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Cablegate: Mexico: Unodc Representative Suggests

VZCZCXRO4594
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #3623/01 3572156
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 232156Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9528
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0382
RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/CDR USNORTHCOM PETERSON AFB CO

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 003623

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL UN MX
SUBJECT: MEXICO: UNODC REPRESENTATIVE SUGGESTS
REGIONAL MEETING ON MERIDA

1. (SBU) Summary: The Ambassador and the UN
Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) regional and
country representatives recently met and
discussed ways to promote greater regional
coordination among our Merida partners on
combating narco-trafficking with a view to
producing more concrete progress. They also
exchanged information on projects and trends
within Mexico. The UNODC representative
suggested a meeting among the Merida countries -
- possibly at the ministerial level early next
year -- to improve strategic coordination, but
emphasized that improving national capacities
should remain the priority. End Summary.

2. (SBU) The Ambassador met with United Nations
Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) regional
representative, Antonio Mazzitelli (who is
stationed in Mexico), December 17 to discuss
regional strategies for combating narco-
trafficking and other organized crime
activities. Mazzitelli was accompanied by his
colleague, Rubi Blancas, the UNODC's National
Program Officer in Mexico. The Ambassador
briefed them on the Merida Initiative, including
the four pillars that define our overarching
strategic approach, recent senior visits, and
local strategies for combating organized crime
in Mexico.

3. (SBU) Mazzitelli was concerned that Central
American and Caribbean countries were lagging
behind in the fight against narco-trafficking
and thought that a meeting composed of the
Merida countries would help to both energize and
improve strategic coordination. He suggested
that the meeting take place in New York among
countries' permanent representatives to the UN
or, alternatively, a meeting at the ministerial
level. Mazzitelli stressed the need for
countries to expand their national capacities
as a priority (as opposed to regional
activities) but thought that the kind of meeting
he proposed would allow for improved strategic
coordination and, possibly, the identification
of some specific places where cooperative action
might complement national programs.

4. (SBU) Mazzitelli and Blancas explained that
their UN Office took a more hemispheric
perspective in the war on drugs. Typically, the
UNODC works through regional organizations or
agreements such as the Caribbean Community
(CARICOM), Central American Integration System
(SICA), the Santo Domingo Pact and the Managua
Declaration, or through key cooperating states
such as Colombia (source), Panama (transit), and
Mexico (entrance). Mazzitelli added that in the
Caribbean, coordination was more challenging
with the mix of English and Spanish speaking
countries.

5. (SBU) Acknowledging that Mexico could be
considered a region in of itself in light of the
work and coordination at the state and local
level, Mazzitelli believed that it could still
provide technical assistance to such countries,
pointing to Plataforma Mexico as one item where
the UNODC could make a value added contribution.
He stressed the need for program management
oversight throughout Central America and the
Caribbean and mentioned that funding for law
enforcement activities could be secured through
loans from international banks, with repayment
coming from seized assets.

6. (SBU) The Ambassador reviewed a number Merida
programs, highlighting the fourth pillar's focus
on building resilient communities to reduce
incentives for youth to join cartels and

MEXICO 00003623 002 OF 002


inspiring citizens to become agents of change
committed to the rule of law. The Ambassador
described a project in Veracruz that would
contribute to the creation of a webpage to
receive criminal complaints and a Secretary of
Health project in Ciudad Juarez that sought to
identify the variables causing the high levels
of violence racking that city. Mazzitelli and
Blancas suggested we consider exploring with
Mexican judicial officials the idea of trying
cases collectively referring to racketeering
cases in the U.S. as a possible model.

7. (SBU) Comment: The Ambassador's meeting with
UNODC provided an opportunity to consider ways
to improve our coordination with regional
partners on combating narco-trafficking
organizations. While the Ambassador and the
UNODC representatives agreed building national
capacity needed to remain a priority, they also
saw appreciable merit in holding a regional
meeting to help Merida recipient countries
coordinate their activities better at the
strategic level and exchange ideas about how to
improve their efforts at the national level.
End Comment.

PASCUAL

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