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Michael Webster: Investigative Reporter May 12, 2008 9:00 PM PDT
Mexico’s National Security Cabinet is holding an emergency meeting and is expected to declare a state of emergency. They will also discuss President Felipe Caldron’s current strategies against the Mexican war on drug cartels. Analysts say they expect the death toll nation wide among the security forces to climb, because the traffickers, under assault both from the government and rival gangs, believe they have nothing to lose.
“I know that organized crime reacts like this because they know we’re hitting their criminal structure,” said President Felipe Calderon of Mexico. “We must join together to fight this evil. We must all come together in saying a categorical, ‘enough is enough.’”
Calderon is reported to be rushing more Mexican Army troops to the border cities of Juarez, Tijuana, Mexicali, Palomas and others. Its believed that Mexico has 36,000 troops fighting the Mexican drug cartels and their para-military.
Calderon is seeking U.S. military aid under the provisions of the Merida Initiative, a multiyear $1.4 billion anti-narcotics package proposed by President Bush.
Many of the leaders of the cabinet say that the Caldron administrations effort to curb the violence is failing and that is putting the country in danger. Mexican newspapers report some attendants were Secretary of Government, Juan Mourino and his counterpart in Sinaloa, Jesus Aguilar. Also present was the Secretary of Defense, Guillermo Galvan and the Attorney General Eduardo Medina, plus the Secretary of Federal Public Security, Genaro Garcia, Genaro Garcia Luna, the federal security secretary, the Secretary of the Navy and the Director of National Investigations and Security Center among other leaders.
As the death toll rises in the bloody war on drugs in Mexico with more police officers, soldiers and other officials being unmercifully slaughtered the violence remains unabated. The death toll is more than 3600 which is attributed to the Mexican drug cartels which is ravaging the country. The deaths have included some innocent Americans.
Edgar Millan, the federal police commissioner who was gunned down while entering his Mexico City condo early Thursday. Millan oversaw the civilian wing of the anti-narcotics offensive.
“These are difficult hours for the Federal Police,” said Genaro Garcia Luna, the federal security secretary. “The nation has lost three of its best men, heroes who gave their lives in the conscious pursuit of an ideal: to build a better country for all Mexicans.”
Federal investigators believe the Sinaloa drug cartel killed Millan in revenge for his recent arrests of several of the organization’s top brass. The cartel, which leads an alliance of drug gangs known as the Federation, is fighting the Juarez cartel for control of Mexico’s smuggling routes into the United States. But the killer must have had help from inside the police agency, because he had keys to Millan’s condominium, officials said. Check or Google Juarez police chief resigns for fear of his life
Mexico’s National Security Cabinet is expected to ask for more help from the Americans, even though Mexico has a history of resisting U.S. military aid, a kind of old fashioned notion of maintaining her independence, her sovereignty is expected to be put aside as they ask not only for more money than the 1.4 billion Bush has promised but on the ground training for Mexican military by the U.S. Special Forces. And U.S. training for Mexican national and local police forces. Both overt and covert operations are the new strategies Mexico will be advocating. Mexico has in the past sent their soldiers to Fort Bragg and other US bases for special training.
Some Mexican legislators claim there is already clandestine covert action taking place in Mexico by the Americans and has taken many different forms reflecting the diverse circumstances in which it is being used.
However the circumstances have eroded to such a point that many Mexican leaders that have no ties with the cartels are desperate and are encouraging an out right overt U.S. military boots on the ground operation, and accelerate training using U.S. military, CIA, DEA, FBI and U.S. Police advisers.
According to a high ranking Mexican official who wants to remain anonymous indicated that the U.S. Mexican border is a primary focal point for military operations. “There are U.S. Army Special Forces secret operation bases both in Mexico and the United states, run by the California National Guard, who are on temporary border reconnaissance missions and are due to end within the next month or so.”
The Mexican cartels are challenging the Mexican government. They have huge amounts of money available to bribe officials, and they do, and currently have covert armies (para-military) that are better equipped, trained and motivated than national police and military forces, the cartels are becoming the government — if in fact they didn’t originate in the government. Getting the government to deploy armed forces against the cartels can become a contradiction in terms. In their most extreme form, cartels are already running much of the government. So many ask why would America provide the questionable Mexican Government 1.4 Billion?
