Archive for the ‘Calderon’ Category

Mexico: Drug gang clash with army kills 21

February 11, 2009

Mexican soldiers fought gun battles with drug cartel hitmen near the U.S. border on Tuesday after gangsters abducted local police in violence that killed 21 people and left bodies strewn in the desert.

By Julian Cardona
Reuters

Soldiers pursued the hitmen through freezing desert in the northern state of Chihuahua after they dragged nine people, including some police, out of houses and shot six of them at a ranch in the early hours of Tuesday, the army said.

Heavily armed soldiers burst into the ranch, near the Texan border, and shot dead several of the hitmen, later chasing another group by helicopter before killing them too, army spokesman Enrique Torres said from the area.

“The bodies were strewn across the desert outside the nearby town of Villa Ahumada,” said Torres. An army sergeant was among the dead.

It was one of the bloodiest scenes this year in a spiraling drug war that killed more than 5,700 people across Mexico in 2008, damaging the public’s faith in President Felipe Calderon and raising fears of a spillover into the United States.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090211/
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Mexico: Top Cops Bribed By Drug Cartel

January 24, 2009

President Felipe Calderon’s war on drug trafficking has led to his own doorstep, with the arrest of a dozen high-ranking officials with alleged ties to Mexico‘s most powerful drug gang, the Sinaloa Cartel.

The U.S. praises Calderon for rooting out corruption at the top. But critics say the arrests reveal nothing more than a timeworn government tactic of protecting one cartel and cracking down on others.

By MARK STEVENSON, Associated Press Writer

Operation Clean House comes just as the U.S. is giving Mexico its first installment of $400 million in equipment and technology to fight drugs. Most will go to a beefed-up federal police agency run by the same people whose top aides have been arrested as alleged Sinaloa spies.

“If there is anything worse than a corrupt and ill-equipped cop, it is a corrupt and well-equipped cop,” said criminal justice expert Jorge Chabat, who studies the drug trade.

U.S. drug enforcement agents say they have no qualms about sending support to Mexico.

“We’ve been working with the Mexican government for decades at the DEA,” said Garrison Courtney, spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Obviously, we ensure that the individuals we work with are vetted.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090124/ap_o
n_re_la_am_ca/lt_mexico_cartel_in_control

Related:
Mexico: Obama Can’t Ignore Elephant on the Continent
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 Drugs, Crime Make Mexico “Under Sustained Assault”
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Mexico: “under sustained assault”; Could “collapse” — U.S. Military
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 Obama Picks New World “Winners” and “Losers”

Drugs, Crime Make Mexico “Under Sustained Assault”

January 18, 2009

Last Monday President-elect Barack Obama met with Mexico’s President Caderon.  Then came the news from a U.S. military study that says Mexico could “collapse” from the wight of “sustained assault” in the drug war. 

U.S. military reports are not known for their alarmist tone. But this assessment  is unheard of and unusually stark  for a North American ally.
.

Obama praised Calderon Monday for his work on energy and climate change yesterday.

But neither a bad environment nor energy problems are as likely to bring Mexico to its knees — and impact negatively on the United States — as the drug war, according to the U.S. military.

Most observers have ignored the elephant in the room and on the North American contintent: Mexico is in real trouble.

Mexico and the U.S. are watching as millions of illegal immigrants move from Mexico northward and while drug lords kill off law enforcement and law abiding political leaders, citizens and  politicians in Mexico.

Most news stories of the Calderon-Obama meeting failed to mention either the drug issue or major immigration problems until somewhere around paragraph eight….

Related:
Mexico: Obama Can’t Ignore Elephant on the Continent

President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico's President Felipe ... 
President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, January 12, 2009.(Larry Downing/Reuters)

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Indiscriminate kidnappings. Nearly daily beheadings. Gangs that mock and kill government agents.

This isn’t Iraq or Pakistan. It’s Mexico, which the U.S. government and a growing number of experts say is becoming one of the world’s biggest security risks.

The prospect that America’s southern neighbor could melt into lawlessness provides an unexpected challenge to Barack Obama‘s new government. In its latest report anticipating possible global security risks, the U.S. Joint Forces Command lumps Mexico and Pakistan together as being at risk of a “rapid and sudden collapse.”

By TRACI CARL, Associated Press Writer Traci Carl, Associated Press Writer

The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels,” the command said in the report published Nov. 25.

