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Cablegate: Eac Amconsulate Tijuana - Reported Threat of Planned Sniper

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PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS
DE RUEHTM #1253/01 3592359
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 242359Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL TIJUANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8127
INFO RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 5085
RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEHTM/AMCONSUL TIJUANA 0870

184881
2008-12-24 23:59:00
08TIJUANA1253
Consulate Tijuana
CONFIDENTIAL

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PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS
DE RUEHTM #1253/01 3592359
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 242359Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL TIJUANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8127
INFO RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 5085
RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEHTM/AMCONSUL TIJUANA 0870
TAGS: ASEC PINS CASC SNAR MX
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 TIJUANA 001253

SENSITIVE NOFORN
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR DS, DS/IP/WHA, DS/TIA/PII, CA, MEXICO CITY FOR RSO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/24/2018
TAGS: ASEC PINS CASC SNAR MX
SUBJECT: EAC AMCONSULATE TIJUANA - REPORTED THREAT OF PLANNED SNIPER
ATTACK
REF: DS/IP/WHA E-MAIL DATED 12/24/2008

TIJUANA 00001253 001.2 OF 004


CLASSIFIED BY: Angela D. Arroliga, Regional Security Officer, US
Consulate General Tijuana, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (c), (g)

CLASSIFIED BY: Angela D. Arroliga, Regional Security Officer, US
Consulate General Tijuana, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (c), (g)

1.(SBU) On December 22, 2008, Post's Emergency Action Committee
(EAC) Law Enforcement Subgroup (LEWG) met to discuss the
investigation of a reported threat against DEA Special Agents
assigned to Post. Post's Core EAC members had telephonically
discussed the threat on December 20, 2008, when information was
received that a drug cartel was planning a sniper attack against
DEA agents working in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. EAC
participants included CG, DHS-ICE, DEA, RSO, and CONS.

THREAT SUMMARY

2. (SBU) Post law enforcement agency representatives (DHS-ICE,
DEA, RSO) informed the EAC that, working in a joint effort since
December 20, 2008, they had investigated the claimed "sniper"
attack plan. On December 19, 2008 a Source of Information
(SOI) contacted DEA Tijuana claiming that he overheard a sniper
shooting was planned by a member of the Arrellano-Felix drug
cartel (AFO), against any DEA agent assigned to the USCG
Tijuana. The Subject planning the sniper attack said the
majority of DEA agents live in the brown, high-rise apartment
building right behind the U.S. Consulate building. The Subject
said they would be able to identify the DEA agents since they
were "Chicano" or "Puerto Rican", drove vehicles with Consulate
plates, and were not armed.

INVESTIGATION OF THREAT

3. (C/NF) On December 20, 2008, DEA and RSO agents interviewed
the SOI on the reported threat, and obtained detailed
information. Details of the SOI debriefing are at the end of
this cable. As recommended by the EAC/LEWG, on December 23,
2008 the SOI underwent a Polygraph examination conducted by DEA
San Diego Field Office, asking whether the SOI had overheard the
conversation about the planning of a sniper attack against DEA
agents working in Tijuana. The SOI passed the Polygraph,
corroborating the reported threat information. Additionally,
the SOI has been a reliable Confidential Source for DEA for
approximately eight years and has provided reliable information
in the past for several criminal investigations.

4. (SBU) There are no DEA or DHS-ICE agents housed in the brown,
high-rise apartment building immediately behind the USCG Tijuana
main building. However, there used to be a DEA agent from
Puerto Rico living in a the apartment building who left about
three years ago. The apartment does include three Mission
residence apartments for three Foreign Service Officers (FSOs).
None of the FSOs housed in the apartment building resemble the
profile of male of Latino heritage, as two are males with light
coloring (GSO, CONS) and one is female (RSO). RSO's spouse
residing in the apartment building is of Latino heritage, but
does not use Consular license plates. Housing for the agents of
DEA, DHS-ICE, and ARSO, who may resemble the target profile, is
in a different area of Tijuana, not near the apartment building.

5. (C/NF) Based on the results of the joint investigation,
Post's law enforcement representatives, with the assistance of
DHS-ICE San Diego and the DEA San Diego Field Office
Arellano-Felix Task Force (AFO-TF), have been identified the
Subjects named by the SOI as known drug cartel members. The SOI
learned the information from hearing one side of a cell phone
conversation and from one participant's statements, rather than
hearing both sides of the attack planning discussion. The SOI
provided names mentioned by the Subject, including a former

TIJUANA 00001253 002.2 OF 004


State of Baja California Ministerial police officer who was
previously trained as a sniper by San Diego Sheriff's office.
The Subjects are known to be either current or former
state-level law enforcement officers in Tijuana, so care must be
taken in requesting GOM police support for protection of
personnel or for any investigative or counter-surveillance
operations.

6. (SBU) Proactive investigation continues in the San Diego and
Tijuana areas with the goal of disrupting the attack and
arresting the planners. From previous investigative of the
Subjects named by the SOI , DEA agents believe them to be
disciplined drug cartel members who will "do their homework" by
spending one or two weeks identifying and locating DEA agents
to target, with It is not consistent with the Subject group to
send an amateur to shoot indiscriminately at any resident of the
apartment building or driver of a Consular plated vehicle,
without first determining whether they appear to be a DEA agent.
The Subject would make the first attack "count", with the
ultimate goal of getting DEA removed from Tijuana, instead of
wasting their "one shot" on a non-DEA Consulate employee.
However, Subjects may not be able to determine which Post law
enforcement agents are from DEA, or DHS-ICE, or RSO since each
agency has Latino male agents assigned to USCG Tijuana.

