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Cablegate: Media Reaction in Tijuana Following Arrest of 'El Teo'

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FM AMCONSUL TIJUANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9758
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INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
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243501
2010-01-14 01:21:00
10TIJUANA58
Consulate Tijuana
UNCLASSIFIED
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DE RUEHTM #0058 0140121
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140121Z JAN 10
FM AMCONSUL TIJUANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9758
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 6706
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEHTM/AMCONSUL TIJUANA 2554
TAGS: ASEC KCRM PINS SNAR MX CASC
UNCLAS TIJUANA 000058

SIPDIS

MEXICO CITY FOR PAO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC KCRM PINS SNAR MX CASC
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION IN TIJUANA FOLLOWING ARREST OF 'EL TEO'
REF: TIJUANA 0035

1. Summary: The January 12 arrest of Teodoro Garcia Simental
`El Teo' in La Paz, Mexico received major media coverage in Baja
California and dominated the press in Tijuana, El Teo's
principal area of operations. Ambassador Pascual's statement
congratulating the administration of Felipe Calderon was carried
in the major media as were comments by Baja officials,
academics, and average citizens. The majority of articles were
optimistic about the arrest and applauded the efforts of the
Calderon administration, there was no significant mention of a
USG role in the operation. Comments from the average person
indicate a hope that the arrest will end, or reduce, the
violence that has terrorized Tijuana. However, academics and
others recognize that the fight is far from over and that the
arrest will likely result in an increase in violence as criminal
groups fight for control. End Summary.

2. Public officials credited the efforts of President Calderon
and close coordination of the various law enforcement entities
for the arrest. Governor Osuna Millan said `for the government
of Baja California this successful operation by the federal
government represents an important strike against organized
crime and a clear message that we are committed in this fight.'
He said that the Government of Baja California took preventative
measures to respond to any violence that might result from the
apprehension and that the capture `was the result of months of
intelligence gathering and work by the coordination group in
Baja California.' Speaking of the arrest, Tijuana Mayor Jorge
Ramos said `it remains clear that there can be times of crisis,
but with the political will of the President of the Republic,
the State Governor, and the Mayor, together with society, we
have the possibility to turn back whatever force.' He predicted
that `it's going to be a good year for public security in
Tijuana.'

3. Academics and civil society forecast more difficult times
ahead. Jose Ramos, a researcher at Colegio de la Frontera Norte
(COLEF) said that while the arrest was important it could result
in more violence as groups fight for control of `one of the most
important drug trafficking corridors.' He said that `Tijuana
society is accustomed to the violence and gives the impression
of being indifferent; the business leaders only raise their
voice when we reach this type of situation, but the problem has
been here for years.' He said that the `narco' problem in the
state will only be resolved when the state and municipal
governments bring together all their forces and work together,
`as the military can't do it by itself.' Anthropologist Victor
Clark commented that `for many years we've observed the behavior
of organized crime, including that of the Arellanos, and they
have developed an enormous ability to reform as a group, we can
be certain that within a couple weeks the police and the
`underworld' will know who fills this space.' Mario Escobedo,
President of the Tijuana Chamber of Commerce said, `It's good
news for commerce that they're (police) doing intelligence work,
as long as they enforce the law the right way, [because] then
there are voids that end up with criminals being released.'
Roberto Quijano Sosa, leader of the Tijuana Business Owners'
Association said `The detention is a positive thing, and
authorities should continue working in that same direction;
there is still a lot of work to be done and we're far from
feeling at ease.'

4. One newspaper reported that the arrest lowered the tension in
Tijuana and gave the city hope that a sense of normalcy would
return after many years of violence. `If he was really caught,
then that's good news for the citizens' peace of mind, because
organized crime, anywhere in Mexico, affects us all,' Javier
Cordero-Employee. `I wasn't aware, but that's good, he is an
important criminal, violence will drop a little in Mexico, the
municipality, but mostly in Baja,' Arturo Castellanos. `The
Police Dept. did a great job, I think it was time for the
government to turn in some results,' Ricardo Rodriguez. Police
Chief Leyzaola was interviewed on a radio show and received a
large number of calls to congratulate him on the arrest, though
one caller said `I want to congratulate the DEA because they
were the ones who took Mexican police by the hand to capture
this creep.

KASHKETT

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