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En enero de 2010 la Embajada dice que las instituciones de seguridad de México son a menudo presas de una competición

ID: 246329
Date: 2010-01-29 20:49:00
Origin: 10MEXICO83
Source: Embassy Mexico
Classification: SECRET
Destination: VZCZCXRO1882
DE RUEHME #0083/01 0292049
O R 292049Z JAN 10

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 MEXICO 000083


E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/01/29
SUBJECT: Scenesetter for the Opening of the Defense Bilateral Working
Group, Washington, D.C., February 1


Classified Secret.

1. (SBU) Summary: The inauguration of the Defense Bilateral
Working Group (DBWG) on February 1 comes at a key moment in our
efforts to deepen our bilateral relationship and to support the
Mexican military's nascent steps toward modernization. On the
heels of our bilateral joint assessments in Ciudad Juarez and
Tijuana, as well as the GOM's move to replace the military with the
Federal Police as lead security agency in Juarez, the DBWG can help
ensure that the GOM stays focused on making the kinds of
institutional improvements - including greater attention to human
rights and broader regional participation - that are needed to
bolster its effectiveness in the immediate fight against organized
crime, and to position it to become a twenty first century military
in one of the leading democracies in the region. End Summary

2. (SBU) The DBWG is an important component of our overall
bilateral Merida strategy for 2010. We ended 2009 with an
unprecedented commitment from the Mexican government to work
closely with us on an ambitious effort to move beyond a singular
focus on high value targets and address some of the institutional
and socio-economic constraints that threaten to undermine our
efforts to combat the cartels. A truly joint effort to implement a
new U.S.-Mexico strategy is yielding stronger organizational
structures and interagency cooperation on both sides and a deeper
understanding of the threat posed by the drug trafficking
organizations. In the coming year, we will help Mexico
institutionalize civilian law enforcement capabilities and phase
down the military's role in conducting traditional and police
functions. The DBWG will also provide a vehicle for Washington to
brief the GOM on the importance of human rights issues to U.S.
security policy, thus reinforcing a new formal Bilateral Human
Rights Dialogue with the GOM that will include SEDENA and SEMAR.

Political and Economic Context


3. (SBU) It is a challenging moment to address some of the
institutional weaknesses that dot the Mexican political landscape
and which periodically impede our larger efforts. President
Calderon has entered the last three years of his six-year term
facing a complicated political and economic environment. His
National Action Party (PAN) emerged seriously weakened from a
dramatic set-back suffered in the July congressional elections and
was unable to recoup any real momentum during the last legislative
session. Calderon's bold plan for ten ambitious areas for reform,
announced in September, has yet to translate into politically
viable initiatives. His personal popularity numbers have dropped,
driven largely by massive economic contraction and a public sense
that there is little strategy to create new and sustainable jobs.
Overall, Calderon's approval ratings are still well above 50
percent, sustained largely by his campaign against organized crime.
Increasingly, Mexicans realize that combating DTOs is a matter of
citizen security, and thus support a tough stance. Yet the failure
to reduce violence is also a liability.

4. (SBU) Meanwhile, the opposition Institutional Revolutionary
Party (PRI) is in the ascendency, cautiously managing its illusory
unity in an effort to dominate the twelve gubernatorial contests
this year and avoid missteps that could jeopardize its front-runner
status in the run-up to the 2012 presidential elections. With a

MEXICO 00000083 002 OF 005

strategy best described as political pragmatism, PRI insiders
indicate that the party is unlikely to support any major reform
efforts over the next several years - no matter how necessary -
that could be publicly controversial. Slow economic recovery and
budgetary pressures are reducing government resources and
complicating the government's ability to balance priorities and
come up with a compelling and sustainable narrative that ties the
fight against organized crime to the daily concerns of most
Mexicans. Mexico's rapidly declining oil production, a
projected six to seven percent GDP contraction in 2009, a slow
recovery in 2010, and a 47 percent poverty rate all present
difficult challenges for the Calderon administration in 2010.
Still, we see no "softening" of the administration's resolve to
confront the DTOs head on.

Security Challenges


5. (C) Calderon has aggressively attacked Mexico's drug
trafficking organizations but has struggled with an unwieldy and
uncoordinated interagency and spiraling rates of violence that have
made him vulnerable to criticism that his anti-crime strategy has
failed. Indeed, the GOM's inability to halt the escalating numbers
of narco-related homicides in places like Ciudad Juarez and
elsewhere - the nationwide total topped 7,700 in 2009 - has become
one of Calderon's principal political liabilities as the general
public has grown more concerned about citizen security. Mexican
security institutions are often locked in a zero-sum competition in
which one agency's success is viewed as another's failure,
information is closely guarded, and joint operations are all but
unheard of. Official corruption is widespread, leading to a
compartmentalized siege mentality among "clean" law enforcement
leaders and their lieutenants. Prosecution rates for organized
crime-related offenses are dismal; two percent of those detained
are brought to trail. Only 2 percent of those arrested in Ciudad
Juarez have even been charged with a crime.

