Search

 

Cablegate: Recommendation to Upgrade Consulates Nuevo Laredo,

VZCZCXRO1164
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #6281/01 3621312
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281312Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0022
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 006281

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12598: NA
TAGS: AMGT APER OPDC PREL MX
SUBJECT: RECOMMENDATION TO UPGRADE CONSULATES NUEVO LAREDO,
MATAMOROS, AND HERMOSILLO TO CONSULATES GENERAL

1. Summary and action request: Mission Mexico has undertaken a
thorough review of interests, missions, workloads, and staffing
structures at all of its consulates. As a result we recommend that
three posts -- Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros and Hermosillo -- be formally
redesignated as Consulates General vice Consulates. We have
determined that this new status would more accurately reflect the
posts' current size and responsibilities, and provide better parity
with Mexican representation across the border in the U.S. All three
posts have border trade and security functions that will be better
advanced by the Consulate General designation. Post assesses that
minimal costs associated with the upgrades can be absorbed in our
existing budget. Post anticipates no additional changes in rank and
staffing beyond those already identified as part of anticipated
growth in consular services (and which will proceed regardless of
posts' designation). ACTION REQUEST: Per 2 FAM 130 guidance post
requests that, if it concurs, WHA submit the request and
post-specific recommendations to M for approval. End Summary

NUEVO LAREDO

2. Consulate Nuevo Laredo was established in 1871 but has grown in
size and complexity in recent years. For reasons of trade,
security, consular services and staffing it is important to
designate Nuevo Laredo a Consulate General. Consulate Nuevo Laredo
sits at the hub of four border crossings through which 38 percent of
U.S.-Mexico trade passes. On any given day 10,000 trucks and 1200
railcars cross the border, posing prosperity opportunities and
security challenges. According to one report 700 of the Fortune
1000 top companies move raw materials or products through Nuevo
Laredo. On the security front, we have more American citizens
kidnapped or missing from the Nuevo Laredo area than from any other
city in Mexico, and our advocacy on their behalf would be
strengthened by designating the post a Consulate General (Mexico's
post in Laredo, Texas, is already a Consulate General; Mexico has
four other posts in Texas that correspond to Nuevo Laredo's
district.) Additionally, due to the unique security challenges
facing residents in the Laredo/Nuevo Laredo area, Post is heavily
engaged in coordinating meetings between law enforcement entities on
both sides of the border, in facilitating the exchange of law
enforcement information, and also serving as a bridge to the Mexican
military.

3. On the consular front, Nuevo Laredo has seen an NIV issuance
increase 81% (from 36,000 to 65,300) in just the last year, and it
is projected to grow every year through 2012. Passport services
have increased an astounding 380% (from 270 to over 1,000) over the
past year as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) comes
into force. It is already the second largest visa processing post
for temporary workers headed to the US on H-2 visas. Nuevo Laredo
oversees the work of two constituent consular agencies. In
addition, due to the size of the consular district, that corresponds
to two Mexican consulates and one Mexican Consulate General, Post
engages in numerous public diplomacy and outreach projects that
transcend the boundaries between the Mexican states of Nuevo Leon,
Coahuila and Tamaulipas, including participation in numerous
ceremonial and political events. Finally, Nuevo Laredo's staff has
increased to total 50 employees representing various agencies, and
additional growth is slated in the coming years. The opening of a
DEA office in Nuevo Laredo in mid-2007 will be followed by the
assignment of at least three additional DEA personnel to Post in
2008 and increased law enforcement cooperation as a result.

4. Post assesses that minimal costs associated with the upgrades
can be absorbed in our existing budget. Post anticipates no
additional changes in rank and staffing beyond those already
identified as part of anticipated growth in consular services (and
which will proceed regardless of posts' designation.)

MATAMOROS

5. Consulate Matamoros just celebrated its 175th birthday but
needs to upgrade its status to confront the myriad challenges it
faces in advancing trade, promoting security, and providing consular
services. Since the 1994 signing of the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) Consulate Matamoros' district has become an
important site for U.S. investment in industries exporting to the
United States. The average $1 billion/day in trade between the U.S.
and Mexico poses prosperity opportunities and security challenges.
Matamoros coordinates border liaison meetings to ensure U.S.
interests are protected on both fronts. On the consular front
Matamoros has seen NIV applications increase - 30 percent in the
past year (98,000 to 128,000), and passport applications have grown
66 percent (288 to 480) over the same time frame. CA projects
additional growth in all consular services in coming years,
including a three-fold increase in passport applications. Consulate
Matamoros hosts three agencies(including the recent addition of DEA)
and has a total staff of about 70, with additional growth
anticipated. Consulate Matamoros oversees a constituent consular
agency in Reynosa. Mexico has two consulates within Texas mirroring
Matamoros.

6. Post assesses that minimal costs associated with the upgrade

MEXICO 00006281 002 OF 002


can be absorbed in our existing budget. Post anticipates no
additional changes in rank and staffing beyond those already
identified as part of anticipated growth in consular services (and
which will proceed regardless of posts' designation.)

HERMOSILLO

7. Consulate Hermosillo in Sonora, Mexico has experienced
geometric growth in staff and mission since its founding in 1966.
Today its expanding business and trade promotion, law enforcement
and consular missions mandate its designation as a Consulate
General. Some 212 plants in Sonora alone generate exports to the
United States, and 42 percent of all agricultural exports to the
United States -- most products of Sinaloa, the other state in
Consulate Hermosillo's consular district -- enter through Sonora.
Sonora state received $186 million in foreign direct investment in
2005, and Guaymas, its fourth largest city, is the site of Mexico's
fastest growing aerospace industry cluster. The largest Ford Motor
assembly plant in North America is in Hermosillo. Among less
fortunate statistics, Sinaloa is the base for the Sinaloa Cartel,
arguably Mexico's most powerful drug cartel, which uses Sonora as a
key transit area for drugs being sent illegally to the United
States. Sonora is also a key staging area for over 2000 illegal
immigrants a day hoping to cross into the United States. Hermosillo
is Sonora's capital and seat of government, which facilitates access
to Mexican authorities and gives the Consulate an important liaison
role for the USG with them. While Consulate Hermosillo has seen
only a small rise in NIV adjudications this year, it has experienced
a significant increase in passport demand. The Mission, however,
has begun to transform Consulate Hermosillo into one of our largest
H visa processing posts this year. Consulate Hermosillo hosts five
agencies (including two law enforcement agencies) and has a total
staff of about 80. Hermosillo has one constituent consular agency
in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, where some 5000 American citizens reside.
Hermosillo provides some support as requested to our Consulate in
Nogales, AZ. Mexico has five consulates in Arizona, two of them
Consulates General (Nogales and Phoenix).

8. Post assesses that minimal costs associated with the upgrade can
be absorbed in our existing budget. Post anticipates no additional
changes in rank and staffing beyond those already identified as part
of anticipated growth in consular services (and which will proceed
regardless of posts' designation.)

9. Comment: Beyond the post-specific rationales for these new
designations we also see a benefit to demonstrating to Mexico our
intent to improve and "upgrade" the bilateral relationship across
the board at a time when our requests for closer law enforcement
cooperation will intensify.

10. Please advise if any additional information is required. Many
thanks for your assistance.

Bassett

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>