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Cablegate: Secretary Chertoff's Meetings with Attorney

VZCZCXRO9174
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #0983/01 0581604
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271604Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5560
RHMFIUU/CDR USNORTHCOM
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUCNFB/FBI WASHDC
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MEXICO 000983

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR INL; WHA/MEX;
DHS FOR A/S J.MYERS; OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS - K
O'REILLY; CBP - C.STALLWORTH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTE SNAR MX
SUBJECT: SECRETARY CHERTOFF'S MEETINGS WITH ATTORNEY
GENERAL EDUARDO MEDINA MORA AND PUBLIC SECURITY SECRETARY
GENARO GARCIA LUNA

THIS CABLE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED; PLEASE HANDLE
ACCORDINGLY.

-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) During a two-day trip to Mexico City, Secretary of
Homeland Security Michael Chertoff met February 16 with
Mexican Secretary of Public Security Genaro Garcia Luna.
Secretary Chertoff and senior Department of Homeland Security

SIPDIS
(DHS) staff heard Medina Mora outline plans to improve
investigation and prosecution of crime in Mexico, discussed
increasing cooperation in attacking the trade in
methamphetamine precursor chemicals, reviewed Mexico's
strategy for controlling its southern border, and agreed to
further operational engagement in each of these areas. End
Summary.

---------------------------------------
Policing/Prosecutorial Changes Outlined
---------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Medina Mora opened by outlining the legal changes
the Calderon administration would seek from the Mexican
Congress to improve the link between policing,
investigations, and prosecution. First, he said, President
Calderon would seek a constitutional amendment to give a
reorganized federal police force the power to conduct
criminal investigations. Every federal police officer should
have the capacity to conduct investigations without prior
approval from the Office of the Attorney General (PGR), as is
now required. His office would still need to validate the
results of such investigations, but he expected his officers
in the future to focus on building legal cases rather than
"chasing bad guys." Chasing bad guys is a police function,
he said.

3. (SBU) Second, he said, he expected Mexico to move toward
a mixed system of oral trials and the current accusatorial
system of justice. Without outlining a time frame or
legislative strategy to effect the change, Medina Mora said
the PGR would seek to institute oral trials at the federal
level for "minor" crimes, retaining accusatorial procedures
for major criminal cases, particularly against the cartels.
However, under the reforms outlined above, his office would
have a strengthened capability to develop and present
evidence to judges for processing major criminal cases.
Embassy comment: There is something inconsistent across
these plans on justice reform. But then the legal package is
still being developed. End comment.

4. (SBU) Finally, Medina Mora noted that he wanted to bring
all of Mexico under single criminal and procedural codes at
the federal and state levels.

------
OASSIS
------

5. (SBU) Secretary Chertoff led his comments by noting the
success of the Smugglers and Traffickers Initiative on Safety
and Security (OASSIS) program and offered to work with the
GOM to expand it. Medina Mora agreed, called the program
valuable, and endorsed its extension, particularly to the
area between Eastern California/Baja California and
Sonora/Arizona where he estimated 80 percent of the migrant
traffic crossed into the United States. Secretary Chertoff
reminded Medina Mora that he would be traveling to Arizona
the following week, noting he needed to remain visibly active
in promoting tighter controls against the flow of illegal
immigrants even as his administration worked for a temporary
worker program.

---------------
Meth Precursors
---------------

6. (SBU) Medina Mora turned to Mexico's growing problem
with methamphetamine production and trafficking and told

MEXICO 00000983 002 OF 003


Secretary Chertoff that the GOM had recently seized close to

SIPDIS
40 metric tons of pseudoephedrine shipped from Hong Kong
through Long Beach to Manzanillo. He noted that as much as
97 percent of illicit precursor chemicals were routed in this
fashion, and asked for better U.S. monitoring and
interdiction at the port of Long Beach, as well as U.S. - GOM
diplomatic engagement in Asia, to target and impede such
illegal shipments. Secretary Chertoff asked Medina Mora to
share more details of the seizure with DHS. If such large
volumes are passing through Long Beach, then improved
targeting, informed by Mexican Law Enforcement intelligence,
could improve U.S. targeting of precursor shipments bound for
Mexico. The U.S. and Mexico need to cooperate more closely
in this area, Secretary Chertoff agreed. He offered to "put
someone operational" to work in this area to see how both
countries could share intelligence and jointly analyze
vulnerabilities.

--------------
Southern Focus
--------------

7. (SBU) Broadening the discussion, Medina Mora outlined
what he called the three most critical law enforcement
challenges Mexico faces: improving the institutional
strength of local, state, and federal police forces;
dismantling the sophisticated business operations run by the
drug cartels; and crafting a regional strategy encompassing
the U.S., Mexico and Central America. The cocaine trade
through Central America gives Mexican cartels the money,
incentives, capabilities, and corrosive impact they have in
Mexico and its southern neighbors, he said.

