Search

 

Cablegate: Outgoing Mayors Speak On Threats From Organized Crime;

VZCZCXRO5071
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHMC #0411/01 3031829
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301829Z OCT 09
FM AMCONSUL MONTERREY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4062
INFO RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 5142
RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQ WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM
RUEHMC/AMCONSUL MONTERREY 9680

232351
2009-10-30 18:29:00
09MONTERREY411
Consulate Monterrey
CONFIDENTIAL

VZCZCXRO5071
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHMC #0411/01 3031829
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301829Z OCT 09
FM AMCONSUL MONTERREY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4062
INFO RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 5142
RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQ WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM
RUEHMC/AMCONSUL MONTERREY 9680

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MONTERREY 000411

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/30/2019
TAGS: KCRM KCOR ASEC SNAR PHUM PGOV MX
SUBJECT: OUTGOING MAYORS SPEAK ON THREATS FROM ORGANIZED CRIME;
LOCAL CONSULTANT CALLS FOR TARGETED ACTION AGAINST COMMON CRIME

MONTERREY 00000411 001.2 OF 003


CLASSIFIED BY: Bruce Williamson, Consul General.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
1. (C) Summary: During separate conversations with Consul
General, two outgoing Mayors briefed us on threats they had
received from narcotraffickers during their tenure. The worst
instance involved armed sicarios who stormed into one mayor's
city hall office and demanded that he stop resisting their
dictates. Meanwhile, a Monterrey-based security consultant told
PolOffs on October 23 that he was frustrated by the state of
Nuevo Leon's delay in adopting a security proposal that had
garnered positive results in Sonora. His approach involves
public release of common crime statistics and significant
community involvement. He criticized efforts by new State
Secretary of Public Security (SSP) Carlos Jauregui Hintze to
weed out police corruption before tackling escalating crime
rates and called for state authorities to expand the release of
crime statistics. End Summary.

Outgoing Mayors Depart the Pressure-cooker
------------------------------------------
2. (C) During the past few weeks, Consul General spoke with the
mayors of four Monterrey region municipalities, all of whom
expressed relief that their terms were ending October 31 given
the pressure they were under from organized crime. Rafael Paz,
the Mayor of Santiago, a suburban city south of Monterrey,
painted the clearest picture of the situation he had faced. He
stated that during his three year term he:

--- Had been threatened by narco-traffickers in the presence
of the written and broadcast press;
--- Had been confronted by an armed group of narco-gunmen
which burst into his city hall office demanding that he stop
resisting their demands. (Per the Mayor, he was told "they're
200 of us and only 9 on you security detail; who do you think
is going to win?"
--- Had the military raid a kidnapper's safe house several
doors away from his home; and
--- Had received telephone threats from the Zetas threatening
to kill him and take his decapitated head to his wheelchair
bound spouse.

3. (C) Paz recognized that his police force had been thoroughly
penetrated by the narco-traffickers, pointing out that his
municipal Secretary for Public Security had been detained by
military and state authorities and had subsequently confessed.
However, he felt that the narco-traffickers focus upon him was
because the municipality had begun to sell land tracts and an
unexpected rush of potential buyers, with pockets full of cash,
wanted to buy the plots. Paz had refused some offers (in one
case, an interested buyer sought to pay 25 percent in cash for a
95 million peso property) due to his suspicions of money
laundering.

4. (C) Outgoing San Pedro Mayor Fernando Margain Berlanga has
also faced difficulties, although not as severe as Paz.
Margain's challenge has been how to deal with several notorious
night clubs which have become centers for drug-dealing. While
the city has mandated closing times, in practice the clubs don't
close on time because the gangsters frequenting these
establishments don't let that happen. City efforts to shut down
the clubs have faltered as club owners have gotten federal
injunctions allowing them to continue doing business. For his
trouble, Margain has received implicit and explicit telephone
threats.

Security Program Lacks Traction
-------------------------------

5. (C) In an October 23 meeting, security consultant Santiago
Roel told PolOffs that the State of Nuevo Leon had yet to
implement fully a crime prevention program similar to one in
Sonora that had significantly reduced many common crimes there.
Roel, a private consultant who designed the Sonora program,
uses traffic lights, "semaforos," to indicate if a particular
crime statistic has reached a target reduction percentage.
(Note: Green signals that crime rates are at or below a
predetermined goal, red that crime rates have risen above
historical averages, and yellow that the statistics are
in-between.) Roel's program also involves citizen and
government participation in weekly meetings to discuss publicly
released crime statistics, broken down by individual police
districts. Citizen groups hold police officials accountable for
failing to reduce criminal activities in their districts.

