The Struggle with Drug Cartels - Mr. Tyler's Lessons The anti-cartel operations begun by President Calderأ³n

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  • The Struggle with Drug Cartels

  •  Geographic location always made Mexico a valuable center for transportation of narcotics.

     Cartels have become more powerful since the demise of the Colombian Cartels in the 1990’s

     Wholesale earnings from drugs range from 13- 48 billion dollars.

  • Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo

    (El Padrino)

     Smuggling to U.S. Border

     Opium

     Cocaine

     Marijuana

     Connections made him point man for Pablo Escobar.

     Privatized the Mexican Drug business.

     Arrested on April 8 1989

    ◦ Gulf Cartel: oldest organized crime group now operating (1970- present

  • The War on Drugs: Felipe Calderon  2006 ◦ December 1: Calderon assumes presidency &

    declares war on drug traffickers

    ◦ Operation Michoacana is launched against La Familia Michoacana cartel

     2007 ◦ Popular singer Sergio Gómez is kidnapped

    and killed

    ◦ Entire police force in Baja California stripped of weapons due to suspicion of collaboration with cartels.

    ◦ Drug related death reached 2,477

     2008 ◦ Death Toll: 6,290

     2009 ◦ Death Toll: 7,724

     2010 & 2012 ◦ Estimated Death Rate: 15,000 each year

  •  Highest Level Cartels ◦ Sinaloa

     Most powerful cartel in Mexico today

     Proximity to border  Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman

    ◦ Others:

     Pacific Cartel  Knights Templar  Zetas

     Role of Drug Lords ◦ Set prices ◦ Track shipments ◦ Manage employment ◦ Handle pay-offs

    Operation of the Drug Cartels

  •  Use of Violence to Protect Territory ◦ Over 34,000 deaths since 2007

    ◦ Kidnappings and hostage situations

    Operation of the Drug Cartels


    [ “There are no codes. There are no boundaries. There are no limits. There is a high degree of impunity. That’s the big worry of all of us that live in Mexico. There were limits in the past; now there are no limits.”

    -Security Consultant Carlos Seoane,

    on kidnappings by drug cartels.

  • Factors Driving Mexico’s Drug Policy

     Government corruption ◦ Ranked 2nd most corrupt police force in

    the world

    ◦ Many upper level officials have faced corruption charges

     U.S. pressure to curb the illegal drug trade

     Vast crime and violence from the drug cartels

     Voter dissatisfaction triggered by the violence

    Mexican Government’s War on Drugs

  • Government combating police corruption

     August 2010: Mexico fired 10% of federal police force.

     The anti-cartel operations begun by President Calderón in December 2006 included ballistic checks of police weapons

     Proposed creation of a national criminal database and a department to oversee coordination among police forces and anti-corruption efforts.

     An extra 1,800 federal agents sent into battle with drug cartels

    The Government’s War on Drugs

  • Mexico’s fight against drug cartels  2006: roughly 36,000 troops deployed to work with the federal police

     2008 constitutional reform merges the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) and the Federal Agency of Investigation (AFI),.

     2011 Calderon's administration ordered troops and federal police to a Gulf coast state where gunmen dumped 35 bound bodies on a busy avenue.

    "This is not 'the government's war against drugs,' but the fight of all Mexicans to build an authentic security, based on the rule of law and justice.” -National Security Spokesman Alejandro Poire

    The Government’s War on Drugs

  • • October 22, 2007- US and Mexico issued a statement announcing the start of the initiative

    • Eventually signed into law on June 30, 2008 by G.W. Bush

    • Overall agreement to expand bilateral and regional

    counternarcotic and security cooperation in Mexico and in Central America

    • Goal: Reduce $12-15 billion yearly ash flow of drugs

    between the US and Mexico

  • • It is a multiyear plan for US assistance in Mexico and Central America

    • Predicted to cost about $500 million in Mexico

    and $50 million in Central America • Mexico was the area in need of the most aid-

    Mexican military and law enforcement

  • • Mexico: to enhance and complement US and Mexican efforts against drug, human and weapons trafficking

    • Central America: to strengthen the capacity of

    the government to find and destroy unauthorized drugs, goods, arms and people

  • • Mexico: $500 million for planes, parts, training, expansion of the immigrations agency database and verification system, securing communications systems, law enforcement training, etc.

    • Central America: $16.6 million spread throughout the 7


    • Expenditures • support for the CA Fingerprinting Exploitation (CAFÉ), • technical assistance on firearms tracing and destruction, border

    security • anti-gang efforts

  • • Training is included in a $24 million proposal which also covers logistics and spare parts

    • 4,500 federal police have already completed training

     Taught by law enforcements professionals from other countries

    • Millions for canine training

  • o Skills learned  criminal investigative techniques, evidence collection, crime scene

    preservation and ethics  How to view contents of rail cars using Railroad, Vehicle, and Cargo

    Inspection Systems  How to detect weapons and drugs in cars, trains and many types of

    containers  How to hold, transport and classify prisoners

  • • A US Secretary Firm Instructor in Mexico was accused of teaching city police officers “enhanced interrogation” techniques

    • Line between “enhanced interrogation” and torture not always clear

  • Upgrading Capabilities of Mexican & Central American Governments

    •The US helps to train police, prosecutors and defenders

    •Support from the US is helping to develop correction systems

    •The Mexican government has used funds to establish a corrections academy to train federal correctional staff.

    •Similar efforts in Guatemala, El Salvador & Costa Rica

  • Equipment Exchange •Eight Bell helicopters to the Mexican Army/Air Force •Three UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to the Federal Police •Three UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to the Mexican Navy

  • Security Cooperation: Drones

    Orbiter Mini UAV

  • Secretary of State Clinton involved

  • Solutions towards Security Cooperation Embedded U.S. Security Forces: • Trust: Information can be compartmentalized • Training: Experts can give on the job training • Equipment: U.S. forces can have access

    to American technology • Laws: Small teams can take advantage of loopholes • Funding: Cost effective compared to pure funding


  • Criticisms of Merida • The Mérida Initiative is called "Plan Mexico" by critics, to point out its similarities to Plan Columbia •In "Plan Columbia", U.S. has heavily funded the Colombian military, yet cocaine production has steadily increased and registered a 27% rise in 2007, before declining in 2008 and 2009. • Comparison casts doubt on return for investment on Merida • Concern over potential compromise of personal privacy

  • Challenges to Cooperation: • Lack of Trust

    o Criminal Gangs have infiltrated the security Mexican security forces

    o Mexicans do not trust the U.S. government • Poor Training

    o Tactical, Criminal, Judicial • Bad Equipment • Restrictive Laws

    o Who is in charge? o Gun smuggling

    • Limited Funding


  • Security Cooperation: Fast and Furious • Operation by U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms,

    and Explosives (ATF) • Encouraged gun sellers to provide guns to suspicious

    buyers o Gunwalking ("letting guns walk")

    • Over half of the 2,000 guns were lost o Many recovered at crime scenes too late o U.S. border agent (Brian Terry) killed with guns from

    Fast & Furious • ATF attempted to hide the scandal

    o Used the increase in violence from rifles as evidence it needed stronger gun laws it had long wanted.

    • Shattered trust and charges of U.S. recklessness


  • Security Cooperation: Political Pressure • 2012 is an election year for Mexico and the U.S. • Mexican electorate threatening change

    o Fear of corruption and violence o Increasing role of the U.S.

    • Barack Obama on defensive over Fast & Furious o Drugs are still crossing the border o Violence could spill over o Lobbyists preventing changes to gun laws