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Cablegate: Presidential Security Assistant Brennan

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FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9549
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
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241776
2009-12-28 13:46:00
09MEXICO3634
Embassy Mexico
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
09MEXICO3468|09MEXICO3617
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DE RUEHME #3634/01 3621346
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281346Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9549
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/HQS USNORTHCOM
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR SNAR KCRM PHUM MX
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 MEXICO 003634

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR SNAR KCRM PHUM MX
SUBJECT: PRESIDENTIAL SECURITY ASSISTANT BRENNAN
STRESSES COMMITMENT TO DEEPER COOPERATION
REF: A: MEXICO 3617
B: MEXICO 3468

1. (SBU) Summary. John Brennan, Assistant to
the President for Homeland Security and
Counterterrorism, used his visit to Mexico,
December 14-15, to advance U.S.-Mexico
cooperation against organized crime. Accepting
an unprecedented format for senior bilateral
meetings, the GOM organized each session around
critical themes including the integration of
intelligence and operations, building capacity
to effect prosecutions, money laundering, and
arms trafficking. Each meeting became the
equivalent of a Mexico-U.S. Deputies or
Principals meeting. Mexico proposed
establishing an intelligence fusion center to
force comprehensive sharing and assessment of
intelligence. Both sides agreed our pilot
projects in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez were
essential to meet the concrete challenges posed
by organized crime throughout Mexico in areas
plagued by high levels of violence and crime.
The press reported widely and favorably on the
U.S. transfer of five Bell helicopters to Mexico
at a ceremony during which Brennan delivered the
keynote address for the U.S. side. End Summary.

Combining Efforts on the Four Pillars of Merida

2. (SBU) The GOM agreed to put together a
schedule of meetings with deputy or cabinet
level representatives from key law enforcement
agencies centered around thematic issues that
drive our cooperation on law enforcement
matters. Discussions opened with an evaluation
of progress and outstanding challenges on our
four pillar approach (Disrupting and Dismantling
DTOs, Institutionalizing the Rule of Law,
Building a 21st Century Border, Building
Resilient Communities). At the outset, both
sides agreed cooperation was never better and
expressed the hope new levels of trust would
produce a more integrated strategy and even
better concrete results. Presidential Security
Assistant Brennan highlighted the need to create
the proper architectural framework to achieve
our objectives. Success required interagency
cooperation and appropriate funding. We needed
to focus on milestones for progress, hold
ourselves accountable for shortcomings, and be
prepared to make adjustments along the way.

3. (SBU) Much of the discussion of Pillar One Q-
disrupting and dismantling DTOs Q- centered
around the need to fuse intelligence and
operations. Alejandro Ramirez, the Director of
CISEN's Policy unit, stressed the importance of
trust among Mexican agencies and between the
U.S. and Mexico to our achieving greater success
in the future. Mexico wanted to identify
priorities for cooperation on both sides of the
border. CISEN's International Coordinator
Gustavo Mohar briefed on CISEN's efforts to
organize agencies into a cohesive unit and
develop a protocol for cooperation based on
transparency. He looked to teams from both
sides to meet periodically to identify goals and
plans for achieving them. Noting some
informants had been killed, the U.S. agreed
greater trust was vital to making progress. The
Ambassador stressed our commitment to the
creation of a fusion center to support targeting
senior cartel leaders. But for such a center to
work, Brennan's concerns about systems
engineering must be addressed: who will man the
center, from what agencies, how will they be
vetted, who will have the authority to decide
that intelligence should lead to action, who
will take action, and how will this be done
under extraordinary time constraints?

MEXICO 00003634 002 OF 005

4. (SBU) In the U.S.-led discussion of Pillar
Two Q- institutionalizing the rule of law Q the
U.S. side focused on the need to build strong
law enforcement institutions capable of not only
investigating and apprehending criminal figures
but effectively prosecuting them. Reinforcing
this message, Presidential Security Assistant
Brennan recommended identifying concrete
benchmarks for success in the area of
prosecution. Cooperation should transition from
the federal level to the state and local level
over time. Respect for human rights respect
needs to assume a central role in law
enforcement activities. We need to continue to
leverage support from other countries and train
trainers as a dividend multiplier. Marisela
Morales, the Director of the Attorney General's
Organized Crime Division (SIEDO), remarked that
Mexico had much to learn from the U.S. and hoped
to borrow from the U.S. to better protect key
witnesses.

