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Mexico’s instability, drug wars, et. al.

a_majoor

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Mexico is becoming more unstable. There are a lot of negative implications, and don't think for a moment the spillover can't reach Canada (there is actually a large population of Mexican and Central American immigrants here in London, for example, so making connections and setting up shop here isn't going to be difficult).

https://strategypage.com/qnd/mexico/articles/20170731.aspx

Mexico: Murder Rate Hits New Highs

July 31, 2017: The turf wars in three border cities have intensified dramatically in the last seven months. Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, and Matamoros are cities in Tamaulipas state and located on the border with Texas. Tamaulipas state was a Gulf Cartel strong hold, now it is a contested region. Police attribute the turf wars in the cities to the fragmentation of cartels and the factions are now fighting over drug trafficking corridors (or territories, known as plazas) that were once controlled by larger cartels. Basically, Gulf Cartel factions and Los Zetas Cartel factions are responsible for the mayhem. Reynosa in particular has seen a rise in violence since January 2017. Reynosa may be the best example of multi-factional conflict. A Los Zetas faction operates in the city. Authorities believe an armed group linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, called Los Antrax, operates in the city. In late May a contingent of Mexican marines was sent to Reynosa with orders to stop the factional combat. Despite the marines' expertise, violence continues. Two Zetas factions are fighting over Nuevo Laredo, the Cartel del Noreste and the Old School Zetas (Vieja Escuela Z). Gulf Cartel factions are fighting over Matamoros (which is on the Gulf of Mexico, across the border from Brownsville, Texas). The Jalisco New Generation Cartel may also have a presence in Tamaulipas state.

July 28, 2017: Ford Motor Company workers in Woodhaven, Michigan, found around 300 pounds of marijuana hidden on railroad cars used to ship Ford vehicles manufactured in Mexico to Detroit. The drug discovery was reported. This is the second discovery this month of marijuana hidden on a shipment of Fords and Lincolns originating in Mexico.

July 27, 2017: The Sinaloa Cartel apparently has a European branch that is working with a Romanian organized crime group. The cartel's Romanian connection is smuggling narcotics (primarily cocaine) into Great Britain, usually using trucks. The smuggling routes vary, but one goes through Spain.

Police in Nuevo Laredo discovered the bodies of four men and five women in front of a home in the city. Cartel gunmen are believed to be responsible for the murders.

July 25, 2017: The number of civic defense groups (local defense group or militias) continues to increase throughout the country. It is generally believed that at least 183 local self-defense groups have now been organized. Most of these groups are in Michoacan and Guerrero states although several new groups have recently appeared in Mexico state.

July 24, 2017: Marines killed five fuel thieves during a raid a gang safe house in Puebla state. The thieves belonged to a gang named Los Bukanas, which has become a major criminal organization in the state.

July 23, 2017: In Mexico City five people were murdered in drug gang-related violence. In one incident, two drug gang gunmen on a motorcycle killed four people exiting a bar.

July 22, 2017: The new homicide numbers are out and they are not good numbers. In June 2,234 murders were committed. That makes June 2017 the deadliest month since 1997, supplanting May 2017. The revised figure for May 2017 is 2,186 murders. For 30 days May 2017 was the deadliest since 1997. In the first six months of 2017 Mexico officially had 12,155 murders. That is a 31 percent increase over the same period in 2016. The murder rate for 2015 was 16 per 100,000. The high point during the Calderon Administration (2006-12) was 20 per 100,000. The murder rate has since kept pace with population growth. Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa have murder rates of about 20 per year per 100,000. North Africa is 5.9 and North America is 3.9. Europe is 3.5 and Asia is 3.1.

July 20, 2016: Marines killed eight drug gang members in a shootout in Mexico City. The firefight occurred in the Tlahuac area.

July 17, 2017: The government extradited Javier Duarte (former governor of Veracruz state) from Guatemala. Durate will face a range of criminal charges including money laundering, illegally obtained money to purchase real estate, and consorting with criminal organizations to commit violent crimes. One investigator believes Duarte and his cohorts may have stolen as much as three billion dollars from the public. Durate was arrested in Guatemala in April.

July 14, 2017: The Mexican national oil company, PEMEX, believes its alliances with commercial oil companies are beginning to pay off. A consortium of private companies recently announced that it has discovered a large offshore field in the Gulf of Mexico. That field may hold over one billion barrels of oil. Another company announced a discovery similar in size in another area of the Gulf of Mexico. PEMEX argued that it needed access to private capital and technical capabilities to develop new fields. Until now it was considered unpatriotic to allow PEMEX to enter into partnerships with foreign firms.

July 11, 2017: Masked men armed with knives and machetes attacked a children's party in Tizayuca (Hidalgo state) and murdered 11 people. Authorities said the murderers belonged to an organized criminal group. The owner of the home where the party was held was involved with a rival gang.

July 9, 2017: An Army patrol operating in the city of Nuevo Laredo (Tamaulipas state) discovered 94 assault rifles and 30,000 rounds of ammunition in a house in addition to three .50 caliber sniper rifles and several grenade launchers. Members of the patrol had noticed a group of armed men fleeing the house.

July 6, 2017: A prison riot in the Las Cruces prison (outside the city of Acapulco, Guerrero state) left 28 inmates dead and three wounded. Apparently five of the dead were beheaded by inmates who belonged to a death cult called Santa Muerte. A drug gang faction called the Independent Cartel of Acapulco, (Cartel Independiente de Acapulco) was involved in the riot.

In the town of Madera (Chihuahua state) 15 people died in a firefight between the Sinaloa Cartel and La Linea, the armed wing of the Juarez Cartel. Police said the firefight began around 5 a.m. and lasted for two hours. Security forces later arrested at three gunmen involved in the firefight. They also seized 10 vehicles, several weapons and grenades.

July 5, 2017: Guatemala has agreed to extradite the former governor of Veracruz state, Javier Duarte, to Mexico.

July 4, 2017: At least nine people have been murdered in Mexico City and Puebla state in violence related to fuel theft. In Puebla state a gang of gunmen attempted to extort money from a group of fuel thieves. A gunfight erupted that left three dead.

July 2, 2017: The government now says that from December 2006 to May 2017, 188,567 murders have been committed in the country.

July 1, 2017: Sinaloa state continues to bleed as seventeen drug gang members in Aguaje (Michoacan state) died in a shootout with security forces. Interestingly enough, the gang members in the firefight belonged to rival gangs who had been fighting prior to the arrival of security forces. Two gangsters had died in the gang firefight.

June 29, 2017: Investigators reported that three senior Mexican political opposition leaders and at least 12 political activists have been targeted by spyware. One of the officials is the head of the National Action Party (PAN), Ricardo Anaya. Opposition politicians have accused the government of being behind the spyware operations. President Pena has asked police to investigate allegation that the government has spied on private Mexican citizens.

A U.S. federal court has sentenced a former Los Zetas hit man, Marciano Millan Vasquez, to seven consecutive life sentences for murder. Vasquez was also involved in numerous other crimes, to include drug and weapons trafficking. He was a “plaza boss" in the border town of Piedras Negras (Coahuila state).
 

a_majoor

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An interesting evolution, to combat the endemic corruption of the State and the predations of the cartels, some places are essentially setting up city-states, with greater or lesser success. We may start to see something like this in other places where governments and institutions are weak:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/07/world/americas/mexico-state-corruption.html?_r=0

Losing Faith in the State, Some Mexican Towns Quietly Break Away
The Interpreter
By MAX FISHER, AMANDA TAUB and DALIA MARTÍNEZ JAN. 7, 2018

TANCÍTARO, Mexico — The road to this agricultural town winds through the slums and cartel-controlled territory of Michoacán, ground zero for Mexico’s drug war, before arriving at a sight so strange it can seem like a mirage.

Fifteen-foot stone turrets are staffed by men whose green uniforms belong to no official force. Beyond them, a statue of an avocado bears the inscription “avocado capital of the world.” And beyond the statue is Tancítaro, an island of safety and stability amid the most violent period in Mexico’s history.

Local orchard owners, who export over $1 million in avocados per day, mostly to the United States, underwrite what has effectively become an independent city-state. Self-policing and self-governing, it is a sanctuary from drug cartels as well as from the Mexican state.

But beneath the calm is a town under tightfisted control, enforced by militias accountable only to their paymasters. Drug addiction and suicide are soaring, locals say, as the social contract strains.

Tancítaro represents a quiet but telling trend in Mexico, where a handful of towns and cities are effectively seceding, partly or in whole. These are acts of desperation, revealing the degree to which Mexico’s police and politicians are seen as part of the threat.

Visit three such enclaves — Tancítaro; Monterrey, a rich commercial city; and Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, just outside the capital — and you will find a pattern. Each is a haven of relative safety amid violence, suggesting that their diagnosis of the problem was correct. But their gains are fragile and have come at significant cost.

They are exceptions that prove the rule: Mexico’s crisis manifests as violence, but it is rooted in the corruption and weakness of the state.

Tancítaro: ‘A Million or Two on Weapons’

It began with an uprising. Townspeople formed militias to eject both the cartel, which effectively controlled much of Michoacán, and the local police, who were seen as complicit. Orchard owners, whose families and businesses faced growing extortion threats, bankrolled the revolt.

This left Tancítaro without police or a government, whose officials had fled. Power accumulated to the militias that controlled the streets and to their backers, an organization of wealthy avocado growers known as the Junta de Sanidad Vegetal, or Plant Health Council. Citizens sometimes call it the Junta.

Nearly four years in, long after other militia-run towns in Michoacán collapsed into violence, the streets remain safe and tidy. But in sweeping away the institutions that enabled crime to flourish, Tancítaro created a system that in many ways resembles cartel control.

Their rule began with a purge. Young men suspected of involvement in the cartel were expelled. Low-level runners or informants, mostly boys, were allowed to stay, though the cartel murdered most in retaliation, a militia commander said.

Though violence eventually cooled, the wartime power structure has remained. The militias now act as the police, as well as guards for the town perimeter and the avocado orchards.

Cinthia Garcia Nieves, a young community organizer, moved into town shortly after the fighting subsided. Idealistic but clear-minded, she wanted to help Tancítaro develop real institutions.

But lines of authority had “blurred,” she said in a cafe near the town center.

Ms. Nieves set up citizens’ councils as a way for local families to get involved. But militia rule has accustomed many to the idea that power belongs to whomever has the guns.

She has high hopes for community justice forums, designed to punish crimes and resolve disputes. But, in practice, justice is often determined — and punishments administered — by whichever militia commander chooses to involve himself.

“We took them out in the street and gave them a beating,” Jorge Zamora, a militia member, said of some men accused of dealing drugs. Their lives were spared because two of them were his relatives, he said. Instead, “we expelled them from the town.”

Though his militia is tasked with guarding orchards, not policing, its proximity to the junta’s interests gives it special power. “For those people, it’s not a burden at all to spend a million or two on weapons,” Mr. Zamora said.

Officially, Tancítaro is run by a mayor so popular that he was nominated by the unanimous consent of every major political party and won in a landslide. Unofficially, the mayor reports to the farm owners, who predetermined his election by ensuring he was the only viable candidate, according to Falko Ernst and Romain Le Cour Grandmaison, security researchers who study Tancítaro.

The citizens’ councils, designed as visions of democratic utopianism, hold little power. Social services have faltered.

Though the new order is popular, it offers few avenues for appeal or dissent. Families whose sons or brothers are expelled — a practice that continues — have little recourse.

The central government has declined to reimpose control, the researchers believe, for fear of drawing attention to the town’s lesson that secession brings safety.

Ms. Nieves remains a believer in Tancítaro’s model, but worries about its future.

“We have to work together,” she said, or risk a future of “oppressive authority.”

Monterrey: ‘They Destroyed the Whole Thing’

If Tancítaro seceded with a gun, then the city of Monterrey, home to many top Mexican corporations, did it with a Rolodex and a handshake.

Rather than ejecting institutions, Monterrey’s business elite quietly took them over — all with the blessing of their friends and golf partners in public office.

But their once-remarkable progress is now collapsing. Crime is returning.

“I’m telling you, I have a long career in these matters, and the project I am more proud of than anything is this one in Monterrey,” said Jorge Tello, a security consultant and former head of the national intelligence agency.

“It’s very easy to lose it,” he warned, adding that it may already be too late.

Monterrey’s experiment began over a lunch. Mr. Tello was dining with the governor, who received a call from José Antonio Fernández, the head of Femsa, one of Mexico’s largest companies.

Femsa’s private security guards, while ferrying employees’ children to school, had been attacked by cartel gunmen, he said. Two had died repelling what was most likely a kidnapping attempt.

The governor put the call on speaker. It was the first of many conversations, joined by other corporate heads who faced similar threats.

A club of corporate executives who call themselves the Group of 10 offered to help fund and reform the state’s kidnapping police. The governor agreed.

They hired a consultant, who advised top-to-bottom changes and replaced nearly half the officers. They hired lawyers to rewrite kidnapping laws and began to coordinate between the police and the families of victims.

When the governor later announced an ambitious plan for a new police force, intended to restore order, he again invited business leaders in. C.E.O.s would now oversee one of the most central functions of government. They hired more consultants to put into effect the best and latest thinking in policing, community outreach, anything that could stop the violence tearing through their city. They bankrolled special housing and high salaries for officers.

Their payroll and human resources departments serviced the force. Their marketing divisions ran a nationwide recruitment campaign. When government officials asked to approve the ads before they ran, corporate leaders said no. Perhaps most crucially, they circumvented the bureaucracy and corruption that had bogged down other police reform efforts.

Crime dropped citywide. Community leaders in poorer areas reported safer streets and renewed public trust in the police.

Monterrey’s experience offered still more evidence that in Mexico, violence is only a symptom; the real disease is in government. The corporate takeover worked as a sort of quarantine. But, with the disease untreated, the quarantine inevitably broke.

A new governor, who took office in late 2015, let reforms lapse and appointed friends to key positions. Now, crime and reports of police brutality are resurging, particularly in working-class suburbs. Business leaders, whose wealthy neighborhoods remain safe, have either failed or declined to push the new governor.

“Things got better, people felt comfortable, and then they destroyed the whole thing,” Mr. Tello said.

Mexico’s weak institutions, he added, make any local fix subject to the whims of political leaders. Countries like the United States, he said, “have this structure that we don’t have. That’s what’s so dangerous.”

Adrián de la Garza, who is mayor of Monterrey’s municipal core, said the city could do only so much to insulate itself. “This isn’t an island,” he said.

Any Mexican city, he said, is policed by multiple forces. Some report to the mayor, some to the governor and some to the federal government. And any one of those political actors can derail progress through corruption, cronyism or simple neglect.

Even Mexico’s most powerful business leaders could cut them out only briefly.

“It’s a big problem,” Mr. de la Garza said. Managing it, he said, is “just political life in Mexico.”

Neza: ‘How Long Can We Hold This?’

“You don’t expect to see a bright light in a place like Neza,” said John Bailey, a Georgetown University professor who studies Mexican policing.

Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, a million-resident sprawl outside Mexico City, was once known for poverty, gang violence and police corruption so widespread that officers sometimes mugged citizens.

Today, though still rough, it is far safer. Its police officers are considered “a really promising model,” Mr. Bailey said, in a part of the country where most are seen as threats.

Unlike Tancítaro or Monterrey, Neza has no militia or business elite to seize or win power. Its government appears, on the surface, normal.

But the police chief who has overseen this change, a grandfatherly former academic named Jorge Amador, is not normal. For years he has treated Neza as his personal laboratory, trying a wild mix of hard-nosed reforms, harebrained schemes and fanciful experiments.

Many failed. Some drew arch amusement from the foreign press. (A literature program provided officers with a new book each month — mostly classics, all mandatory — and rewarded officers who wrote their own.) But some worked.

Mr. Amador was free to experiment — and his successes stuck — because Neza’s government is not normal, either. It has seceded from a part of the state that Joy Langston, a political scientist, called Mexico’s key point of failure: its party system.

Neza inverted Monterrey’s model: Rather than establishing an independent police force and co-opting the political system, Neza established an independent political system and co-opted the police.

Mexico’s establishment parties are more than parties. They are the state. Loyalists, not civil servants, run institutions. Officials have little freedom to stretch and little incentive to investigate corruption that might implicate fellow party members. Most are shuffled between offices every few years, cutting any successes short.

Neza, run by a third party, the left-wing P.R.D., exists outside of this system. Its leaders are free to gut local institutions and cut out the state authorities.

Mr. Amador is doing both. He fired one in eight police officers and changed every commanding officer. He shuffled assignments to disrupt patronage networks. Those who remain are under constant scrutiny. Every car is equipped with a GPS unit, tracked by dozens of internal affairs officers.

The state police are treated like foreign invaders. Neza’s leaders believe state officials are quietly undermining their efforts in a bid to retake power.

Neza’s bureaucratic secession allowed Mr. Amador to remake the force in his image. Corruption and crime would always pay more than he could, Mr. Amador knew. So he would offer something more valuable than money: a proud civic identity.

Essay contests, sports leagues and scholarships come with heavy messaging, cultivating a culture that can feel cultlike. Awards are handed out frequently — often publicly, always with a bit of cash — and for the smallest achievements.

“We have to convince the police officer that they can be a different kind of police officer, but also the citizen that they have a different kind of officer,” Mr. Amador said.

Yazmin Quroz, a longtime resident, said working with police officers, whom she now knows by name, had brought a sense of community. “We are united, which hadn’t happened before,” she said. “We’re finally all talking to each other.”

But Neza’s gains could evaporate, Mr. Amador said, if crime in neighboring areas continued to rise or if the mayor’s office changed party. His experiment has held drug gangs and the Mexican state at bay, but he could solve neither. He compared Neza to the Byzantine Empire, squeezed between larger empires for centuries before succumbing to history.

“The question is,” he said, “how long we can hold this?”
 

a_majoor

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Longish article on Mexican cities breaking away from the central government: https://army.ca/forums/threads/127180.0.html
 
J

jollyjacktar

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Thucydides said:
An interesting evolution, to combat the endemic corruption of the State and the predations of the cartels, some places are essentially setting up city-states, with greater or lesser success. We may start to see something like this in other places where governments and institutions are weak:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/07/world/americas/mexico-state-corruption.html?_r=0

Shhhhhhh you'll get the Torontonians all fired up again.  ;)
 

mariomike

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jollyjacktar said:
Shhhhhhh you'll get the Torontonians all fired up again.  ;)

mariomike said:
Secession of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) from the province of Ontario would be good enough for me.  :)

Which led to this "discussion",

Rifleman62 said:
Do us a favor and become your own country. ON and Canada will appreciated the the loss of Liberal votes.

 

a_majoor

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Mexican situation is heating up to an alarming degree, almost to the point that Mexico as currently constituted will become a failed state. This article lays out some of the competing groups and agendas:

https://claireberlinski.substack.com/p/on-mexican-state-collapse-a-guest

On Mexican State Collapse: a Guest Post by El Anti-Pozolero

My correspondent, in the essay below the jump, prefers to be anonymous. I would be happy to forward to him any thoughts you might wish to share with him.

Now to business. To Mexico. I think the questions raised by El Anti-Pozolero, below, might require more urgent attention than we seem to be able to muster these days. I cannot say whether he’s right: I haven’t set foot in Mexico in more than twenty years. But worthy of our thought? It sure looks that way from the news.

You may have read the news just a few days back: the Mexican military captured not one but two of El Chapo’s sons in the heart of Culiacán, the Sinaloan capital. One son freed himself—which is to say his entourage and retainers at hand overpowered and killed the soldiers at hand—and then, in a decisive riposte, seized the entire city center of Culiacán to compel the liberation of his brother.

The forces that emerged were in the literal sense awesome and awful. Heavy weaponry that would be familiar on any Iraqi, Syrian, or Yemeni battlefield was brought to bear. More and worse: custom-built armored vehicles, designed and built to make a Sahel-warfare technical look like an amateur’s weekend kit job, were rolled out for their combat debut. Most critically, all this hardware was manned by men with qualities the Mexican Army largely lacks: training, tactical proficiency, and motivation.

Then the coup de grace: as the Chapo sons’ forces engaged in direct combat with their own national military, kill squads went into action across Culiacán, slaughtering the families of soldiers engaged in the streets.

Cowed and overmatched—most crucially in the moral arena—the hapless band of soldiers still holding the second son finally received word from Mexico City, direct from President AMLO himself: surrender. Surrender and release the prisoner.

It’s an absolutely extraordinary episode even by the grim and bizarre annals of what we mistakenly call the post-2006 Mexican Drug War. The Battle of Culiacán stands on a level above, say, the Ayotzinapa massacre, or the Zetas’ expulsion of the entire population of Ciudad Mier. Killing scores of innocents and brutalizing small towns is one thing: seizing regional capital cities and crushing the national armed forces in open fighting in broad daylight is something else.

“Drug War” is a misnomer for reasons the Culiacán battle lays bare. This is not a mafia-type problem, nor one comprehensible within the framework of law enforcement and crime. This is something very much like an insurgency now—think of the eruption of armed resistance in Culiacán in 2019 as something like that in Sadr City in 2004—and also something completely like state collapse. The cartels may be the proximate drivers but they are symptoms. Underlying them is a miasma of official corruption, popular alienation, and localist resentments—and underlying all that is a low-trust civil society stripped of the mediating mechanisms that make peaceable democracy both feasible and attractive.

Note as an aside that the cartels are not even necessarily drug-trafficking-specific entities. There have been ferocious and bloody cartel battles—against one another, against the state—for control of economic interests ranging from port operations to the avocado crop to lime exports. Illegal drugs supercharge their resources and ambitions, but absent them and that illegality they would simply assume another form.

I want to pause here and be explicit: none of this is an argument that Mexicans are incapable of liberality and democracy. The millions of Mexicans in the United States illustrate the contrary quite well, and localist democratic structures in Mexico proper are often of the sort that would make a communitarian conservative’s heart swell with pride. What is argued here is that Culiacán illuminates that the Mexican state as constituted is incompetent to that end.

Simply put, we can understand the past two centuries of Mexican history as a cyclic alternation between chaotic liberality and pluralism on the one hand, and orderly (if corrupt) autocracy on the other. The orderly and corrupt Porfiriato was followed by the horrors of civil war unleashed by Madero, followed in turn by the “perfect dictatorship” of the PRI, followed in turn by this century’s emergence of true Mexican multiparty democracy—and therefore the disintegration of the state we see now.

This is important because Americans have not had to think seriously about this for nearly a century: there is a place on the map marked Mexico, but much of it is governed by something other than the Mexican state. That’s been true for years.

The Battle of Culiacán, government surrender and all, made it open and explicit.

What happens now, barring an exceedingly unlikely discovery of spine and competence by the government in Mexico City, is more and worse. The country is on a trajectory toward warlordism reminiscent of, say, 1930s China or its own 1910s. Some of those warlords will be the cartels. Some of them will be virtuous local forces genuinely on the side of order and justice—for example the autodefensa citizen militias of Michoacán. Some of them will be the official state, grasping for what it can. Some of them, given sufficient time, will be autonomous or even secessionist movements: look to Chiapas, Morelia, et al., for that.

The lines between all these groups will be hazy and easily crossed. None will be mutually exclusive from the others.

It is tragic and a pity, because Mexico has in fact mastered the forms if not the substance of democratic civics. It is a shame because much of the Mexican diaspora in the United States is transmitting back home ideas of natural rights and a virtuous armed citizenry—right at the moment we ourselves have stopped believing in those things. (This has been a significant driver of the autodefensa phenomenon.) It is a loss because, depending on how you measure it, México just this decade tipped into a majority middle-class society for the first time in its history. In regions like the Bajío, advanced manufacturing is taking root and a class of engineers is slowly changing the old ways.

Nevertheless as any student of history will tell you, revolution happens not when things are bad, but when expectations are frustrated.

So what does all this mean for the United States? A century of relative peace along our southern border has left us complacent. We haven’t seriously thought about what it might mean if a nation of one hundred twenty million people with thousands of miles of land and coastal access to the United States went into collapse. We still tell ourselves a series of falsehoods about Mexico: that the immigration problem is about immigration, that the crime problem is about crime, that the Mexican state is the solution and not the problem, that they can handle their own affairs, that light-armor forces can overrun Culiacán and it isn’t our problem.

From Culiacán, Sinaloa, to Nogales, Arizona, is one day’s drive.

We know how we handled it last time México evaporated as a cohesive state, in 1910-1920. By late spring 1916, cross-border raiding got so bad that we mobilized the entire National Guard and called for volunteers. Most people remember the punitive expedition against the Villistas. Less remembered are the raids and counter-raids at places like San Ygnacio, Texas—and still less remembered is the time the United States Army was compelled to attack and occupy Mexican Nogales in 1918, and Ciudad Juárez in 1919.

You may rightly ask whether we are capable of the same policy now—and if we are, whether we are competent to execute it.

Mexico is not an enemy state, and the Mexicans are not an enemy people. Yet as Mexico falls apart, we need to ask ourselves questions normally reserved for objectively hostile nations. There is a war underway. It won’t stop at the border.

It’s time to look south, and think.

— El Anti-Pozolero is a pseudonym.

Before we sit back and be smug, Mexico isn't all that far way from us, we have strong social and economic connections to them, and perhaps the key takeaway: "Nevertheless as any student of history will tell you, revolution happens not when things are bad, but when expectations are frustrated".

In the West, we have seen this in the form of Populism, such as electing President Donald Trump, Premier Doug Ford, Viktor Orbán in Hungary and so on. When there is no mechanism for the legitimate transfer of power, or the mechanism is broken, such as in Mexico, then things go very bad very quickly.

What Canada can do about this is unclear right now, and if a minority government is elected then not much will happen anyway. Still, this is an issue which does not get enough attention.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Mexico is an interesting country.  I've been there four times in my life, once to Mexico City and then other times to the numerous tourist destinations.  Acapulco was by far the most interesting, although it was over a decade ago that I visited. There were trucks full of individuals open carrying that were not Police.  Everyone seemed to leave tourists well enough alone but I definitely would not go back there now.

