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Old 09-26-2007   #41
pcmfr
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Wonder how long until they start going after nuclear targets...

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Old 10-05-2007   #42
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Default Mexican Businessmen

While it is likely that Marxist paramilitary groups are responsible for these pipeline attacks, we should not forget that the stovepipe structure of the Mexican politico-industrial powerbase fosters internecine and revenge attacks within all levels of Mexican society. Family history and family connections count for everything in Mexico’s social infrastructure. Recently while in Mexico working for an American client I was privileged to witness this process first hand. A Mexican industrial family (with strong ties to Pemex coincidently) had practiced what I would have termed ‘embezzlement’ (when I mentioned this I was told that in Mexico things were done differently than in the U.S.). The small businessmen who were the object of this ‘redistribution’ of funds were out several tens of thousands of dollars and were more than just a little upset. At the time they were intent on using whatever means they could to get redress of the situation. I was never aware at anytime that the ‘debtees’ were of a Marxist temperament in fact I found quite the opposite, they were small entrepreneurs trying to build businesses of their own and were fed-up with having their collective chains jerked over money that was owed to them. As I understand it, the issues were eventually resolved and as merely a spectator dining with the elite, I was able to steer clear of the issues except as academic discussion. My point here is, that this consortium of small businessmen were prepared to use industrial violence to get a solution to their problem and political positions were not the issue.
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Old 05-07-2008   #43
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Default Small War in Mexico

I have recently been catching up on the bad news in Mexico, with drug cartels running what appears to be a mini-insurgency against the government, which is employing the military in an effort to suppress the violence. All of which is spilling out in the border area. I was hoping some experts - I am not one concerning our southern neighbor - could weigh in with their judgments on the seriousness of the situation. Are we watching a new Columbia or Peru on our doorstep?
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Old 05-07-2008   #44
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Well, the problem I see with Colombia and Peru analogy is political factor. Sure there are irredentist movements, but I am not sure they are connected to the cartels. It would seem FARC and Sendero are more concerned about coke profits then revolution these days, traded Mao for Milton Friedman. Devolving from guerrillas into illicit businesses, that seems to be the trend for alot of groups like these.

The cartels are already illicit businesses making generous fortunes, it is hard to see how they would morph into something else. The concept of "narco nationalism" lingers, but if anything this is accepted by the U.S. government. The $80 billion or so in drug cash that flows from the U.S. to Mexico (plus around $20 billion in remittances from legal and illegal immigrants also) is probably 30-45% of normal trade between us. Those hard currency flows into Mexico are larger than any foreign aid program we could muster together, and probably more effective, so for the sake of not having a failed state below us, its is grudgingly accepted.

The surplus of violence of late is because of power struggles between the cartels over the most important corridors (for both import from Latin America, and export north). This power struggle has been going on since the market hegemon, Amado Carrillo, died in 1997. It seems the Mexican government pursuing a strategy of letting no market leader emerge (or protecting their own position?), trying to assure a balance of power between the cartels and letting them duke it out. The Mexican government has been notable lately in seeking to deny sanctuary as part of their strategy. So thats why we are seeing shoot outs in nice neighborhoods lately.

So thats why I don't like the Peru/Colombia analogy. This not to say it will be incredibly interesting what happens to a fifty mile strip on both sides of the border, but my I see at as more some mutant globalization bastard child than the next Peru of Colombia.
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Old 05-07-2008   #45
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Default Then there's this difference...

Check the LINK.
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Old 05-07-2008   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
Check the LINK.
Quote:
"We're offering you a good salary, food and medical care for your families," it said in block letters.

But there was a catch: The employer was Los Zetas, a notorious Gulf cartel hit squad formed by elite Mexican army deserters. The group even included a phone number for job seekers that linked to a voice mailbox.
A "new" form of contracting?
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Old 05-07-2008   #47
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Default Yeah but given the food and

medical care, looks like they're ahead of us on some log issues...
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Old 05-07-2008   #48
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Default You betcha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
medical care, looks like they're ahead of us on some log issues...
I mean you just gotta love the phrase "elite Mexican Army deserters"

Folks thought the Wild Bunch was just a movie...

And my Mama used to date LQ Jones...
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Old 05-08-2008   #49
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Default Why can't its stagnant southern states catch up with the rest of Mexico?

From the Economist

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The Zapatista rebellion raised Mexicans' awareness of race discrimination. But this remains a problem. The majority of the population in every one of Mexico's 100 poorest municipalities is of indigenous descent, says Mr Abreu. One policy designed to help the poor Indians is bilingual education. But the flaws of the public education system are magnified in the south. In practice, the teachers' union rather than the government controls teaching appointments; the union sometimes appoints a teacher who speaks a different indigenous language to his pupils, according to Mr Abreu. A typical adult in the south has only six years of schooling; the corresponding figure in northern Mexico is 8.1 and 9.7 in Mexico City. And those years of schooling are not full years: local education officials report that in urban areas in the south an average teacher spends only 110 of the notional 200 days of the academic year actually in the classroom. The record is even worse in rural areas.
Quote:
The big wealth gap polarises politics, too. In the north, Mr Calderón won 43% of the vote in the 2006 presidential election, while only 24% went to Andrés Manuel López Obrador, his populist rival. But in the south Mr López Obrador won 40%, and Mr Calderón 27%. This regional divide contributes to political gridlock. The right plays to its electoral strength in the north, and the left to its constituents in the south, squeezing out opportunities for compromise and progress. The latest example concerns a desperately needed reform to liberalise Mexico's declining state-owned oil industry, opposed by Mr López Obrador. The south instinctively favours big government and mistrusts private initiative.

