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Cablegate: Cda's Meeting with Mexico State Governor Enrique

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223036
2009-08-31 19:39:00
09MEXICO2579
Embassy Mexico
CONFIDENTIAL

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INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM
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TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR MX
C O N F I D E N T I A L MEXICO 002579

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

INR FOR HOHMANN.

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/24/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR MX
SUBJECT: CDA'S MEETING WITH MEXICO STATE GOVERNOR ENRIQUE
PENA NIETO
Classified By: Confidential by Political Minister Counselor
Gustavo Delgado. Reason: 1.4 (b),(d).

1. (C) CDA met on August 21 with Mexico State Governor
Enrique Pena Nieto, from the Institutional Revolutionary
Party (PRI), who is clearly looking for greater interaction
between his administration and the United States. The
meeting, which followed a visa appointment for his two
children, came just after a request by the Governor's
International Relations Coordinator, Arnulfo Valdivia
Machuca, for the USG to provide assistance on security
matters. Valdivia Machuca asked on behalf of its Attorney
General's Office and State Security Agency for the
development of an international cooperation program in
security and justice that would include exchanges of
information, technologies, and investigative training and
assistance.

2. (C) Pena Nieto noted his concern that Mexico has yet to
find an appropriate recipe for effectively dealing with the
country's security challenges. He claimed that the new
composition of Mexican politics, particularly in Mexico State
where the PRI won big in the July 5 midterm and state
elections, will help to drive solutions to the security
problem. He also said he hoped to move forward on
implementation of a police reform project in Mexico State to
create a "metropolitan police" that would be controlled at
the state level and would nearly supplant the municipal
police, leaving them with only basic transit authorities.
The Governor commented that the Mexico State municipal police
are "in chaos," but that his state police, while certainly
having room for improvement, are at least "acceptable." A
critical problem contributing to local police disarray is the
almost complete lack of municipal taxation authority and the
dismal collection capability of even those minimal taxes the
cities can charge, leaving these delegations fully dependent
on the state and federal government for funding transfers.
In the short term, he recognized the country's difficult
economic environment will be a significant restraint on
strengthening municipal budgets.

3. (C) In that light, Pena Nieto discussed prospects for the
next legislative session, noting that the PRI is carefully
considering how it might collaborate with the Calderon
government to address the country's economic woes, but was
calculating the political costs of such cooperation,
particularly if it means tax increases. He also noted the
PRI's concern that it will be betrayed in any collaboration
with the PAN should the PAN choose to ally itself more
closely to the PRD in a bid to weaken what it sees as its
more dangerous rival.

4. (C) Comment: Governor Pena Nieto's outreach to the Embassy
and request for assistance is doubly motivated. Mexico
State's continued struggle with high levels of narco-related
violence undoubtedly encourage the Governor to address the
problem using all available means. This leading PRI
presidential contender, however, is also almost certainly
trying to burnish his international credentials in the run-up
to a future electoral bid. He has a very strong base of
support in the PRI caucus in the lower house, is a leader
among governors, and has managed Mexico State's affairs as an
able administrator. He recently held a private meeting with
President Calderon and will continue to be a power player in
Mexican politics.

5. (C) Pena Nieto speaks and understands some English. His
daughter will be attending the Overbrook Academy in Rhode
Island.

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 /

FEELEY

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