It is important to point out that U.S. law enforcement agencies have many different types of support missions already operating in Mexico. The U.S. government admits that they ccurrently have more than 50 federal agencies working on the U.S. Mexican border. The Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP), which includes the U.S. Border Patrol; United States Attorneys; and state and local law enforcement agencies continue to work together to reduce the amount of illicit drugs entering the United States through the U.S./Mexico Border. But they are not successful ether. The law biding Mexicans want our strategy to be to attack major Mexican-based trafficking organizations on both sides of the border simultaneously by employing enhanced intelligence and enforcement initiatives and cooperative efforts with the Government of Mexico.
In recent months, and after Mexican president Caldron dispatched the Mexican army and federal police to many interior cities and to Mexican cities on the Mexican U.S. border the level of violence has risen substantially, with some of it spilling into the United States. In the last few weeks, the Mexican government began military operations on its side of the border against Mexican drug cartels and their gangs who are engaged in smuggling drugs into the United States. The action apparently pushed some of the gang members north into the United States in a bid for sanctuary. But while not without precedent, movement of organized, armed cadres into the United States on this scale goes beyond what has become accepted practice. The dynamics in the borderland are shifting and must be understood in a broader, geopolitical context.
Bush policy is to not disrupt the trade with Mexico and not raising its cost has been a fundamental principle of U.S.-Mexican relations. Leaving aside the contentious issue of whether illegal immigration hurts or helps the United States, the steps required to control that immigration would impede bilateral trade. The United States therefore has been loath to impose effective measures, since any measures that would be effective against population movement also would impose friction on trade. It is a popular belief by people on both sides of the border that politicians from both governments are benefiting from the out of control but lucrative milti – billion dollar drug trade.
The United States has been willing to tolerate levels of criminality along the border. The only time when the United States shifted its position was when organized groups in Mexico both established themselves north of the political border and engaged in significant violence. Thus, in 1916, when the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa began operations north of the border, the U.S. Army moved into Mexico to try to destroy his base of operations. This has been the line that, when crossed, motivated the United States to take action, regardless of the economic cost. The current upsurge in violence is now pushing that line but just where that line is today is not clear. It appears the two governments keep moving the goal posts.
The United States has built-in demand for a range of illegal drugs, including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana. Regardless of decades of efforts, and billios of dollars, the United States has not been able to eradicate or even qualitatively reduce this demand. As an advanced industrial country, the United States has a great deal of money available to satisfy the demand for illegal drugs. This makes the supply of narcotics to a large market attractive. In fact, it almost doesn’t matter how large demand is. Regardless of how it varies, the economics are such that even a fraction of the current market will attract sellers.
The Houston Chronicle reports that because they are involved in an illegal business, drug dealers cannot take recourse to the courts or police to protect their assets. Protecting the supply chain and excluding competition are opposite sides of the same coin. Protecting assets is major cost of running a drug ring. It suppresses competition, both by killing it and by raising the cost of entry into the market. The illegality of the business requires that it be large enough to manage the supply chain and absorb the cost of protecting it. It gives high incentives to eliminate potential competitors and new entrants into the market. In the end, it creates a monopoly or small oligopoly in the business, where the comparative advantage ultimately devolves into the effectiveness of the supply chain and the efficiency of the private police force protecting it.
That means that the Mexican drug cartels have evolved in several predictable ways. They have huge amounts of money flowing in from the U.S. market by selling relatively low-cost products at monopolistic prices into markets with inelastic demand curves. Second, they have unique expertise in covert logistics, expertise that can be transferred to the movement of other goods. Third, they develop substantial security capabilities, which can grow over time into full-blown paramilitary forces to protect the supply chain. Fourth, they are huge capital pools, investing in the domestic economy and manipulating the political system.
A Mexican college professor who wants to be nameless said “cartels can challenge — and supplant — governments. Between huge amounts of money available to bribe officials, and covert armies better equipped, trained and motivated than national police and military forces, the cartels can become the government — if in fact they didn’t originate in the government. Getting the government to deploy armed forces against the cartel can become a contradiction in terms. In their most extreme form, cartels are the government.”
He went on to say, “the drug cartels have two weaknesses. First, they can be shattered in conflicts with challengers within the oligopoly or by splits within the cartels. Second, their supply chains can be broken from the outside. U.S. policy has historically been to attack the supply chains from the fields to the street distributors. Drug cartels have proven extremely robust and resilient in modifying the supply chains under pressure. When conflict occurs within and among cartels and systematic attacks against the supply chain take place, however, specific cartels can be broken — although the long-term result is the emergence of a new cartel system.”