With each passing year, the socio-economic gap widens. Monterrey, Mexico's northern industrial capital, is starting to resemble south Texas. Many parts of the south still look like a northern extension of Guatemala. But unless the government shows a greater ability and willingness to tackle its problems, the south will not just remain stuck in its poverty trap but risks handicapping the country as a whole.
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Old 05-08-2008   #50
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Default Mexican banks

Again from the Economist

Quote:
AFTER the 1994 peso crash, the risk of Mexico's difficulties spilling over into America was considered so great that the Clinton administration helped bail out its southern neighbour. In the first quarter of 2008, the boot was on the other foot, though the scale was entirely different. Now it was the turn of Banamex, one of Mexico's two largest banks, to help out Citigroup, its crisis-stricken parent. Banamex provided $453m of the $1.1 billion Citi earned in net income from its overseas operations between January and March (Citi lost $5.1 billion overall). You could almost hear Vikram Pandit, Citi's new chief, mutter “Gracias, compadre.”

Yet Banamex was not even the best-performing of the Mexican banks. Of Mexico's five largest financial institutions (which control three-quarters of the market and also include Bancomer, Santander, HSBC and Banorte), it was the only one that did not show a big rise in year-on-year profits in the first quarter. The performance of the banks was impressive for two reasons. Firstly, Mexico has one of the most open banking systems in the world; two of its top five banks are Spanish-owned, one is American, one British, and only one is Mexican. Yet the crisis in global banking has barely ruffled it. Also, Mexico's economy is usually more exposed than almost any other to a slowdown in America. As Alejandro Valenzuela, boss of Banorte, delicately puts it: “Decoupling is the wrong word, but there is now a certain shield.”
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Old 05-08-2008   #51
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Default Pemex and Politics

And again from the Economist

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The difficulties facing the reform proposal have dampened expectations that Mexico’s troubled oil sector will get the investment boost that it needs any time soon. Pemex is chronically underinvested, and short of both technical capabilities and cash (since it funds some 40% of the federal fiscal budget). Oil production has been declining in recent years, dropping 5.3% in 2007 and a total of 10% since its peak in 2004. Crude exports, too, have been decreasing. And besides importing petrol, Mexico is a net importer of natural gas from the US.

To reverse this course, Pemex needs to explore for new reserves in its deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico, but lacks the financial resources and expertise to do so. Mr Calderón’s package held little promise that this situation change dramatically, but was seen as a step forward and as setting a path for more reforms sometime in the future. Yet if the “lite” reforms cannot be approved, then the oil industry definitely is set to further decline. According to Pemex’s chief executive officer, Jesús Reyes Heroles, “there is no Plan B”.
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Old 05-08-2008   #52
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Default EIA country Brief on Mexico

From the EIA

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In 2006, Mexico was the sixth-largest oil producer in the world, and the second largest in the Western Hemisphere (behind the United States). State-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) holds a monopoly on oil production in the country and is one of the largest oil companies in the world. However, oil production in the country has begun to decrease, as production at the giant Cantarell field declines. The oil sector is a crucial component of Mexico’s economy: while its relative importance to the general Mexican economy has declined, the oil sector still generates over 10 percent of the country’s export earnings. More importantly, the government relies upon earnings from the oil industry (including taxes and direct payments from Pemex) for one-third of total government revenues. Therefore, any decline in production at Pemex has a direct effect upon the country’s overall fiscal balance.
2006 Production numbers for oil were 3,707 thousand barrels per day
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Old 05-08-2008   #53
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Default Mexican Military

From the US DOS

Quote:
Mexico's armed forces number about 225,000. The army makes up about three-fourths of that total. The navy is a completely autonomous cabinet agency and as such there is no joint chief of staff position. Principal military roles include national defense, narcotics control, and civic action assignments such as search and rescue and disaster relief. Mexican military and naval forces provided disaster assistance to the U.S. in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which struck Louisiana and Mississippi in August 2005.

