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Cablegate: Mexico - Country Terrorism Report for 2009

VZCZCXRO1927
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #0027/01 0061747
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 061747Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9658
INFO 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
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/HQ USNORTHCOM
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC

242660,1/6/2010 17:47,10MEXICO27,"Embassy Mexico",UNCLASSIFIED,10STATE109980,"VZCZCXRO1927
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #0027/01 0061747
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 061747Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9658
INFO 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
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/HQ USNORTHCOM
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC","UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MEXICO 000027

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/CT - RHONDA SHORE AND WHA/MEX

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC PGOV MX
SUBJECT: MEXICO - COUNTRY TERRORISM REPORT FOR 2009

REF: STATE 109980

1. No known international terrorist organizations have an
operational presence in Mexico and no terrorist incidents
targeting U.S. interests/personnel have occurred on or
originated from Mexican territory. Mexico continues to
confront well-armed, organized crime elements in several
regions of the country and traditional hot spots for
narcotics trafficking have seen record levels of violence.
Small and weak anti-social groups perpetrated isolated acts
of vandalism with the intention of disrupting commercial
stability and raising awareness of their cause. Although no
international terrorist organizations have sought to use
Mexico as a haven for operations, the organized crime
syndicates and the consequent security problems on the border
pose a vulnerability that could allow for a future terrorist
transit point into the U.S. The Mexican Government remains a
highly committed partner and shows no sign of complacency in
its fight against organized crime and remains vigilant
against domestic and international terrorist threats.

2. Although incidents of domestic terrorism have not
increased over the past year, Mexico received threats from a
previously active group and witnessed the emergence of a new
element. El Ejercito Popular Revolucionario (EPR) dissolved
talks with the Government of Mexico in April and threatened
to reemploy violent measures to force a response to its
demands for a government investigation into the disappearance
of two of its members. In 2007, it launched two attacks on
petroleum pipelines. In 2009, no acts of terrorism were
attributed to the EPR. From May to August, the animal
liberation front, ALF, claimed responsibility for attacking
banks and commercial sites throughout Mexico,s capital city
using propane tank bombs. Three bombs were discovered
unexploded, while another three caused property damage but no
casualties.

3. Levels of organized crime and narcotics violence rose
significantly in the traditional hot spots along the border
and in marijuana cultivation regions. Cartels increasingly
use military-style terrorist tactics to intimidate Mexican
security forces and establish dominance in specific regions.
In June, the Michoacan-based La Familia organization carried
out a series of retaliatory attacks that killed 12 federal
police personnel in response to the apprehension of a
high-level drug trafficker. The speed, precision, and tactics
used by several groups indicated that the actions were well
coordinated and the perpetrators well trained. The state of
Chihuahua experienced an increase in narcotics-related deaths
as rival cartels used sophisticated communications procedures
and military weaponry to target and assassinate rival cartel
members. There is no apparent evidence of ties between
Mexican organized crime syndicates and international
terrorist groups. The violence attributed to organized crime
groups on the border, however, continues to strain Mexico,s
law enforcement capacities creating potential vulnerabilities
in terms of terrorist exploitation seeking access to the U.S
through Mexico.

4. Currently, there is no indication that terrorist
organizations are using Mexico as a conduit for illicit
activities. Nevertheless, Mexico,s still nascent capacity to
counter money laundering suggests a potential vulnerability.
The Mexican Attorney General,s (PGR) Organized Crime
Division,s (SIEDO) money laundering unit investigates and
prosecutes money laundering crimes in Mexico with mixed
results. The majority of its investigations are linked to
organized crime and drug proceeds. Currently, drug proceeds
in Mexico are laundered primarily in the form bulk currency
movements or through currency exchange houses, such as casas
de cambio and smaller centros cambiarios. In order to combat
the illegal movement of funds, Mexican financial institutions
typically follow international standards such as &know your
customer8 and due diligence advocated by the Financial
Action Task Force (FAFT) Recommendations. These institutions
also terminate the accounts of individuals and entities
identified on international country lists such as the Office
of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) Specially Designated National
and Blocked Persons List. Furthermore, Mexican financial
institutions follow the Ley de Institciones de Crdito,
Artculo 115, Disposicin 68 y 41 (Law of Credit

