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Posts Tagged cartels
From Real Clear Politics:
“Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States,” President Obama said during a speech at Mexico’s Anthropology Museum
The weapons the cartels are using: RPGs, M-60s, fully automatic AKs and ARs, are not coming from the United States Mr. President.
“Mexico’s Drug War: Balkanization Leads to Regional Challenges is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
Editor’s Note: This Security Weekly assesses the most significant cartel-related developments of the first quarter of 2013 and provides updated profiles of Mexico’s powerful criminal cartels, as well as a forecast for the rest of this year. It’s the executive summary of a more detailed report available to clients of our Mexico Security Monitor service.
By Tristan Reed
Balkanization of Cartels
Since the late 1980s demise of the Guadalajara cartel, which controlled drug trade routes into the United States through most of Mexico, Mexican cartels have followed a trend of fracturing into more geographically compact, regional crime networks. This trend, which we are referring to as “Balkanization,” has continued for more than two decades and has impacted all of the major cartel groups in Mexico. Indeed the Sinaloa Federation lost significant assets when the organizations run by Beltran Leyva and Ignacio Coronel split away from it. Los Zetas, currently the other most powerful cartel in Mexico, was formed when it split off from the Gulf cartel in 2010. Still these two organizations have fought hard to resist the trend of fracturing and have been able to grow despite being affected by it. This led to the polarized dynamic observed in 2011 when these two dominant Mexican cartels effectively split Mexican organized crime in two, with one group composed of Los Zetas and its allies and the other composed of the Sinaloa Federation and its allies.
This trend toward polarization has since been reversed, however, as Balkanization has led to rising regional challenges to both organizations since 2012. Most notable among these is the split between the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion and the Sinaloa Federation. The Sinaloa Federation continues to struggle with regional crime groups for control in western Chihuahua state, northern Sinaloa state, Jalisco state and northern Sonora state. Similarly, Los Zetas saw several regional challengers in 2012. Two regional groups saw sharp increases in their operational capabilities during 2012 and through the first quarter of 2013. These were the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion and the Knights Templar. Read the rest of this entry »
From The Daily Mail:
The 1,500-strong force has also set up improvised checkpoints on the major road running through Tierra Colorado, which connects the capital Mexico City to Acapulco, a coastal city popular with tourists less than 40 miles away.
Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, became El Salvador’s deadliest gang through force of numbers and the power of the handgun — while inking some pretty crazy tattoos. Now if they weren’t deadly enough, the gang is transitioning into adopting heavier weapons while teaming up with Mexico’s Zetas.
From Borderland Beat:
Unofficially, the dead were identified in the news report as Alfredo Flores, 34, owner of the business, Juana Maria Villegas, 32, José Alfredo Flores Villegas, 15 and Osiris Michelle Flores Villegas, 8. Two other unidentified male victims were killed, and a seventh victim was wounded and taken for medical attention.
“Mexico’s Drug War: Persisting Violence and a New President is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
Editor’s Note: This week’s Security Weekly summarizes our annual Mexico drug cartel report, in which we assess the most significant developments of 2012 and provide updated profiles of the country’s powerful criminal cartels as well as a forecast for 2013. 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.
In 2013, violence in Mexico likely will remain a significant threat nationwide to bystanders, law enforcement, military and local businesses. Overall levels of violence decreased during 2011, but cartel operations and competition continued to afflict several regions of Mexico throughout 2012. These dangers combined with continued fracturing among cartels, such as Los Zetas, could cause overall violence to increase this year.
A New President
2013 will be the first full year in office for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who campaigned on promises to stem cartel violence. The most significant of his initiatives is his plan to consolidate and restructure federal law enforcement in Mexico. Pena Nieto’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party has introduced legislation that would switch oversight of the federal police, among other entities, away from the Public Security Secretariat to the Interior Ministry. The president also announced plans to bring the state police from each of Mexico’s 31 states under a unified federal command. Pena Nieto has frequently stated his plans to create a national gendarmerie that would serve as a supplemental paramilitary force for tackling violent organized criminal groups. During a Dec. 17 conference, he announced that this new organization initially would have 10,000 personnel trained by the Mexican army. Read the rest of this entry »
HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC Group)—a United Kingdom corporation headquartered in London—and HSBC Bank USA N.A. (HSBC Bank USA) (together, HSBC)—a federally chartered banking corporation headquartered in McLean, Virginia—have agreed to forfeit $1.256 billion and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department for HSBC’s violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA).