“How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state.”

Retiring CIA chief Michael Hayden told reporters on Friday that that Mexico could rank alongside Iran as a challenge for Obama — perhaps a greater problem than Iraq.

The U.S. Justice Department said last month that Mexican gangs are the “biggest organized crime threat to the United States.” National security adviser Stephen Hadley said last week that the worsening violence threatens Mexico’s very democracy.

Related:
 Mexico: “under sustained assault”; Could “collapse” — U.S. Military

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090118/
ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_mexico_besieged

Mexico: “under sustained assault”; Could “collapse” — U.S. Military

January 14, 2009

During the same week that President-elect Barack Obama met with Mexico’s President Caderon comes news from a U.S. military study that says Mexico could “collapse” from the wight of “sustained assault” in the drug war.

The U.S. military reports is unheard of and unusually stark  for a North American ally.
President-elect Barack Obama met with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon Monday.

Obama praised Calderon for his work on energy and climate change yesterday.

But neither a bad environment nor energy problems are as likely to bring Mexico to its knees — and impact the United States — as the drug war, according to the U.S. military.

Most observers have ignored the elephant in the room and on the North American contintent: Mexico is in real trouble.

Mexico and the U.S. are watching as millions of illegal immigrants move from Mexico northward and while drug lords kill off law enforcement and law abiding political leaders, citizens and  politicians in Mexico.

Most news stories of the Calderon-Obama meeting failed to mention either the drug issue or major immigration problems until somewhere around paragraph eight….

Related:
Mexico: Obama Can’t Ignore Elephant on the Continent

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The El Paso Times
January 14, 2009

Mexico is one of two countries that “bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse,” according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats.

The command’s “Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008)” report, which contains projections of global threats and potential next wars, puts Pakistan on the same level as Mexico. “In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.

“The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent…

Read the rest:
http://www.military.com/news/article/joint-fo
rces-warns-of-mexico-collapse.html

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From the Associated Press

President George W. Bush on Tuesday pledged continued U.S. cooperation on narcotrafficking in Mexico, saying the United States has a responsibility to help prevent guns from moving south across the border.

Bush had his final Oval Office meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, a leader U.S. officials have praised for deploying troops to fight cartels and capturing top drug kingpins. Calderon won a multimillion-dollar, anti-drug aid package from Washington last year.

Incoming President-elect Barack Obama, who met with Calderon on Monday, supports the plan, known as the Merida Initiative, and has promised to help end gun-smuggling from the U.S. to Mexico.

“Americans are concerned about the battle that’s taking place in Mexico, and I want our fellow citizens to understand that this man understands the responsibilities of government to provide security,” Bush said.

“The less drugs we use, the less pressure there’ll be in Mexico. We have got responsibilities to help prevent guns from going from the United States into Mexico.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009011
3/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_mexico_1

Mexico: Obama Can’t Ignore Elephant on the Continent

January 13, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama met with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon yesterday and Mr. Obama  says he will visit Canada on his first international trip after the inauguration.

Obama praised Calderon for his work on energy and climate change yesterday.

But this ignores the elephant in the room and on the contintent.

Mexico and the U.S. are watching as millions of illegal immigrants move from Mexico northward and while drug lords kill off law enforcement and law abiding political leaders, citizens and  politicians in Mexico.

Most news stories of the Calderon-Obama meeting failed to mention either issue until somewhere around paragraph eight….

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By Jeff Mason and Caren Bohan
Reuters

 Barack Obama, who takes over as U.S. President on January 20, told Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Monday he would work to strengthen U.S. ties with Mexico, especially in the field of energy.

Obama has promised to nurture close ties with the U.S. southern neighbor and other Latin American countries, which complained of neglect by the United States after President George W. Bush’s foreign policy focused heavily on Iraq.

President-elect Barack Obama listens as Mexico's President Felipe ... 
President-elect Barack Obama listens as Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon speaks at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, January 12, 2009.(Larry Downing/Reuters)

“My message today is that my administration is going to be ready on Day One to work to build a stronger relationship with Mexico,” Obama said after visiting with Calderon over a lunch of tortilla soup and other Mexican dishes.

It was Obama’s first meeting with a foreign leader since his November election.

“The friendship between the United States and Mexico has been strong. I believe it can be even stronger and that’s going to be the commitment of my administration,” the president-elect told reporters.