6. (C) Based on his observations, organized crime has more
heavily infiltrated the Nuevo Leon state police than Sonora's
state police. Even so, he believes the Nuevo Leon police
situation is salvageable. In the Monterrey metro area, Roel has

MONTERREY 00000411 002.2 OF 003


targeted the suburbs of San Pedro, San Nicolas and Guadalupe as
initial candidates for his program. He said he refused to work
with the suburb of Apodaca after the city's police chief
confided to him that he has no control over his police force.

Semaforos Incorporated
----------------------

7. (C) Roel explained that public pressure had forced the
previous Nuevo Leon state administration to accept the semaforo
indicators, but the state had not incorporated any of the other
elements of his program, which he judged key to success. Former
Nuevo Leon Governor Jose Natividad Gonzales Paras had opposed
his program, he stated. While new governor Rodrigo Medina de la
Cruz has been supportive of his initiative, the state has yet to
implement his full program. Real reform, he noted, requires the
support of the Citizen's Councils for Public Safety.
State Approach Needs Reform
---------------------------

8. (C) Roel said he believed the state's new Secretary of
Public Security (SSP), Carlos Jauregui Hintze, had good
intentions, but was hampered by a corrupt police organization
and opined that Jauregui has taken the wrong approach by
initially attempting to weed out corruption instead of reduce
crime. He pointed out that the state police also have
jurisdiction in part of Monterrey, which dilutes the
organization's focus and efficacy. The State police, he
recommended, should return control of the city to the municipal
police and focus 80 percent of their activities on prevention
instead of reaction, as he said was currently the case.

9. (C) Criticizing the state's emphasis on a "top-down" control
system, he explained that crime reduction requires an inverse
approach - active participation by citizens and district police
units to help calibrate law enforcement activities at a local
level. Unlike Sonora, Nuevo Leon has not broken down crime
statistics to the degree where authorities can use them to
identify crime rates at the community level. Doing so would
help assign responsibility for underperforming geographical
areas and political subdivisions. Roel opined that Jauregui was
trying to emulate federal Secretary of Public Security Jorge
Tello's method of exerting central control over police, instead
of tailoring police actions to the needs of neighborhoods.

The Way Forward
---------------

10. (C) Any program to address corruption must have support at
the top and offer a mechanism for accountability, Roel said.
His approach would identify specific geographical areas and, by
association, those who were responsible for either good or bad
outcomes. Roel noted that, based on his Sonora experience, it
becomes readily apparent where the problems are after analyzing
the statistics at the neighborhood level. In Sonora, he said,
the state focused on those 20 percent of the geographic areas
where 80 percent of all crimes occurred.

11. (C) He pointed out that some crimes, such as car theft, are
good indicators of corruption in a political subdivision,
because this type of crime requires a sophisticated distribution
network. Collusion by public authorities is usually necessary
for this type of crime to flourish. Roel's strategy involves
establishing accountability, publishing and widely disseminating
crime statistics, publically announcing crime reduction goals
and involving civil society groups along with local and federal
police authorities in the process. He would expand this to all
11 political subdivisions in the Monterrey area. Roel
emphasized that authorities can quickly reduce crimes such as
domestic violence, rape and sexual assault by focusing on
problematic communities and releasing targeted statistics.
Often, the statistics alone are enough to generate positive
community action.


Comment
-------

12. (C) While Roel is clearly trying to sell his consultancy
services, he does have an impressive track record in Sonora. He
notes that, while using his program, that state reduced rape by
26 percent, domestic violence 34 percent, robbery 30 percent,
house breaking 22 percent and assault 17 percent. While he is
eager to tout his success in Sonora, Roel is clearly nervous
about associating his efforts with operations against organized
crime, quickly declaring to PolOffs that his operations did not

MONTERREY 00000411 003.2 OF 003


target cartel activity. Roel was highly critical of San Pedro
municipal authorities, who he claimed, refused to heed his
advice. Indeed, Roel is a vocal member of the local San Pedro
Citizen's Security Council and that body has engaged in a
long-running debate as to whether to emphasize Roel's strategy
or state Public Security Secretary Jauregui's current approach
of trying to weed out corruption before addressing local crime
rates. Fellow Council member Mauricio Ramos Pons, a former
security chief for the Monterrey-based multinational ALFA
corporation, has argued just as persuasively that ensuring that
local police forces are reliable, honest, and well-motivated and
well-trained is the most important goal to be pursued. Clearly
both need to be done, but the difficult question that must be
answered is which should have a higher priority.

13. (SBU) Roel, 52, is a forthright and self-assured
interlocutor. He began as a government consultant in the early
1990s, but did not address security issues until the latter part
of the decade. In addition to his consulting business, he is a
residential real estate developer, rents vacation properties,
and runs a call-center software company. Roel has a law degree
from the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon, an MBA from
Monterrey TEC and has done post-graduate studies at Harvard's
John F. Kennedy School.
WILLIAMSONB

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>