5. (SBU) In their Pillar Three discussion of
building a 21st century border, both sides
recommitted themselves to developing processes
that promote commerce and guarantee security.
It was essential to improve coordination, expand
information sharing, and create evaluation
mechanisms. Brennan assured the Mexicans that
DHS Secretary Napolitano appreciated the
challenges and opportunities posed by our shared
border and that she represented the strongest
advocate for greater cooperation. Both sides
celebrated the December 7 signing of the
Enhanced Declaration of Principles to Strengthen
Bilateral Economic and Security Cooperation as
reflective of our shared commitment to creating
structures to improve border cooperation.

6. (SBU) The Pillar Four discussion on building
resilient communities centered on the need to
develop a strategy to address the role of civil
society in meeting the challenges posed by
organized crime. Brennan stressed the
importance of attacking the culture of violence
and unlawfulness, in part by giving communities
greater ownership of the problems and the
solutions. He urged Mexico to develop a
communication strategy that would target
vulnerable communities, including Mexican youth.
For their part, Mexican representatives
discussed efforts to integrate social
development into its crime fighting strategy.
CISEN Director Guillermo Valdes recommended we
look more closely at social trends, including
drug addiction rates, as part of an effort to
get ahead of the curve. The Ambassador conveyed
U.S. readiness to offer our expertise and
experience to this end.

Examining Progress, Challenges in Tijuana and
Ciudad Juarez

7. (SBU) Both sides appreciated the potential of
our pilot projects in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez
to offer a genuine understanding of the
challenges on the ground. Tijuana still faced
considerable problems but had forged concrete
progress on the law enforcement front thanks to
greater information exchange and operational
coordination between SEDENA and the municipal
police. Participants acknowledged Mexican law
enforcement leaders in Tijuana deserved much of
the credit in producing lower levels of crime
and violence but still considered the experience
there instructive when looking at other parts of
Mexico.

8. (SBU) Mexico was hopeful we could visit
Ciudad Juarez January 14-15. In the meantime,

MEXICO 00003634 003 OF 005


Mexican participants described efforts to tackle
the record levels of violence there with a new,
more integrated approach. Mexico's Federal
Police will assume the lead for law enforcement
and focus on closing down establishments linked
to criminal activities such as drug trafficking
and prostitution in violent sectors of the city;
the Mexican military will step back from law
enforcement functions and dedicate itself
primarily to manning perimeter checkpoints (see
reftels). Jorge Tello, the Executive Secretary
of the National Public Security System, insisted
Mexico was dedicating all resources at its
disposal to address the challenges both in terms
of attacking organized crime but also building
alliances with civil society. We hope to learn
more about the particulars of the Mexican
strategy, particularly when it comes to
fostering greater cooperation across agencies in
undertaking effective operations targeting
cartel figures, when we visit Ciudad Juarez
January 14-15.

Identifying the Keys to Success

9. (SBU) Over lunch, Secretary of Public
Security Genaro Garcia Luna struck all of the
right chords in his expansive survey of the
challenges that face Mexico and the U.S. in
combating organized crime. He described the
objectives of organized crime as fourfold: 1)
intimidate enemies competing with them over
routes and territory; 2) foster impunity based
on fear; 3)increase the political costs of
confrontation; and 4) promote a counter culture
of crime. Garcia Luna described efforts to
transform the law enforcement community's
institutional capabilities. The Federal Police
has expanded from 6,000 to 32,000 officers of
which the number of intelligence analysts would
increase from 80 to 600. He sought to
facilitate greater information exchange and
overall interoperability across Mexico's
numerous and disparate police entities through a
mechanism we know as Plataforma Mexico. In
addition to reducing the levels of criminality
and violence, he described the need to work
effectively with Mexican state and municipal
police forces as one of his greatest challenges.
Garcia Luna expressed his appreciation for
President Calderon's undivided commitment to
fighting organized crime and his satisfaction
with U.S.-Mexican cooperation, suggesting if
both sides held firm we would see a reduction in
violence.

10. (SBU) Brennan revisited the need to
construct a strong institutional framework to
advance the full array of our objectives through
an integrated approach. Without the right
architecture it would be impossible to develop
and implement a coherent strategy. Under this
approach, it was necessary to identify an
individual who would lead Mexican efforts to
fuse intelligence and operations and who would
be trusted to represent the interests of all
agencies and not manifest a bias toward his/her
own agency. When it comes to conducting timely
operations based on intelligence, it is
important to reduce the levels of decision
makers and empower the right people at lower
levels to make decisions. Noting that it was
difficult to craft the right design, Brennan
suggested Mexico consider engaging a systems
engineer who has no institutional bias toward
any law enforcement entity. Rounding out this
discussion, the Ambassador suggested focusing on
the Mexican interagency's performance on past
cases with a view to learning from those
experiences and conducting tabletop exercises in
order to improve future efforts.

