 2019 annual cartel forecast, the high levels of violence in Jalisco, Mexico State, Baja California and Guanajuato state come as no surprise.

One commonality we are observing across Mexico is that the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) is playing a role in nearly every part of the country experiencing elevated violence, either directly or indirectly.

Jalisco

While the CJNG is busy expanding into other parts of the country, it is also embroiled in a bloody battle in its home turf of Guadalajara. The CJNG is facing a challenge from a splinter of the cartel that calls itself "Nueva Plaza" composed mostly of former CJNG members and led by Carlos "El Cholo" Enrique Sanchez Martinez and Erick Valencia Salazar, aka "El 85."
 
Sanchez Martinez is a former high-ranking member of the CJNG who reportedly broke with the group after the CJNG's leader, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes (aka "El Mencho"), ordered the execution of a Colombian financial operator. Valencia Salazar, one of the founders of the CJNG, believes Oseguera Cervantes informed on him to the police in 2012 so that he would be arrested and Oseguera Cervantes could assume sole control of the organization. Following his release from prison in December 2017, Valencia Salazar has sought revenge on Oseguera Cervantes. Though he is a cousin of Rosalinda Gonzalez Valencia, the wife of Oseguera Cervantes, in this case, his grudge is stronger than his familial loyalties.
 
While interpersonal conflicts may have sparked the CJNG-Nueva Plaza conflict, it appears the Sinaloa cartel's Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada has fueled the fighting by helping fund Nueva Plaza in an effort to weaken his CJNG rivals.

Mexico State

Most of the violence in Mexico state is as a result of a turf war between smaller-scale groups competing for control of retail drug sales in Mexico City, and of other criminal activity such as prostitution and extortion. Several such "narcomenudistas"  are active in Mexico City, but the most powerful are the Union Tepito; the Cartel de Tlahuac; and the Anti-Union Tepito, or La U, a Union Tepito splinter. At the end of May, the leaders of both the Union Tepito and La U were arrested in police operations.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced June 27 that he will deploy national guard forces to Mexico City to help stem the growing crime problem there.

In recent weeks, Mexican authorities have claimed to have arrested several CJNG members in Mexico City and said they believe the organization is attempting to expand its presence in the region. The CJNG had been supporting Union Tepito but may now be attempting to assert itself directly in the Mexico City area in the wake of the leadership losses by Union Tepito and La U. This increase in direct CJNG activity is likely to result in more violence. On June 27, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that he will deploy national guard forces to Mexico City to help stem the growing crime problem.

Baja California

The vast majority of the violence in Baja California state is a result of the continuing struggle for control of the Tijuana smuggling plaza. The dominant cartel group in Tijuana is the Sinaloa cartel branch run by the Arzate Garcia brothers, Rene (aka "La Rana") and Alfonso (aka "El Aquiles"). The brothers are Tijuana traffickers who helped Sinaloa wrest control of the city from the Arellano Felix organization (aka the Tijuana cartel), and they are now fighting to retain their position, which includes control over street-level retail drug sales as well as cross-border smuggling routes.

Their main opposition is a remnant of the Tijuana cartel that sometimes refers to itself as the Cartel de Tijuana Nueva Generacion, an acknowledgment of its affiliation with the CJNG. The CJNG is involved in this dispute because it does not have a border crossing of its own, and so has to pay a "piso," or tribute, for contraband it smuggles through border crossings controlled by other groups. Such payments can reach tens of millions of dollars a year for a large drug trafficking organization, thus providing the group a large financial incentive to attempt to control drug-smuggling routes known as plazas — even if this means protracted fighting. Coincidentally, this is the same reason that the Sinaloa cartel began its efforts to wrest control of border plazas controlled by other groups in 2003 such as Nuevo Laredo, where it failed, and then later Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, where it succeeded.

With both of the local factions in Tijuana backed by powerful outside cartels with massive resources, the battle for control of the city may grind on until some unforeseen development impacts the dynamic.

Guanajuato

The Mexican government has launched an aggressive nationwide operation to stem fuel theft in the country, an operation that began with the deployment of federal security forces to the Salamanca refinery in Guanajuato. While these efforts have reduced the problem, they have done little to quell the violence in Guanajuato state.
 
Several cartels are active in Guanajuato, including remnants of Los Zetas, but the main catalyst of the violence there is the struggle between the CJNG and a regional organized crime group known as the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel led by Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz (aka "El Marro".) Yepez Ortiz and his organization are fighting hard to keep the CJNG at bay, but the CJNG keeps sending forces into the state. The result has been sustained bloodshed.

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GPF: La Nueva Guardia Nacional
« Reply #595 on: July 25, 2019, 03:33:07 PM »

Mexico’s New National Guard: What It Is, and What It Isn’t

Will the agency make any difference in crime rates?
By
Allison Fedirka -
July 23, 2019   

Every Mexican president over the past 20 years has tried to tackle the escalating violence and insecurity in the country. Some made more progress than others, but the problem has persisted. Now, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has developed his own strategy, at the heart of which is the new National Guard. It has been met with mixed reactions. Some have embraced the idea, while others believe it’s more of the same, offering little hope to substantially improve the security situation in the country.