8. (SBU) Secretary Chertoff asked Medina Mora to outline
Mexico's southern border strategy. Medina Mora suggested
that interdiction capacity-building among Central American
countries as a necessary key focus. The problem for Mexico,
he said, is truly regional, and potential instability in
Central America would pose direct and immediate threats to
public security in Mexico. He cited Guatemala as
particularly problematic. Understandable reductions in the
armed forces there in recent years have created a security
vacuum, particularly in the Peten, the northernmost
department of Guatemala, which Medina Mora called a no-man's
land.

9. (SBU) The Attorney General suggested shifting U.S.
Halcon Citations to Guatemala, since, he averred, airborne
shipments of illegal drugs within Mexico toward the north
were rare. Similarly, Mora staffer Oscar Rocha outlined a
proposal whereby the U.S. would purchase go-fasts seized and
re-furbished by Mexico and provide them to Central American
governments for their own interdiction efforts.. Providing
them a shore-based interdiction capability they currently
lack would compliment U.S. blue water patrols in the region
and get buy-in from the Centrals for a regional counter-drug
effort. Without providing encouragement to these specific
proposals, Secretary Chertoff agreed the situation warranted
creative approaches and promised to work the inter-agency
community in Washington to see what kinds of resources
various elements, such as DOD, might be able to put into the
mix.

----
Cuba
----

10. (SBU) Medina Mora warned of the destabilizing dangers
of a rapid post-Castro regime collapse in Cuba and argued
that a "semi-authoritarian" regime evolving toward democracy
would be better for stability in the region. He said
displaced Cuban regime elements, particularly from the armed
forces, could pose an organized crime threat in the
Hemisphere akin to the Russian mafia in Europe.

11. (SBU) The meeting concluded with the Attorney General
saying he sought a "U.S.- Canadian-style" relationship, a
true partnership rather than a "made-in-USA" program such as
what he argued characterized much of Plan Colombia. If we
are to truly improve the quality of our cooperation, he

MEXICO 00000983 003 OF 003


stated, Mexico needs to build its own capabilities, as well
as help its Central American neighbors. Secretary Chertoff
responded by saying he understood Mexico's political dynamic
and urged again that the GOM give the U.S. its own plan,
particularly concerning the southern border. He said he
would work it through our inter-agency, map it, and build a
support strategy.

-----------
Garcia Luna
-----------

12. (SBU) Secretary Chertoff next met with Public Security
Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna, who thanked Secretary Chertoff

SIPDIS
for the cooperation DHS had extended to him, both at the
Public Security Secretariat (SSP) and at the Mexican Federal
Investigations Agency (AFI), which he ran during the Fox
administration. He briefly discussed some of the same legal
reforms Medina Mora had discussed and outlined the Mexican
President Felipe Calderon's plans to merge a number of
Mexican Law Enforcement agencies under his authority at SSP,
and noted that he would be recruiting over 8,000 new officers
in the coming year. This, he said, would require a new
approach to vetting officers, and he expressed the hope that
DHS could help him establish programs for assuring the
integrity of his force.

13. (SBU) Garcia Luna asked for clear guidance from DHS
regarding appropriate points-of-contact within each DHS
component and on particular issues of mutual interest. Both
governments have complex federal law enforcement systems, and
sometimes make "erroneous" connections. Secretary Chertoff
noted that he would soon send a senior DHS Attache to Mexico
and expressed the hope that this would improve coordination
efforts.

14. (SBU) Garcia Luna highlighted the operational focus of
his Secretariat and the need for close coordination with DHS.
"You will have open access to our (law enforcement)
intelligence information," he said, and added that he hoped
to work closely with DHS to establish protocols to allow for
more sharing of "high-quality" law enforcement intelligence.

15. (SBU) Secretary Chertoff emphasized the importance of
Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) program as a
forum for DHS cooperation with SSP, and told Garcia Luna that
he had designated Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Assistant Secretary Julie Myers as the principal point of
contact for pursuing cooperation via that program. He also
noted the importance of the Border Violence Protocols, and
told Garcia Luna that his lead for that program would be
Chief of the Border Patrol David Aguilar. DHS Chief
Intelligence Officer Charles Allen of the Department's Office
of Intelligence and Analysis has the lead on intelligence and
information exchanges, Secretary Chertoff said.

16. (U) Secretary Chertoff did not have an opportunity to
review this message before leaving Mexico.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity
GARZA

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