Things seem to be as they always were/are in Mexico, certain areas are bastions of "western civilization" while others are lawless places that wouldn't seem out of place from a Clint Eastwood Western movie.  The Cartels seem to be growing my organized though and the pictures from the recent "Battle of Culiacan" seem to back that up. 

.50 cal sniper rifles, .50 cal machineguns mounted on armoured trucks, well disciplined and trained troops loyal to Cartels.  This most definitely isn't a police operation anymore.  It is a war and the Mexican Military seems inadequately prepared for it. 

I personally can foresee a future where the United States military intervenes in Mexico in a significant way. 





 

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tomahawk6

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The Mexican Marines seem to be free of corruption compared to the police and army. If the government doesnt crack down and eliminate the cartels they lose the country.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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tomahawk6 said:
The Mexican Marines seem to be free of corruption compared to the police and army. If the government doesnt crack down and eliminate the cartels they lose the country.

That's the advantage of a smaller force, you get to be more selective of who you hire.  I've heard the Mexican Marines have exacting standards and that they also are a more forward thinking force than the Mexican Army.

Kingpin capture shows role of U.S.-trained Mexican marines

WASHINGTON — The capture of a notorious drug kingpin by Mexico's armed forces represents a significant victory for the government and highlights the emerging role of the country's marines in the violent battle against cartels, analysts say.

The successful capture comes as the Mexican marines have developed a close training relationship with their American counterparts.

A contingent of about two dozen U.S. Marines have been in Mexico training their counterparts in small-unit infantry tactics.

The American Marine contingent is made up of personnel on temporary assignment who rotate into the country and are limited to training, said John Cornelio, a spokesman for U.S. Northern Command. "They don't go outside the wire," he said.

The focus on the role of Mexican marines comes in the wake of their role in the capture of notorious drug kingpin Miguel Angel Treviño Morales outside the border city of Nuevo Laredo on Monday. Treviño Morales was the leader of the violent Zetas cartel and had long eluded capture.

He was nabbed by Mexican marines who swooped in and intercepted a pickup truck driving along a road in northern Mexico. He was captured with $2 million and a small arsenal of weapons. The U.S. military was not involved in the ground operation.

The role of the U.S. military in Mexico has long been sensitive because of the specter of imperialism that has historically cast a shadow over relations between the two countries.

But as Mexico's armed forces have been plunged further into the war on drug cartels, the U.S. military has stepped up help with mobile training teams and exchange programs.

"The relationship between the two militaries just continues to grow," Cornelio said.


The role of Mexico's navy and marines is emerging as an important player in the fight against cartels, analysts say. Mexico's 200,000-strong army is a more traditional force with a strong nationalist strain that runs through its officer corps, said George Grayson, a professor at the College of William and Mary and an expert on Mexico.

The smaller navy and marines have been more open to outside influences, and their troops tend to be better educated and trained, said Roderic Camp, a professor at Claremont McKenna College, who has written extensively about Mexico. The Mexican marines currently have 21,500 troops but are expanding to 26,560, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

The Mexican marines have been quicker than the army to act on intelligence, which is often supplied by the United States, Camp said.

That has boosted the confidence of U.S. agencies that share intelligence with the Mexicans, he said.

"Of all the operational units in Mexico that are directed toward the cartels, they've proven to be the most effective," Camp said of the marines and navy.

"The navy is a modern force," Grayson said. "The navy is the favorite interlocutor in terms of military to military relations."

Relatively small unit with exacting standards and a higher educated soldier that is trained by elite foreign forces. Yep, that's why they are free of Cartel influences.
 

CBH99

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Relatively small unit with exacting standards and a higher educated soldier that is trained by elite foreign forces. Yep, that's why they are free of Cartel influences.


I can't tell if your being sarcastic or not. 

I don't know much about the details of the Cartel problem, so I'm just wondering if you genuinely believe that is why they are less susceptible to cartel influence, or if that was meant more tongue in cheek?
 

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This from Small Wars Journal: https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/developing-military-forces-to-counter-hybrid-threats-mexico’s-marines
 

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CBH99 said:
Relatively small unit with exacting standards and a higher educated soldier that is trained by elite foreign forces. Yep, that's why they are free of Cartel influences.


I can't tell if your being sarcastic or not. 

I don't know much about the details of the Cartel problem, so I'm just wondering if you genuinely believe that is why they are less susceptible to cartel influence, or if that was meant more tongue in cheek?

Not being sarcastic at all.  The Mexican Marine Corps is known for incredibly high standards.  The Navy is an all volunteer force in Mexico while the Army is a conscript Army.They are the Mexican Government's go to strike force to combat Narcotraffickers, I suggest you read up on some of their operations.

 

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Maybe the Mexican government is finally going to move in a direction that reduces corruption and immunity from laws.

https://strategypage.com/on_point/20200930194345.aspx

On Point: The Iguala Massacre: Mexico's President Versus Beyond-the-Law Elites
by Austin Bay
September 30, 2020

For decades, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador -- in North American mediaspeak, AMLO -- styled himself as a gifted man of the political left who was ... well, special.

As a perennial eccentric outsider, AMLO promised to bring Mexico radical change and new prosperity if he were to become president. Why did he push the brave-new-world bravado? Faith question. His ultimate answer wasn't unswerving faith in utopian socialism. Ultimately, his answer reeked of faculty-club narcissism. Mexico will change "Because I, The AMLO, am Me!"

Failed, blood-drenched, socialist-fascist-communist rubble from Nazi Germany to Soviet Russia to Castroite Cuba to Saddamist Iraq to contemporary Chavista Venezuela -- for that matter, to 2020 Seattle, Portland and Minneapolis -- had their murderous births in utopian socialist garbage and "specially empowered strongman" narcissist humbug.

Which leads to this confession. I've followed Lopez Obrador for four decades, and he's exhibited all the loon characteristics except for one: AMLO never struck me as a killer. Instead of a Castro killer or a Mao murderer, AMLO had the cut of a nutty populist professor enthralled by his own rhetoric. Moreover, he managed to express a basic truth shared by millions of Mexican citizens: From his gut, he insisted Mexico's political system is corrupted by violent criminal cartels, a complicit political class on the take, and billionaire elites living the lux life in fortress haciendas protected by special ops mercenaries and crooked cops.

Read that last sentence again. If you don't think it's accurate, you don't know Deep State Mexico.

Now this column must sketch the Iguala massacre of Sept. 26, 2014, because it is historically complex.

Never heard of it? Listen up close, for it is a lesson in the systemic destructiveness of Impunity and how Deep State Mexico savages Mexicans.

In July 2018, when AMLO won an overwhelming victory in Mexico's presidential election, his MORENA political party broke with the Mexican left and center-left. The political realignment and the electoral victory demonstrated his political savvy.

Perhaps that was the first hint I ever had that AMLO wasn't a total joke. The second came two days after he was inaugurated in December 2018. AMLO posed for a photo with the parents of one of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College in the Guerrero state who went missing on Sept. 26, 2014 (were abducted and killed). He promised he would establish a truth commission to answer the questions that former President Enrique Pena's administration had failed to answer.

AMLO's promise put his administration on the line. And I wrote that in a December 2018 column.

Impunity -- that's the deep issue. For disenchanted Mexican citizens, "impunity" means injustice embedded within their nation's governing institutions and society. It expresses deep disgust with political and economic leaders who escape responsibility for their crimes.

Impunity directly connects to the Iguala mass murders. The students were slaughtered. Bodies and human remains kept appearing -- but only low-level actors were arrested.

In 2015, independent investigators concluded the Pena government's investigation was flawed. However, Pena was still president. Impunity: The judicial system did not challenge the lies he and his minions spun.

On Sept. 26, 2020, AMLO's administration kept its promise when Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero issued 25 new arrest warrants for individuals involved in the 2014 massacre. Gertz and his office noted that the new warrants included members of the federal police and Mexican military. The new warrants implicate the highest levels of Mexican law enforcement and, ultimately, Enrique Pena himself, for police and the military were involved.

Gertz bluntly accused former President Pena's administration of a massive cover-up, a "manipulation" and "a massive media trick." One of his prosecutors added that the new warrants target "the intellectual and material authors of the disappearance." AMLO told Mexican media: "The truth, the authentic truth, has to be known. That's the commitment."

Thank you, sir.

Unfortunately, privileged-elite impunity isn't unique to Mexico. Read the authentic truth contained in U.S. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe's recent document release. The FBI and CIA knew former CIA Director John Brennan and Democrat Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign concocted the "Trump-Russia collusion" lie. A corrupt American press promoted the story -- a media trick.

Truth makes a difference in AMLO's Mexico. Will it make a difference in the U.S.?
 

FJAG

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