Disclaimer: there is some misinformation in the graphic.
Report by STRATFOR:
By Scott Stewart
Institutional Revolutionary Party presidential candidate Enrique Pena Nieto, the front-runner in the lead-up to Mexico’s presidential election in July, told Reuters last week that if elected, he would seek to increase the size of the current Mexican federal police force. Pena Nieto also expressed a desire to create a new national gendarmerie, or paramilitary police force, to use in place of the Mexican army and Marine troops currently deployed to combat the heavily armed criminal cartels in Mexico’s most violent hot spots. According to Pena Nieto, the new gendarmerie force would comprise some 40,000 agents.
As Stratfor has previously noted, soldiers are not optimal for law enforcement functions. The use of the military in this manner has produced accusations of human rights abuses and has brought criticism and political pressure on the administration of President Felipe Calderon. However, while the Calderon administration greatly increased the use of the military in the drug war, it was not the first administration in Mexico to deploy the military in this manner. Even former President Vicente Fox, who declared war on the cartels in 2001, was not the first to use the military in this manner. For many decades now, the Mexican government has used the military in counternarcotics operations, and the Mexican military has been used periodically to combat criminals and bandits in Mexico’s wild and expansive north for well over a century.
In recent years, Mexico has had very little choice but to use the military against the cartels due to the violent nature of the cartels themselves and the rampant corruption in many municipal and state police forces. The creation of a new paramilitary police force would provide the Mexican government with a new option, allowing it to remove the military from law enforcement functions. But such a plan would be very expensive and would require the consent of both houses of the Mexican Congress, which could pose political obstacles. But perhaps the most difficult task will be creating a new police force not susceptible to the corruption that historically has plagued Mexican law enforcement agencies. Read the rest of this entry »
From: Borderland Beat
Suspected drug cartel enforcers killed four men and hung two of the victims’ bodies from a bridge in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, prosecutors said.
The state Attorney General’s Office said all four of the victims, none of whom were identified, bore signs of torture.
Two of the bodies were hung Friday afternoon from a bridge that spans a highway near the town of Vista Hermosa, not far from Michoacan’s border with Jalisco state.
Another victim whose throat had been slit was found dumped under the same bridge, while the fourth body was discovered floating in a river near the highway, prompting authorities to suspect a connection between the four homicides.
By Scott Stewart
Mexico will hold its presidential election July 1 against the backdrop of a protracted war against criminal cartels in the country. Former President Vicente Fox of the National Action Party (PAN) launched that struggle; his successor, Felipe Calderon, also of the PAN, greatly expanded it. While many Mexicans apparently support action against the cartels, the Calderon government has come under much criticism for its pursuit of the cartels, contributing to Calderon’s low popularity at the moment. The PAN is widely expected to lose in July to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which controlled the Mexican presidency for most of the 20th century until Fox’s victory in 2000. According to polls, the PAN has lost credibility among many Mexican voters, many of whom also once again view the PRI as a viable alternative.
In our effort to track Mexico’s criminal cartels and to help our readers understand the dynamics that shape the violence in Mexico, Stratfor talks to a variety of people, including Mexican and U.S. government officials, journalists, business owners, taxi drivers and street vendors. At present, many of these contacts are saying that the Calderon administration could attempt to pull off some sort of last-minute political coup (in U.S. political parlance, an “October surprise”) to boost the PAN’s popularity so it can retain the presidency. Read the rest of this entry »
As we noted in last year’s annual cartel report, Mexico in 2010 bore witness to some 15,273 deaths in connection with the drug trade. The death toll for 2010 surpassed that of any previous year, and in doing so became the deadliest year ever in the country’s fight against the cartels. But in the bloody chronology that is Mexico’s cartel war, 2010′s time at the top may have been short-lived. Despite the Mexican government’s efforts to curb cartel-related violence, the death toll for 2011 may have exceeded what had been an unprecedented number.
According to the Mexican government, cartel-related homicides claimed around 12,900 lives from January to September — about 1,400 deaths per month. While this figure is lower than that of 2010, it does not account for the final quarter of 2011. The Mexican government has not yet released official statistics for the entire year, but if the monthly average held until year’s end, the overall death toll for 2011 would reach 17,000. Though most estimates put the total below that, the actual number of homicides in Mexico is likely higher than what is officially reported. At the very least, although we do not have a final, official number — and despite media reports to the contrary — we can conclude that violence in Mexico did not decline substantially in 2011.