Search

 

Cablegate: Sceensetter for the Visit of Codel Cuellar To

VZCZCXRO4249
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #0104/01 0161930
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161930Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0156
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/CDR USNORTHCOM
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MEXICO 000104

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/MEX, H

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL SNAR KCRM ECON MASS MX
SUBJECT: SCEENSETTER FOR THE VISIT OF CODEL CUELLAR TO
MEXICO, JANUARY 20-22, 2008

REF: MEXICO 06228


1. Welcome to Mexico City and Matamoros. Mexico is key to
USG success in combating the trafficking of drugs, persons,
arms and precursors, terrorism, and other transnational
threats. Since entering office last December, Felipe
Calderon's government has moved with unprecedented speed to
improve public security.

-----------------------------
Strengthening Law Enforcement
-----------------------------

2. Specific measures include: launching aggressive anti-drug
operations in ten states; raising pay for the military;
replacing numerous high-ranking federal police officers in an
anti-corruption campaign; launching a billion dollar project
to create real-time interconnectivity between all police and
prosecutors, as well as a unified national crime database;
and, proposing congressional bills to unify federal police
forces and reform the judicial system.

3. The GOM has greatly strengthened law enforcement
cooperation with the USG, which along with a more flexible
attitude by the courts has allowed for the extradition of a
record 83 criminals to the U.S. in 2007, exceeding 2006's
record level. The GOM is now extraditing cartel kingpins of
significance and has seized record hauls of cocaine,
methamphetamine precursors, and bulk cash and other assets.

4. The ongoing security campaign has reduced the broad
geographic range and legal impunity that the cartels have
traditionally enjoyed in Mexico, although progress is tenuous
and uneven. Addressing personal security challenges ranks
regularly as the number one priority in public opinion polls.
Calderon has accomplished more in his first year than almost
any other recent Mexican president in countering unlawfulness
and murder.

------------------------------------
Stakes Rising for Security Officials
------------------------------------

5. The human price Mexico has paid has been high: in 2007,
over 300 police and military officials have been killed.
Mexican political leaders are not shy about reminding us that
U.S. demand for drugs, money laundering, and illegal arms
flows from our side of the border help fuel Mexico's drug war.

-------------------
Human Rights Issues
-------------------

6. Members of the political opposition and human rights
groups have expressed concern about the continued use of the
military for internal security and the potentially corrupting
influence this fight poses to the institution. The National
Human Rights Commission (CNDH) has investigated and reported
on several incidents.

7. To date, the Secretariat of Defense has shown a
willingness to deal with abuses committed by soldiers,
including investigating individuals accused of violations in
the state of Michoacan and prosecuting soldiers who killed a
family at a roadblock in the state of Sinaloa. In October
2007, eight soldiers were tried on charges relating to the
beating of 7 policemen and the rape of some 14 women. Four
of the soldiers were acquitted; the other four were convicted
and sentenced up to 41 years, marking the first time troops
have been tried and convicted in civilian courts.
Outstanding allegations against members of a variety of
federal, state and local security elements remain unresolved
and under
investigation. In January, Mexico's Army (SEDENA) create a
Human Rights Office to address human rights concerns, promote
greater respect for human rights and bring Mexico into
compliance with its obligations under international
humanitarian law.

MEXICO 00000104 002 OF 003

-------------------------
Other Security Challenges
-------------------------

8. EPR attacks on Pemex pipelines in July and early
September have added another dimension to Mexico's security
concerns, raising the specter of home-grown terrorism.
Calderon also recognizes that Mexico's own southern border
remains extremely vulnerable to immigration, trafficking in
persons, and the smuggling of contraband, and that securing
this border is of vital importance to U.S. security. Mexico
faces a variety of security challenges --
both mature and incipient.

--------------
Justice Reform
--------------

9. The Mexican Senate passed judicial reform legislation in
December that would facilitate transition to an oral trial
system, give law enforcement officials broader search and
seizure authority, allow consensual monitoring of telephone
calls, and give police more responsibility for conducting
investigations. Since the Senate modified several articles
of the draft prior approved by the House of Deputies, the
Senate version will return to the House for
consideration in February. Several leftist parties and human
rights activists described the legislation as a "step
backwards," giving the State excessive authorities at the
expense of the accused. Many jurists, however, believe
effective implementation of the legislation will make the
Mexican system work more transparently, expeditiously, and
fairly.