6. (S) The failure to reduce violence has focused attention on
the military's perceived failures and led to a major course change
in January to switch the overall command in Ciudad Juarez from the
military to the federal police. The military was not trained to
patrol the streets or carry out law enforcement operations. It
does not have the authority to collect and introduce evidence into
the judicial system. The result: arrests skyrocketed,
prosecutions remained flat, and both the military and public have
become increasingly frustrated. The command change in Juarez has
been seen by political classes and the public as a Presidential
repudiation of SEDENA. When SEDENA joins you at the DBWG, it will
be an agency smarting from the very public statement of a lack of
confidence in its performance record in Juarez.

7. (C) Below the surface of military professionalism, there is
also considerable tension between SEDENA and SEMAR. SEMAR
succeeded in the take down of Arturo Beltran Leyva, as well as with
other major targets. Aside from the perceived failure of its
mission in Juarez, SEDENA has come to be seen slow and risk averse
even where it should succeed: the mission to capture HVTs. The
risk is that the more SEDENA is criticized, the more risk averse
it will become. The challenge you face in the DBWG is to convince
them that modernization and not withdrawal are the way forward, and
that transparency and accountability are fundamental to
modernization. There is no alternative in today's world of
information technology.

MEXICO 00000083 003 OF 005

8. (C) The DBWG is just one mechanism for addressing the
challenge of modernization. SEDENA's shortfalls are at times quite
noticeable and serve for dramatic charges on human rights and other
grounds. We have actively sought to encourage respect for the
military's role in Mexican society and tread carefully with regard
to the larger theme of military modernization. What SEDENA, and to
a lesser extent SEMAR, need most is a comprehensive, interactive
discussion that will encourage them to look holistically at
culture, training and doctrine in a way that will support
modernization and allow them to address a wider range of military
missions. This is where the DBWG can help.

9. (C) Currently, the military is the lightening rod for
criticism of the Calderon Administration's security policies. We
are having some success in influencing the GOM to transition the
military to secondary support functions in Juarez. Still, the GOM's
capacity to replicate the Juarez model is limited. They simply
lack the necessary numbers of trained federal police to deploy them
in such numbers in more than a few cities. There are changes in
the way that the military can interact with vetted municipal
police, as we have seen in Tijuana, that produce better results.
But in the near term, there is no escaping that the military will
play a role in public security.

10. (C) Military surges that are not coordinated with local city
officials and civilian law enforcement, particularly local
prosecutors, have not worked. In Ciudad Juarez, a dramatic
increase in troop deployments to the city early last year brought a
two-month reduction in violence levels before narcotics-related
violence spiked again. The DTOs are sophisticated players: they
can wait out a military deployment; they have an almost unlimited
human resource pool to draw from in the marginalized neighborhoods;
and they can fan complaints about human rights violations to
undermine any progress the military might make with hearts and

11. (SBU) SEDENA lacks arrest authority and is incapable of
processing information and evidence for use in judicial cases. It
has taken a serious beating on human rights issues from
international and domestic human rights organizations, who argue
with considerable basis, in fact that the military is ill-equipped
for a domestic policing role. While SEDENA has moved to address
human rights criticisms, its efforts are mechanistic and wrapped in
a message that often transmits defensiveness about bringing a
hermetically sealed military culture into the twenty-first century.
The military justice system (fuero militar) is used not only for a
legitimate prosecutorial function, but also to preserve the
military's institutional independence. Even the Mexican Supreme
Court will not claim civilian jurisdiction over crimes involving
the military, regardless of whether a military mission is involved.
Fortunately, the Mexican military is under increasing pressure to
change on a number of fronts. A recent Inter-American Human Rights
Court ruling found Article 57 of Mexico's code of military justice,
which effectively allows the military to keep all violators within
its own justice system, violate Mexico's constitution and mandated
improvements in the way cases involving alleged human rights abuses
by the military are handled. A report issued by Amnesty
International in December noted that complaints to the National
Commission on Human Rights against the military increased from 367
in 2007 to over 2000 from 2008-June 2009.