“This will be the beginning of an extraordinary age in the relationship between the United States and Mexico,” Calderon said.

Calderon said both governments needed to combine forces to fight organized crime. “The more secure Mexico is, the more secure (the) U.S. will be,” he said.

With Mexico’s drug violence exploding and amid fears that Obama might seek changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, Calderon had been eager for a meeting with the incoming U.S. president.

OBAMA PRAISED CALDERON

Obama praised Calderon for his work on energy and climate change, saying the two countries should expand their efforts in those areas, while building on existing commercial, security and cultural ties.

“The prospects of us working together on energy strategies across borders is going to be critically important,” he said. Obama said the two also discussed immigration, border security, and the global financial crisis.

Mexico, which sends 80 percent of its exports to the United States, is suffering a spillover from the U.S. economy’s woes, as layoffs at Mexican factories mount and families with relatives in the United States see a decline in remittances.

Obama aides said the Calderon meeting was part of a long tradition of U.S. presidents meeting with the Mexican leader before their inauguration.

Related:
Obama: Meet Mexico, Drugs, Another “Fundamental Threat to U.S. National Security”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200901
12/pl_nm/us_usa_obama_mexico_3

Obama: Meet Mexico, Drugs, Another “Fundamental Threat to U.S. National Security”

January 11, 2009

Barack Obama meets Mexican President Calderon this week.  When he does so, he will come face to face with a chilling idea: the Mexican war against drugs that the government is losing is a “fundamental threat to U.S. national security.”

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By Diana Washington Valdez / For the Las Cruces Sun-News

Former U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey contends that millions of people from Mexico may overrun the border attempting to cross if security conditions worsen and lead to a governmental collapse in that country.

“A failure by the Mexican political system to curtail lawlessness and violence could result (in) a surge of millions of refugees crossing the U.S. border to escape the domestic misery of violence, failed economic policy, poverty, hunger, joblessness, and the mindless cruelty and injustice of a criminal state,” said McCaffrey in an after-action report based on the Dec. 5-7 International Forum of Intelligence & Security Specialists in Mexico. The report portrays a scenario eerily reminiscent of ex-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger’s 1998 fictional book “The Next War,” which includes a chapter on a U.S. military intervention in Mexico following a regime collapse due to warring drug cartels.

McCaffrey, a retired four-star general who visited Juárez in 1999 while he was the White House drug czar, recommends in his report for the incoming Barack Obama administration to “immediately focus on the dangerous and worsening problems in Mexico, which fundamentally threaten U.S. national security.”

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http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_11386608?source
%253Dmost_emailed.26978592730A3B8C7F471
EACE0DA4EF2.html

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Battling with spiraling drug murders and an economic crisis, Mexico’s Felipe Calderon will urge U.S. President-elect Barack Obama on Monday to support his drug war and stick to the NAFTA trade deal.

Their meeting in Washington, days before Obama takes office, comes after years of complaints of neglect from Mexico and much of Latin America as President George W. Bush’s foreign policy focused on the Middle East and the war on terror.

By Catherine Bremer, Reuters

Members of a drug gang are shown to the media at the Attorney ... 
Members of a drug gang are shown to the media at the Attorney General’s office in the suburb of Escobedo, on the outskirts of Monterrey December 20, 2008. The Mexican army arrested 13 men in a wealthy neighbourhood of this northern city early Saturday in possession of drugs, weapons and uniforms of the federal agency of investigations, according to local media. The capture is part of the Nuevo Leon-Tamaulipas joint operation against drug trafficking.REUTERS/Tomas Bravo (MEXICO)

With Mexico’s drug violence exploding and fears that Obama could tamper with the North American Free Trade Agreement to protect U.S. workers, Calderon will try to persuade the Democrat to give Mexico some attention.

Following a tradition that new U.S. presidents meet their Mexican counterparts, Calderon will be the first foreign leader that Obama sits down with since he was elected in November.

Calderon, a dour and strong-willed conservative, is expected to ask Obama for more help fighting the drug cartels who worry foreign investors and are destabilizing Mexico, especially along the U.S. border.

Mexico wants Washington to do more to curb drug-taking in the United States and gun smuggling from north of the border because drug hitmen buy automatic weapons and other guns legally in the United States and bring them back to Mexico to use in the turf battles that killed 5,700 people last year.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090111/pl_n
m/us_usa_obama_mexico_1