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Cablegate: Pri Senate Leader Pledges Cooperation With

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2009-12-23 22:12:00
09MEXICO3624
Embassy Mexico
CONFIDENTIAL
09MEXICO3596
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TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL SNAR KCRM MX
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 003624

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/23/2019
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL SNAR KCRM MX
SUBJECT: PRI SENATE LEADER PLEDGES COOPERATION WITH
AMBASSADOR ON BILATERAL ISSUES
REF: MEXICO 3596

Classified By: Ambassador Carlos Pascual for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Summary: The Ambassador met with Institutional
Revolutionary Party (PRI) Senator Manlio Beltrones December
18 to discuss bilateral coordination efforts, the Merida
Initiative, military deployment in the northern part of the
country, and President Calderon's political reform proposals
(reftel). They also discussed the recent law enforcement
operation in which the head of the Beltran Leyva drug
trafficking organization was killed. The Ambassador suggested
that joint hearings be held on the question of Mexico's
security challenges in the north and urged that cooperation
on the Merida Initiative not be tied to the National Action
Party (PAN). The Ambassador also requested that Beltrones
work closely with PAN Senator Gustavo Madero before the next
U.S.-Mexico Policy Coordination Group meeting between the two
countries in late January. End Summary.

2. (C) The Ambassador met with Institutional Revolutionary
Party (PRI) Senator Manlio Fabio Beltrones for breakfast on
December 18 to discuss a number of bilateral issues between
the U.S. and Mexico. The Ambassador briefed Beltrones on a
full range of USG efforts including bilateral interagency
coordination, recent senior visits, and details of USG
support for the operation against Arturo Beltran Leyva on
December 16 in the state of Morelos, the latter of which
Beltrones understood was confidential and not for public
disclosure. Beltrones said that the President of the
National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), Raul Plascencia, had
complained to him about graphic photos in the press depicting
Beltran Leyva's death.

3. (C) Beltrones, who is the PRI's Senate coordinator, was
pleased by the level of interagency cooperation on both sides
and agreed with the Ambassador on the need to find a way to
institutionalize it so that it does not disappear with a
change of administration or leadership. He said that the new
mechanisms for cooperation were an excellent way to
instutionalize dialogue. Upon the Ambassador's request, he
agreed to coordinate with National Action Party (PAN) Senator
Gustavo Madero to arrange a meeting with key Senate figures
and committees before the next U.S.-Mexico Policy
Coordination Group meeting in January.

4. (C) Beltrones noted that National Defense Minister
Guillermo Galvan Galvan personally asked him for more legal
authority to operate in the northern part of the country and
for more troops and resources. Beltrones indicated to the
Ambassador discomfort with the nature of the request. The
Ambassador suggested that he work with the Calderon
Administration to conduct joint hearings that would allow
discussion of various means by which to address the issue
with all the relevant actors in a way that would not leave
the army feeling isolated. The Ambassador also stressed that
it was essential that cooperation on the Merida Initiative
not be tied to the ruling PAN, making it a target for attacks
by the PRI or other political players. Beltrones said he
agreed, and that he would explore ways to improve bilateral
cooperation on law enforcement matters.

5. (C) On Calderon's political reform initiative (reftel),
Beltrones agreed on the need for greater predictability when
it comes to policy processes and more accountability of
elected officials, signaling support for proposals that would
allow for the reelection of congressional representatives and
reduce the number of congressional members overall. He
opined that Congress should have the power to confirm cabinet
officials and suggested staggering presidential and
congressional elections. He advocated regulatory reform that
would strengthen institutions over individual political
leaders. Finally, Beltrones emphasized the importance of
adopting a new tax code and other fiscal reform, without
which Mexico's fiscal stability would founder. Beltrones
promised to work on these measures and get back to the
Ambassador in January.

6. (C) Comment: The Ambassador's meeting with Senator Manlio
Beltrones, one of the leading PRI politicians in Mexico,
underscores the importance that his party places on
maintaining a close relationship with the USG. In response
to the Ambassador's requests, Beltrones indicated a
willingness to cooperate with the PRI's primary political
rival, the PAN, on a number of issues, including the Merida

MEXICO 00003624 002 OF 002


Initiative, rationalizing military deployments, and bilateral
coordination. In the aftermath of its success in the midterm
elections in July as the leading political force in Mexico,
the PRI seeks to project the image that it is prepared to
cooperate constructively, both with its political rivals,
including the current administration, and with the U.S.,
provided such cooperation is viewed as beneficial to the
country. End Comment.

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 /
PASCUAL

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