POST RESPONSE SUMMARY

7. (SBU) Since December 20, 2008 the following actions for
protection of personnel are being taken with the recommendation
of the EAC and RSO Mexico City. Surveillance Detection (SD)
Team coverage is adjusted beyond business hours to include the
apartment building in back of the USCG main building. ARSO/Inv,
RSO/SD Coordinator, and Post's law enforcement agency
representatives have re-assessed areas of vulnerability for
sniper attack from various directions, including continuing
review of area from high vantage points. As requested,
additional Tijuana Municipal police coverage has been provided
supplementing the 24/7 uniformed police officers with added
marked patrol units during active hours. The Consul General and
RSO section members met with the Tijuana Director of Public
Safety of Tijuana in order to renew contacts and confirm
response capabilities, without providing details of threat.
Separate meetings and telephone contacts have been made with the
Tijuana Municipal Police Supervisor, and with the State police
counterparts, without providing details, but to update react
plans.

8. (SBU) EAC/LEWG concurred that the additional protective
measures appear consistent with the level of threat information
available at this stage of the investigation. EAC/LEWG members
are keeping in close contact with their local U.S. and Mexican
contacts regarding any new development or any unusual persons or
events in or around the apartment building or the USCG main
building.

DETAILS - INTERVIEW of SOI

9. (SBU) Post DEA section has sent a cable through their
channels and provided the text to RSO section as it details the
Interview of the SOI. The text from the DEA cable follows in
paragraphs 10 through 18.

Begin Quote:

10. (U) On 12-19-08, CS-01-103562 (CS) contacted XXXXXXXXXXXX regarding a possible threat to DEA agents
working in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.

11. (SBU) On 12-20-08 XXXXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXXXX, and XXXXXXXXXXXX

TIJUANA 00001253 003.2 OF 004


XXXXXXXXXXXX met with and debriefed the CS regarding
the aforementioned threat. The CS advised that on 12-19-08 s/he
was at a restaurant in the company of a former Baja California
State Ministerial Officer named Oscar LOPEZ. While together,
LOPEZ received a telephone call from ARELLANO-Felix Organization
(AFO) enforcer, Enrique JORQUERA. LOEZ received the call via
his Nextel radio (approximately 4:30 pm) and the CS was able to
overhear the entire conversation.

12. (SBU) JORQUERA advised LOPEZ that "INGE" (identified as the
current AFO leader Fernando SANCHEZ-Arellano) had authorized
another AFO enforcer named Gerardo VIZAIS aka MONSTER to locate
and kill someone from the "Tres Letras" (Term commonly utilized
by drug traffickers when referring to DEA). Per the CS,
JORQUERA stated SANCHEZ-Arellano knew DEA existed in Tijuana and
that DEA was responsible for sending Government of Mexico (GOM)
authorities from Mexico City to Tijuana to arrest the leaders of
the AFO. Therefore, JORQUERA was calling LOPEZ to have him
assist VIZAIS with locating and targeting the DEA agents.

13. (SBU) JORQUERA further stated that if one or two agents were
located and killed, DEA would move all agents out of Tijuana.
LOPEZ was told that they believed the majority of DEA agents
lived in a brown high rise apartment building located behind the
U.S. Consulate (NOTE: This building is in the Consulate housing
pool, but no DEA employees currently reside there. However,
several Department of State (DOS) employees currently reside in
the building.)

14. (SBU) JORQUERA stated the DEA agents would be easy to
identify because they were all "Chicanos" (Term used to describe
people of Mexican descent born in the United States) or "Puerto
Ricans." Additionally, JORQUERA told LOPEZ the DEA agents would
be easy targets because they travel in vehicles with Consular
plates and are not armed.

15. (SBU) The CS provided the following additional details
regarding JORQUERA, LOPEZ, and VIZAIS. The CS knows JORQUERA to
be the current leader of an AFO enforcement cell known as the
"HITLERS." JORQUERA was formerly the top lieutenant of Jorge
BRISENO-Lopez aka CHOLO. However, after BRISENO was presumably
killed on the orders of the AFO hierarchy, JORQUERA took over
for BRISENO. JORQUERA now works directly under Fernando
SANCHEZ-Arellano aka EL INGE. The CS believes JORQUERA is a
Lawfully Admitted Permanent Resident and lives in San Diego, CA
(NOTE: A query of the Immigration indices conducted by the
Tijuana U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Attache
office revealed JORQUERA is a naturalized United States Citizen).

16. (SBU) The CS also advised that VIZAIS is a former Baja
California State Ministerial Officer who was trained as a sniper
by the San Diego Sheriffs Office in 1998 or 1999. The CS stated
VIZAIS is allegedly the individual who shot and killed 3 people
in October 2008, from a distance, outside the GOM Naval base in
Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Those subjects were murdered
because the AFO believed they worked with Eduardo
GARCIA-Simental aka TEO.

17. (SBU) The CS provided LOPEZ' cell phone number as (52
664-126-0407 and LOPEZ' Nextel radio Identification number as
152*152782*3.

18. (SBU) The CS advised there was no mention of a time frame of
when the threat was to be carried out. However, the CS has been
tasked to attempt to obtain more details.

End Quote.

19. (U) Post RSO section will update Post management, the EAC,
RSO Mexico City, DS/IP/WHA, and DS/TIA/PII as needed as the

TIJUANA 00001253 004.2 OF 004


investigation continues throughout the holiday time period.
Post EAC will convene as soon as developments warrant. For
comments or questions, please contact RSO at
011-52-664-622-7464, or 7451.

KRAMER
SIGNATURE

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