What is certain, however, is that the Mexican government needs to do something to address the rising violence. 2018 set a new record high for homicide rates, and 2019 is already on track to break that record, with 14,600 homicides registered in the first half of this year alone, according to the National System of Public Security. Multiple polls reveal the level of fear that many Mexicans feel at the deteriorating conditions. A survey conducted by the Center for Social Studies and Public Opinion last October found that 62.9 percent of people felt unsafe where they lived. Similarly, a poll taken this month by the National Survey of Urban Public Security found that 73.9 percent of respondents felt unsafe. The violence has had an impact on businesses too, as companies are forced to boost security, relocate their facilities or shut down factories altogether because of the worsening security in the country. There’s also evidence that drug sales, extortion, kidnapping and violence are rising in parts of Mexico City that were previously considered safe.

Perceptions of Insecurity in Mexico

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But previous governments’ attempts to reduce the level of violence – through, for example, targeting cartel leaders and relying on the military – haven’t produced the desired results. So it’s understandable that the current administration has decided to take a different approach, starting with the creation of the National Guard, a security force Mexican authorities say will be a civilian agency. Prior to the guard’s inauguration on June 30, Mexico relied heavily on federal police, the army and navy to combat organized crime, primarily because local police were overwhelmed and have proved unreliable in dealing with organized crime. It was an ineffective system given that the army and navy are not structured or trained to handle domestic security problems. There were also concerns about excessive use of force, abuse of power and other human rights violations allegedly committed by the military during security operations. The Mexican public has, as a result, supported the creation of a civilian force that’s supposed to help lower crime rates. According to a poll conducted by research firm Parametria shortly after Lopez Obrador announced the project, 87 percent of Mexicans said they backed the National Guard.

The new security body is tasked with 20 functions, chief among them crime prevention and investigation. Surveillance, verification and inspection activities are also top priorities. Other functions include cybersecurity, intelligence and information gathering. The remaining functions cover organizational support and administrative roles. Salaries for National Guard members will be competitive (19,000 pesos, or $1,000 per month, according to Lopez Obrador) to discourage bribes and corruption. The National Guard will be composed of some 82,000 members (some of whom have already been deployed) covering 150 locations that have been identified as high risk. By 2021, it will grow to 111,000 members covering 266 locations nationwide.

Murders and National Guard Deployments by State

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There are questions, however, about its structure and independence as a civilian institution. The guard falls under the authority of the Secretariat of Civilian Security and Protection. But the second-level chain of command will also include army and navy personnel and defense ministry officials. Furthermore, 62 percent of the officers currently serving in the guard come from the army, 16 percent from the navy and only 22 percent from the federal police. The federal police will be eliminated within the next 18 months as it’s absorbed into the guard, while the army will continue to be one of the main sources of recruitment through 2021. Efforts to recruit civilians have produced poor results thus far. It seems the introduction of the National Guard may not be such a radical change after all.

The agency has thus faced public backlash. Many human rights groups and other community organizations see the changes it has ushered in as more cosmetic than structural. They contend that, because the military will play an important role in the guard, problems with abuse of power and excessive use of force will continue. The federal police have also voiced their concerns over having their own members recruited into the agency – thousands of officers even went on strike over the issue. The police are also worried about the lack of transparency over pay, uncertainty about seniority recognition and the treatment they received from military leadership. So far, the government has managed to alleviate some of the federal police’s concerns, but civilian groups insist more changes are needed.

However, the National Guard was structured this way for a reason. While efforts have been made to train more local police forces, they will not be ready for at least another three years, assuming everything goes according to plan. By recruiting from the military and federal police, the National Guard was able to launch earlier than it likely could have had it relied solely on civilian or local police forces. And despite the concerns of some civil society organizations, the army and navy are consistently ranked among the most-trusted institutions in Mexico. Recruiting from the military, therefore, could help increase the guard’s credibility among the public. In addition, the National Guard has received widespread political support. To create the agency, the government needed to pass certain constitutional changes, which required majority support in both houses of Congress and in at least 17 of 32 state legislatures. That the government was able to garner support from all 32 legislatures shows that a wide range of regions and politicians in Mexico back the National Guard.

(click to enlarge)

Public trust in and political backing for the National Guard, however, do not automatically mean the new organization will succeed. In the long term, drawing forces from the military isn’t sustainable, and the guard will have to start recruiting from the civilian population, especially if it is to win over the public’s confidence and prove its own utility. More important, the guard needs to produce results in terms of fighting crime and reducing violence (particularly with regard to the homicide rate). In a poll conducted this month, some 60.3 percent of Mexicans said they think the security situation is the same or worse than it was 12 months ago. And given that many of the people who are now part of the National Guard were also part of the federal police or military just a year ago, it’s questionable whether there will be any improvements in crime rates.

The National Guard will play a key role in efforts to improve security in Mexico, but it can’t be expected to single-handedly end violence in the country. It’s just one component of a much broader criminal justice system – one that many still see as extremely corrupt and unreliable. Meanwhile, the root causes of crime in Mexico, including socio-economic factors like unemployment and a lack of education, still need to be addressed. Lopez Obrador’s national security strategy deals with many of these issues, but it is in the early stages of development. The National Guard is just one piece of the puzzle, and the final judgement on whether or not it’s a success will have to wait until the other pieces are put into place.

   
Allison Fedirka is a senior analyst for Geopolitical Futures. In addition to writing analyses, she helps train new analysts, oversees the intellectual quality of analyst work and helps guide the forecasting process. Prior to joining Geopolitical Futures, Ms. Fedirka worked for Stratfor as a Latin America specialist and subsequently as the Latin America regional director. She lived in South America – primarily Argentina and Brazil – for more than seven years and, in addition to English, fluently speaks Spanish and Portuguese. Ms. Fedirka has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and international studies from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree in international relations and affairs from the University of Belgrano, Argentina. Her thesis was on Brazil and Angola and south-south cooperation.