In the 1980s, the United States manipulated various Colombian cartels into internal conflict. More important, the United States attacked the Colombian supply chain in the Caribbean as it moved from Colombia through Panama along various air and sea routes to the United States. The weakness of the Colombian cartel was its exposed supply chain from South America to the United States. U.S. military operations raised the cost so high that the route became uneconomic.
The main route to American markets shifted from the Caribbean to the U.S.-Mexican border. It began as an alliance between sophisticated Colombian cartels and still-primitive Mexican gangs, but the balance of power inevitably shifted over time. Owning the supply link into the United States, the Mexicans increased their wealth and power until they absorbed more and more of the entire supply chain. Eventually, the Colombians were minimized and the Mexicans became the decisive power.
The Americans fought the battle against the Colombians primarily in the Caribbean and southern Florida. The battle against the Mexican drug lords must be fought in the U.S.-Mexican borderland. And while the fight against the Colombians did not involve major disruptions to other economic patterns, the fight against the Mexican cartels involves potentially huge disruptions. In addition, the battle is going to be fought in a region that is already tense because of the immigration issue, and at least partly on U.S. soil.
The likely course is a multigenerational pattern of instability along the border. More important, there will be a substantial transfer of wealth from the United States to Mexico in return for an intrinsically low-cost consumable product — drugs. This will be one of the sources of capital that will build the Mexican economy, which today is 14th largest in the world. The accumulation of drug money is and will continue finding its way into the Mexican economy, creating a pool of investment capital. The children and grandchildren of the Zetas will be running banks, running for president, building art museums and telling amusing anecdotes about how grandpa made his money running blow into Nuevo Laredo.
One of DEA’s main functions is to coordinate drug investigations that take place along America’s 2,000-mile border with Mexico; this is an effort that involves thousands of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers. Mexican drug groups have become the world’s preeminent drug traffickers, and they tend to be characterized by organizational complexity and a high propensity for violence. To counter this threat, federal drug law enforcement has aggressively pursued drug trafficking along the U.S./Mexico border. The DEA; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI);
Today, the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) serves as the principal national tactical intelligence center for drug law enforcement. EPIC is multidimensional in its approach to intelligence sharing. It has a research and analysis section as well as a tactical operations section to support foreign and domestic intelligence and operational needs in the field. It is staffed by representatives from the DEA; FBI; U.S. Coast Guard; BCBP; the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE); U.S. Secret Service; Federal Aviation Administration; U.S. Marshals Service; National Security Agency; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Internal Revenue Service; and the Department of the Interior. Although the immigration and customs functions were recently incorporated into the Department of Homeland Security, representatives from BCBP and BICE will retain their participation in EPIC.
DEA reports that they also are maximizing the use of technology to combat drug trafficking organizations. The DEA’s Special Operations Division (SOD) is a comprehensive enforcement operation designed specifically to coordinate multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional, and multi-national Title III investigations against the command and control elements of major drug trafficking organizations operating domestically and abroad. The investigative resources of SOD support a variety of multi-jurisdictional drug enforcement investigations associated with the Southwest Border, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.
Drug trafficking organizations operating along the Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California and Mexico Border continue to be one of the greatest threats to communities across this nation. The power and influence of these organizations is pervasive, and continues to expand to new markets across the United States.
Mexican narcotraffickers and other criminals easily obtain their firepower north of the border. Effectively reducing the flow of illegal arms would mean tightening laws on gun sales and ownership in the US.
Not just the police are coming under fire. Thousands of Mexican citizens are getting caught in the crossfire. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, Mexico has one of the highest firearm homicide rates in the world, about 20 for every 100,000 people. (The rate for the United States is 7 per 100,000 people. In addition, there has been a spate of recent high-profile political and narco-assassinations, many of them carried out with guns purchased illegally in the US.
Many of the arms used by Mexico’s insurgencies were supplied by Washington either through massive military aid programs or as part of US covert operations that left enormous arsenals behind. Click on or Google Merida Initiative Will It Work?