MEXICO 00003634 004 OF 005

Forging Cooperation on the Principal Challenges

11. (SBU) Our last meeting centered on combining
efforts to meet four separate challenges.

-- Mexico's Southern Border: SEGOB
Undersecretary for Population, Migration, and
Religious Affairs Alejandro Poire Romero spoke
honestly to the challenges posed by Mexico's
porous southern border with Guatemala and
Belize. The government was taking steps to
foster greater formality, increase security
levels, impose more customs controls, and expand
cooperation with the neighboring governments.
He looked to cooperation with the U.S. under
Merida to deliver essential training and
infrastructure equipment.

-- The Head of Mexico's Financial Intelligence
Unit (UIF) and the Mexican lead on anti-money
laundering Luis Urrutia focused on Mexico's
efforts to restructure its anti-money laundering
architecture. As Mexico had recently adopted
legislation on money laundering, Urrutia
stressed the need to develop protocols for
greater interagency cooperation. A lack of such
coordination had obstructed progress on
individual cases in the past. Presently, he
worked closely with the DEA but hoped to expand
cooperation with ICE officials. He expressed
his desire for greater access in the future to
bank accounts and property in the U.S. to
facilitate investigations. ICE representative
Tracy Bardoff discussed her agency's work on a
study to develop a baseline for our efforts on
money laundering and bulk cash smuggling.
Brennan remarked the U.S. needed to do more to
develop a more comprehensive and coherent
strategy to combat money laundering and that he
was committed to developing that strategy upon
his return to Washington.

-- Arms Trafficking: Mexican representatives
noted that the majority of weapons authorities
seized from criminal organizations originated
from the United States. Both sides, however,
applauded steps to improve cooperation, noting
our joint working group had met five times over
the last five months. We noted U.S. prosecutors
were pursuing cases of multiple purchasers of
weapons that have turned up in Mexico. Delivery
of Spanish e-trace beginning in December would
help us develop new cases against arms
traffickers. It was agreed that the U.S. and
Mexico would pick 3-5 cases that could be built
to prosecute arms traffickers in the U.S. Both
sides would collaborate to review a set of
standard issues to be addressed with all arms
seizures that could then enhance chances for
prosecutions.

-- Judicial Cooperation: DOJ stressed our
commitment to providing extensive training to
Mexican judicial officials under Merida.
However, it was essential Mexico move ahead
expeditiously in adopting criminal code and
procedural code reform to maximize the efficacy
of our training programs.

Helicopter Transfer Scores Good Press

12. (SBU) The Mexican press reportedly widely
the hand-over ceremony of five Bell-412
helicopters as representative of increased
cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico in the
fight against organized crime. Reports
indicated that the hand-over was only the
beginning of a large supply of equipment and
other support provided to Mexican authorities by
the U.S. Government under the Merida Initiative.

MEXICO 00003634 005 OF 005


Many indicated the U.S. would deliver upwards of
$632 million in equipment and other assistance
in 2010 alone. Quoting Brennan's remarks
describing the initial hand-over as substantial,
some reports also indicated President Obama was
committed to going beyond the original
assistance envisioned by Merida.

13. (SBU) Comment. The visit by Presidential
Security Assistant Brennan reinforced just how
far the U.S.-Mexico relationship has evolved on
security matters. We have moved well past a
sterile debate over the risks to Mexico's
sovereignty posed by greater cooperation towards
a productive exchange about how to maximize the
fruits of our combined efforts when it comes to
matters such as money laundering and arms
trafficking. The message that Mexico needs to
adopt a security architecture that promotes
interagency cooperation and operational
efficiency was delivered loud and clear. Our
present challenge lies now in helping Mexico
make that happen. Our upcoming joint visit to
Ciudad Juarez will provide a concrete
opportunity to focus on how both sides step up
to the challenges posed by unacceptable levels
of violence. The recent operation that netted
notorious organized crime leader Arturo Beltran
Leyva reminds us how much promise our
cooperation holds out. Our January Policy
Coordination Group meeting should afford us a
chance to take stock of progress and outstanding
challenges. End Comment.

PASCUAL

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