President Calderon has made public security a focus of his presidency and, in addition to passing judicial reform legislation, has launched aggressive operations against organized crime and drug traffickers in several states, raised pay for the military, and replaced numerous corrupt federal police officers. He has also, when necessary, been willing to deploy the Mexican Army in the states where the cartels are dominant.
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Old 05-08-2008   #54
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Default US Congressional Research Service Report on Mexican Drug Cartels

Posted to the FAS website

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Mexico, a major drug producing and transit country, is the main foreign supplier
of marijuana and a major supplier of methamphetamine to the United States.
Although Mexico accounts for only a small share of worldwide heroin production,
it supplies a large share of heroin consumed in the United States. An estimated 90%
of cocaine entering the United States transits Mexico. Violence in the border region
has affected U.S. citizens. More than 60 Americans have been kidnaped in Nuevo
Laredo, and in July 2007, Mexican drug cartels reportedly threatened to kill a U.S.
journalist covering drug violence in the border region. The United States and Mexico
are reportedly negotiating a new counternarcotics initiative.
Although Mexican drug cartels, or drug trafficking organizations, have existed
for quite some time, they have become more powerful since the demise of
Colombia's Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. Mexican drug cartels now
dominate the wholesale illicit drug market in the United States. Arrests of key cartel
leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, have led to increasing drug
violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States.
The Gulf and Sinaloa cartels reportedly use personal "enforcer gangs" to perpetuate
violence and intimidate Mexican citizens and public officials. Mexican President
Felipe Calderón has called drug violence a threat to the Mexican state.
This report provides an overview of: Mexican cartels and their operations,
including the nature of cartel ties to gangs such as the Mara Salvatrucha; Mexican
cartel drug production in the United States; and the presence of Mexican cartel cells
in the United States. Mexican cartels allegedly have used their vast financial
resources to corrupt Mexican public officials who either turn a blind eye to cartel
activities or work directly for them. Since 2005, the Mexican government has made
numerous efforts to purge corrupt police. In December 2006, President Felipe
Calderón launched operations against the cartels in 9 of Mexico's 32 states. He has
pledged to use extradition as a tool against drug traffickers, and sent 64 criminals to
the United States as of August 2007, including the alleged head of the Gulf Cartel.
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Old 05-09-2008   #55
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Default WaPo - Mexico's Police Chief Is Killed In Brazen Attack by Gunmen

WaPo - Mexico's Police Chief Is Killed In Brazen Attack by Gunmen

Quote:
MEXICO CITY, May 8 -- Gunmen assassinated Mexico's national police chief Thursday, blasting him with nine bullets outside his home in the capital and dealing a significant setback to the government's campaign against drug cartels.

Edgar Eusebio Millán Gómez, the public face of Mexico's offensive against drug cartels, became the highest-ranking law enforcement official to be killed since the launch of the effort 17 months ago. The assassination could give new confidence to drug cartels blamed for 6,000 killings in the past 2 1/2 years, and embolden other anti-government groups in this violence-plagued nation.
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Old 05-10-2008   #56
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Unhappy Ouch

Quote:
The assassination could give new confidence to drug cartels blamed for 6,000 killings in the past 2 1/2 years, and embolden other anti-government groups in this violence-plagued nation.
It could also give someone very good reasons for asking for the type of help that doesn't require bench warrants. This could get really bad really quick.
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Old 05-10-2008   #57
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Default Bad Moon Rising

To put this in an American perspective. It would be the equivalent of shooting the head of our FBI...IMHO.

Credence Clearwater Revival-Bad Moon Rising
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2w5kffJnq8
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Old 05-13-2008   #58
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Default

See also:
http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...9&postcount=11

Wonder what'd happen if all the little groups in Mexico started working togethor?
http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt...32624120080512
MEXICO CITY, May 12 (Reuters) - A Mexican rebel group that bombed energy pipelines last year rejected on Monday direct talks with the government but left open the possibility of negotiations through a group of mediators.

And from the RUMINT mill this morning:
http://www.borderfirereport.net/mich...emergency.html
Mexico's National Security Cabinet is holding an emergency meeting and is expected to declare a state of Michael Websteremergency. They will also discuss President Felipe Caldron’s current strategies against the Mexican war on drug cartels. Analysts say they expect the death toll nation wide among the security forces to climb, because the traffickers, under assault both from the government and rival gangs, believe they have nothing to lose.



We got no steekin' batches lef' around here!

Last edited by AdamG; 05-13-2008 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 05-14-2008   #59
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Default Hand To Hand Combat And Mexico's Small War

As many of you know I am a big fan of Colonel Rex Applegate...so what does that have to do with Mexico. Alot. I have been searching for this article for awhile and I finally found it. Rex was warning back in 1995 how dire the situation in Mexico was becoming. It fell largely on deaf ears. After WW2 he spent many years in Central and South America, Mexico as Law and Order consultant and developed great insight into the problems down there. Enjoy the article


http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~alopez-o.../timebomb.html
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Old 05-16-2008   #60
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Default Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

I recently saw the film "The Wild Bunch" again. I had not seen it in 20 years, so I'd forgotten quite a bit of it. Great film. Lots of "small war" issues and angles there.

Another interesting Mexico film from Peckinpah is his "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia". It starts out as though it is from a different time long ago, but then you realize it is in modern times. This is a polarizing movie, either you really enjoy it, or can't stand it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bring_M...Alfredo_Garcia
Warren Oates is the lead actor in this one.
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Last edited by Tacitus; 05-16-2008 at 09:01 PM. Reason: a natural disaster
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