MEXICO 00000027 002 OF 003


Institutions, Article 115, Sub article 68 and 41) as ordered
by the Mexican Treasury and supervised by the CNBV or
Comisin Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (National Bank and
Securities Commission). This law requires banks to consult
recognized international and country lists of individuals
involved in terrorism or other illicit activities and submit
a &suspicious activities report8 within 24 hours to the
Mexican Department of Treasury,s Financial Intelligence Unit
(UIF) on the activities of any individual on that list.

5. The Government of Mexico has stepped up efforts to improve
interagency coordination as part of its campaign to combat
crime and prevent terrorism. It has created a national
database known as Plataforma Mexico designed to promote
greater information exchange and overall interoperability
across Mexico,s numerous and disparate police entities.
Tactical Intelligence Operations Units (UNITO) represent a
new Government of Mexico mechanism that brings together all
federal agencies in a given state to coordinate intelligence
and operations. Command, control, communications, and
computer centers (also known as C-4 centers) located in
several states vary in capabilities from simple call centers
to analytical cells that produce analysis and support the
development of operations. The U.S. directly supports
programs to help both the Secretariat for Public Security
(SSP) and the PGR train federal investigators and facilitate
greater operational coordination and effectiveness.

6. The U.S. and the Government of Mexico worked together to
address a number of challenges in connection to Mexico,s
southern and northern borders in 2009. The U.S. deployed two
teams to Mexico,s southern border to conduct assessments.
Its border with Guatemala and Belize remains very porous and
poses a vulnerability in terms of serving as potential
terrorist transit point. The U.S. is working with the
Government of Mexico to address resource requirements and
offer some best practices applied effectively at other ports
of entry. The U.S. and the Government of Mexico agreed to
coordinate actions at the northern border ports of entry in
order to obstruct the flow of illegal arms and currency
across the U.S./Mexico border. Pilot programs in Nogales and
Eagle Pass are proving to be successful by increasing the
number of vehicles inspected while lowering the wait time at
the border crossing. The U.S. supported the establishment of
the Mexico Targeting Center, modeled after the CBP National
Targeting Center-Cargo (NTC-C) which should strengthen
Mexico,s ability to target suspicious or illicit cargo
entering or leaving Mexico. The Advance Passenger Information
system (APIS) supports targeting efforts, increases
information sharing, and enhances intelligence capabilities
in identify special interest aliens (SIA) at ports of entry.
The U.S. and the Government of Mexico also commenced the
Joint Security Program (JSP) for Travelers, a pilot program
that promotes exchanges of immigration officials as part of
an effort to streamline the APIS referral process, and seeks
to identify and track suspected terrorists, fugitives, or
smugglers.

7. In June 2008, President Calderon signed into law a number
of security and justice reforms. The security reforms granted
police greater investigative authorities and facilitated the
ability of law enforcement officials to seize the assets of
individuals implicated in criminal activity. The justice
reforms effected constitutional changes that provide for a
presumption of innocence in criminal and civil prosecutions
and allow for evidence-based oral trials promoting greater
transparency and more confidence in the judicial system. The
law provides for the identification of &control judges8
invested with the authority to issue expeditious warrants for
wiretaps or the arrest of targets of interest. Although these
measures are primarily aimed at organized crime groups, the
legislation also supports investigations against domestic or
international terrorists. The government has eight years to
implement the justice reform legislation adopted in 2008; to
date, implementation has been slow and uneven.

8. The U.S. and the Government of Mexico have worked closely
to implement a robust Diplomatic Security Anti-Terrorism
Assistance (ATA) program with associated funding levels
expected to rise from $503,000 in 2008 to $6 million in 2010.
In 2009, ATA programs provided training for 300 Mexican

MEXICO 00000027 003 OF 003


security officials in 18 courses or seminars on matters
ranging from VIP protection to digital security and forensics.
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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