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  1. #1
    BEK's Avatar
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    Mexico Security Memo

    The U.S.-Mexico border area stood out this past week as a venue for violence by drug cartels and other criminal groups. Several incidents occurred in the Baja California state border town of Mexicali, where the targeted killing of a state police officer was followed two days later by a firefight that left one person dead and two wounded. Farther east, at least one candidate for political office in Tamaulipas state was abducted in Reynosa, a town just across the border from McAllen, Texas.

    The notion that drug traffickers are starting to influence local politics in the border area is of particular concern to the United States, where, despite the implementation of various security initiatives, Mexico's drug cartels and criminal groups have continued to expand their networks. The success of the new Merida Initiative -- the join U.S.-Mexico counternarcotics and border security program -- relies on political cooperation on both sides of the border. Any success is questionable, however, when politicians face criminal opponents as well as political opponents.

    Cocaine Haul

    Twenty-six tons of cocaine seized this past week in Manzanillo, Colima state, belonged to the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico's attorney general said. Together with the more than three tons seized from a drug plane that crashed in the Yucatan in September, the haul makes it clear that Sinaloa has well-established connections with South American cocaine traffickers. This conclusion conflicts with statements made by Mexican government officials that the Gulf cartel is the only Mexican drug trafficking organization capable of maintaining relationships with South American cartels. Following the most recent seizure, Sinaloa is unlikely to break its relationship with its Colombian counterparts, though it will certainly review its security plan for receiving drug shipments in certain ports.

    Cartel-Related IEDs?

    Also this past week, a small improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in the trunk of a car parked in a hospital parking lot in Toluca, Mexico state. No one was injured in the explosion, though several nearby cars were damaged. The car belonged to a doctor who worked at the hospital. Planting explosives in cars is rare in Mexico, and it is unclear who was responsible for the bombing. Speculation that drug traffickers were behind the incident was prompted by unconfirmed reports that some inmates from a federal prison had recently been moved to the hospital for treatment.

    As we have noted previously, though, Mexico's drug cartels are not known for using IEDs. Despite how easy it is to acquire explosives in the country, drug cartels have demonstrated a preference for killing with guns and grenades. One group known for using small IEDs in locations that will not cause casualties is the guerrilla group Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR). However, an unclaimed attack on a doctor's car does not match the operational history of EPR, which most recently has focused on bombing oil pipelines. The incident this past week in Toluca was most likely linked to some other crime, such as extortion, and not to drug trafficking or guerrilla activity.

    Violent Kidnappings

    Several incidents involving businessmen this past week highlight the kidnapping risk in Mexico and how violent those kidnappings can be. A Spanish businessman was released Nov. 4 after being held for nearly two weeks by a kidnapping gang in Mexico City. The kidnappers reportedly cut off two of his fingers and sent them to his family to convince them to pay the ransom. During the actual abduction, gunmen stopped the victim's car and killed his bodyguard.

    In what appears to have been a similar incident on Nov. 9, an apparent kidnapping attempt against a businessman in Monterrey ended with his bodyguard being killed and him being wounded. According to reports, gunmen in several vehicles followed the two men as they left a hotel. As the driver attempted to lose them, he drove the wrong way down a one-way street, eventually running into a bus. The gunmen then cornered them and opened fire on their vehicle. These incidents highlight the false sense of security that traditional protective services provide in Mexico and underscore the need for comprehensive security programs that include protective intelligence.

    Nov. 5
    • An official from the National Action Party confirmed that a municipal presidential candidate's campaign manager was abducted by a group of armed men in Tamaulipas state.
    • A Baja California state police officer was shot to death outside his home in Mexicali by two men who approached him as he was entering his house.
    • The bodies of two unidentified men who had been shot to death were found in shallow graves in Durango state. Police believe they are two men who were abducted Sept. 27.

    Nov. 6
    • Authorities in Sinaloa state reported two unrelated drug-related killings that occurred in the state capital Culiacan. In one case, an unidentified victim was shot at least 20 times; in the other, gunmen armed with assault rifles shot and killed a man outside his home.

    Nov. 7
    • One person died and two were wounded in a firefight in Mexicali, Baja California state, just across the border from Calexico, California.
    • A man in Mexico City died when he was shot at point blank range in his vehicle after a group of gunmen blocked his car in the street.

    Nov. 8
    • Federal police in Mexico City arrested Pedro Alfonso Alatorre Damy (aka, Pedro Barraza Urtusuástegui and El Piri), a suspected accountant for the Sinaloa cartel. The arrest reportedly came after an account containing $2.7 million in a Chicago bank was frozen, based on information exchanged between authorities in Mexico and the United States.
    • A high-ranking official of the Workers Confederation of Mexico, a labor union, was unhurt when gunmen opened fire on his vehicle in Mexico state.

    Nov. 9
    • Two sailors in the Mexican navy were wounded in an ambush outside a supermarket in Tampico, the capital of Tamalipas state. According to reports, gunmen fired shots near a night club in Tampico, then intercepted the military convoy carrying troops to respond to the violence.

    Nov. 10
    • A federal police commander in Coahuila state was wounded when he was shot at least five times by gunmen in two vehicles in the state capital Saltillo.

    Nov. 11
    • An official of the civil aviation authority in Quintana Roo state was found shot to death in Cancun. He had reportedly been kidnapped the night before at a soccer game.
    • A Mexico state police commander was shot to death outside his home. He was unarmed at the time of the attack.
    • The body of an unidentified man with three gunshot wounds was found in Acapulco, Guerrero state.

    21 U.S Citizens are still missing that were kidnapped from Nuevo Lorado

    all i can say is IED's, kidnappings, drug smuggling, human trafficking and illegal immigration .....yeah keep them borders open

  2. #2
    So Fla Cop's Avatar
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    The United States is under attack with a wink and nod from the feds.... stay tuned to the Spanish Channel for further.
    September 11, 2001 - All gave some, some gave all. Never forget -- Never forgive.......... RIP Brothers and Sisters.

  3. #3
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    And why are we bowing down to their every wish??
    The other night there was a loud argument in the hall outside my apartment while I was trying to sleep. I went out and told them they better leave or I was gonna use some Kung-Fu...

    THAT scared them off...

    Plus I was totally nekkid and holding a gun.



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