MEXICO 00000083 004 OF 005

Change on the Horizon


12. (SBU) Calderon has undertaken serious reforms since coming to
office, but he also must tread carefully in dealing with the
Mexican military. With our help, he has refined his anti-crime
strategy and made significant progress in a number of important
areas, including inaugurating a new Federal Police command and
intelligence center, establishing stronger vetting mechanisms for
security officials, and constructing information-sharing databases
to provide crime fighting data to various federal, state, and local
elements. Calderon also has recognized that the blunt-force
approach of major military deployments has not curbed violence in
zones like Ciudad Juarez, and has replaced SEDENA forces with
Federal Police officers as the lead security agency in urban Ciudad

13. (C) These steps reflect the GOM's willingness to respond to
public pressure and to focus on building strong, civilian law
enforcement institutions that are necessary for sustained success
against organized crime in Mexico. Indeed, Public Security
Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna has sought to raise the standards of
his Federal Police so it is capable of gradually replacing the
military's role in public security through improved hiring,
training, and vetting practices. With new authorities granted
under federal police reform legislation passed last year, including
a broadened wire-tapping mandate, the SSP is well-placed to
significantly expand its investigative and intelligence-collection
capabilities. The GOM is exploring new ways to bring local and
state police up to standards to support the anti-crime fight.
Federal judicial reform has been slower in coming, but the Attorney
General's Office (PGR) is looking to modernize as an institution.
For example, PGR created with USG assistance the Constanza Project
(Justicia Para Todos), a $200 million dollar initiative designed to
transform PGR's culture, in part by promoting transparency,
training attorneys to build stronger cases, and digitizing files in
order to incorporate a paperless system less susceptible to

14. (C) USG assistance has been crucial to these efforts, and we
are looking ahead to ensure that we help Mexico build its most key
institutions with seamless integration of operations,
investigations, intelligence, prosecutions, and convictions. Joint
assessment missions -- one to Tijuana and San Diego and one to
Ciudad Juarez and El Paso - were designed to further guide our
bilateral efforts and address one potential weakness -- the
dysfunctionally low level of collaboration between Mexican military
and civilian authorities along the border. The Tijuana assessment
was completed December 3-4 and Ciudad Juarez's January 14-15.
Mexico also has agreed to explore a task force model for joint
intelligence and operations, and Mexico's intelligence civilian
intelligence service, CISEN, has been charged with overseeing such
efforts. We need to develop new programs to build a greater
intelligence fusion capability, and continue to support the Federal
Police's own institutional development and training capacity, and
swifter implementation of judicial reform. Moreover, with many of
our federal programs well underway, we are broadening our efforts
to include work at the state level.

Military Modernization Key


MEXICO 00000083 005 OF 005

15. (S) In this context, it is absolutely necessary that we
intensify our efforts to encourage modernization of the Mexican
military. General Galvan Galvan, head of SEDENA, is an impressive
military man with an appreciation for the uncomfortable,
non-traditional challenges facing the Mexican military forces. But
he is also a political actor who has succeeded, at least in part,
by protecting the military's prerogatives and symbolic role. His
experience provides him with little guidance on how to manage
change and modernization against a backdrop of criticism and often
vitrolic accusations. Historically, suspicion of the United States
has been a prime driver of a military bureaucratic culture that has
kept SEDENA closed to us. We believe Galvan is committed to at
least following orders when it comes to Calderon's vision of a more
modern Mexican state and a closer relationship with the United
States. Our ties with the military have never been closer in terms
of not only equipment transfers and training, but also the kinds of
intelligence exchanges that are essential to making inroads against
organized crime. Incipient steps towards logistical
interoperability with U.S. forces are ongoing related to Haiti
relief. SEDENA, for the first time and following SEMAR's lead, has
asked for SOF training. We need to capitalize on these cracks in
the door. Any retreat on engagement on our side will only
reinforce SEDENA's instincts to revert to a closed and
unaccountable institution.

16. (C) Our engagement on human rights in the DBWG must also be
carefully structured. Presentations from the U.S. side on how
human rights play into our conduct of military and security policy
will be constructive. It will be useful to transmit to SEDENA the
kinds of systemic human rights concerns that arise in Washington.
But neither SEDENA nor SEMAR will engage in a dialogue on human
rights in the DBWG. That will be reserved for the ad hoc meeting
of the Bilateral Human Right Dialogue with Paul Stockton scheduled
for Mexico City on February 12.

17. (C) SEDENA and SEMAR still have a long way to go toward
modernization. The DBWG can go a long way in addressing a number
of key points. We have seen some general officers, in Tijuana for
example, who are looking for ways to build links between units in
the field and local prosecutors, but this has not been done
systematically. It needs to be encouraged. Encouraging the
Mexican military to participate more actively in the international
arena, such as through greater security cooperation outreach to
Central America and Colombia, and even with limited participation
in regional humanitarian ops to possibly peacekeeping, will also be
key to helping the military transition from a mentality of
"Protecting the Revolution" to a more active, dynamic, and flexible
force. SEDENA and SEMAR share the parochial, risk-averse habits
that often plague their civilian counterparts in Mexican law
enforcement agencies. While the Navy's capture of Beltran Leyva
may up the ante and encourage innovation by competition between
security services, both SEDENA and SEMAR have serious work to do on
working more effectively and efficiently with their security
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