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Today in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the President of Republic of the South American country of Suriname, Runaldo Ronald Venetiaan, was received in an audience with Pope Benedict XVI and later met with Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. The cordial talks resulted in a fruitful exchange of opinions on topics relevant to the current international and regional situations. Some issues were particularly addressed, such as the social policies initiated by Suriname’s Government, the preservation of the environment and the areas of collaboration between the Church and State.
Ghanaians asked to learn the contents of the Constitution
Effutu Nsuekyir, (C/R), May 16, GNA – Reverend Collins Adams, Effutu Municipal Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has emphasized the need for every Ghanaian to know the contents of the Constitution to serve as a guide.
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Most discussions opposing the role of Christianity in the United States arise from an abyss of ignorance so deep as to be unfathomable. You can endlessly drop boulders into this chasm of intellectual darkness without ever hearing one hit bottom
Speaking with certitude, people insist our Constitution established a separation of church and state. Clueless, they don’t realize their claim, and their obvious self-satisfaction with stating it, simply proves they’ve never read the Constitution and lack any knowledge of what it says.
The media often report on this “fact” of separation-and call it professional journalism. The politically correct engage in long, earnest conversations based on this untruth. How can mature, at least chronologically, people hold so tightly to an opinion so obviously false?
Can you say “agenda?”
The writers of the Constitution clearly intended for Christianity to influence the governing of this nation. For one instance, the Constitution specifically provides for a Christian chaplain for each branch of Congress. The chaplains are paid to open every session with prayer and offer counsel to members of the body. Would the originators of the Constitution include a provision to perpetuate the great importance they attached to the Christian faith, a provision planned to endure throughout the life of this nation, then say religion could have no part in our governance?
A simple reading of the Constitution provides other examples as well. The Constitution isn’t so long that, even with sounding out the words, promoters of the separation canard couldn’t read it. And if they want to know about the First Amendment, from whence they claim to have reaped their separation notion, the Library of Congress has contemporaneous commentaries on the creation of the Bill of Rights, written by Gouverneur Morris, who was present throughout the process. You could look it up.
The “separation of church and state” phrase came from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Baptist Sunday School Association in Danbury Connecticut. However, the letter is not about keeping Christian influence out of government, but about the Federal Government not interfering in the free practice of religion. Jefferson typically didn’t comment on the Bill of Rights because he, in France at the time, didn’t participate in its creation.
To shed light on Thomas Jefferson’s real attitude toward Christianity, consider the three school systems he started in D.C. and Virginia. The required texts for each school system were the Bible, Watt’s book of hymns and a reading primer. Those books, he declared, are the basis of a good education.
So, there’s no separation of church and state, and Thomas Jefferson lived and supported the Christian faith. Oliver Stone not withstanding.
But there’s more! Not content with exposing their lack of Constitutional knowledge, drivers of the agenda loudly parade their ignorance of history. Stroking professorial beards, they pontificate on their delusion that the United States was never intended to be a Christian nation. They must put aside all our founding documents to pull this off, of course, but no matter.
Perhaps they should reconsider the safety of the platform from whence they hold forth since historical records profoundly prove the falsity of their claim.
According to the Congressional Record, the first session of the United States Congress started with several hours of Bible study and prayer. All members participated. The practice of starting each session with prayer and Bible study continued for years. You could look it up.
United States government buildings are chock-a-block full of Bible quotations, architectural detail and statuary. Check, for one instance, the Supreme Court building, finished in 1935, for its many references to the Ten Commandments.
Also, in the early days of the Republic, Christian church services were held in virtually every Federal building in D.C. While President, Thomas Jefferson attended services in the House of Representatives chamber. When he decided the music needed more energy, he ordered the Marine Band to play each Sunday.
And President Jefferson sent missionaries to the Indian tribes, and provided government money to build churches, so the Native Americans might enjoy more fullness of life. History says the missionaries were well received, and the arrangement suited everybody involved. You could look all of this up.
So, the Constitution doesn’t mention a separation of church and state. History proves the United States was founded as a Christian nation. And the real Thomas Jefferson doesn’t work out as a patron saint of those who seek to remove God from this nation’s daily life. Why do the lies continue?
Truth is on the side of angels, not agendas.
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LETTER TO EDITOR: National Day of Prayer is a freedom of religion issue
I am a sophomore in high school and I can already tell that our government is screwed up. In our nation one of our many rights is the right to freedom of religion.
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