-------
Economy
-------

10. The Calderon administration has registered some
impressive economic accomplishments during its first year --
maintaining macroeconomic stability, keeping inflation at a
reasonable 4%, and lowering barriers to trade. The president
secured quick congressional approval of the 2007 and 2008
budgets, and won passage of an unpopular but necessary
government workers' social security reform. His effort to
reform Mexico's tax system paid off on
September 14 when Congress approved a tax reform that will
boost government revenues by 2.1% of GDP by 2012. Much
remains to be done, however, to arrest Mexico's slipping
global competitiveness. The GOM's challenge is to implement
structural reforms required for growth sufficient to raise
40% of Mexicans out of poverty.

--------------------------------------------- ---
President Facing Difficult Political Environment
--------------------------------------------- ---

11. Having completed his first year in office, Felipe
Calderon has crafted an image as an activist president,
consolidating his own political position and the power of the
Mexican state -- no small feat given tensions surrounding the
2006 elections and the law enforcement challenges the country
faces. The president faces a
difficult political environment here, with an active and
vocal opposition challenging him regularly.

12. Prosperity ranks with security as the key priority in
the minds of most Mexicans. If his programs and policies
prove unsuccessful in generating the kind of growth necessary
to create sufficient jobs and reduce poverty, Calderon could
quickly find himself vulnerable to a reinvigorated political
opposition. All three of the main political parties have
their eyes on bellwether 2009 congressional elections.

----------------------
U.S.- Mexico Relations
----------------------


MEXICO 00000104 003 OF 003


13. The Calderon government has demonstrated pragmatism in
its posture toward the United States and bilateral
cooperation, particularly in law enforcement, has never been
stronger. However, the failure of immigration reform in the
United States was a political setback for the president. The
result is that he enjoys less political space in which to
openly cooperate with the U.S. on issues of mutual bilateral
importance.

--------------------------
Regional Focus: Matamoros
--------------------------

14. The border region, including Matamoros, is a key
economic conduit between the U.S. and Mexico. Matamoros is
the third-largest city in the state of Tamaulipas behind
Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo. As with other cities along the
border, the economy on both sides is heavily influenced by
the maquila industry with significant U.S. manufacturing
investment. In addition to Mexico's heavy reliance on U.S.
industrial investment for employment in the region, U.S.
commerce along the border relies heavily on retail spending
by visiting Mexicans as the majority of consumer items are
less expensive and more readily available in the U.S.

15. The delicate balance of U.S. industrial investment and
Mexican consumerism along the border is affected by the
current issues of narcotrafficking in Mexico and increased
security efforts by DHS. The recent increase in combating
narcotrafficking has resulted in a number of
highly-publicized confrontations between Mexico's Federal
Police (AFI) and the Gulf Cartel in the region. In
particular, firefights in Rio Bravo and Reynosa since the New
Year have increased security concerns potentially inmpacting
future investment decisions. Additionally, increased wait
times at border crossings have produced increase delays and
shipping costs for U.S. industrial interests in Mexico, as
well as serving a possible deterrent for Mexican consumers
that might cross the border into the U.S. market to shop.

16. Additional topics at the heart of many regional concerns
and possible topics of conversation during your meeting in
Matamoros include the proposed border wall, shared water
resources and physical infrastructure. Contacts on both sides
of the border fear economic and social backlash from the
proposed border wall. In the agricultural community, in
particular, Tamaulipas farmers allege that deliveries of Rio
Grande water to the U.S. under the 1944 Treaty deprive them
of needed water. The latest flare-up, tiggered by deliveries
to end the 2002-2007 water cycle without a deficit is
currently being analyzed by the Mexican Supreme Court. (The
shared water supplies that fall under the IBWC include Rio
Grande resources such as the Falcon Dam reservoir in the
northern portion of the Matamoros consular district.) A
continued lack of sufficient public infrastructure in terms
of highways, electricity and sanitation, among others,
contributes to a cautious investment environment.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /
GARZA

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC