Wednesday, March 20, 2013



Note: the 1.1 billion in aid has included a lot of US made small
arms. Especially the omnipresent AR15/M16/M4 platform now seen
everywhere in Mexico. Left out also is the large scale manufacture
and export of methamphetamine. It still would be of great interest
to get the make, model and serial number of those 68,161 firearms
recovered, and those exported to Mexico via aid programs. Not to
forget the F&F firearms illegally exported to Mexico.

Report: Drug woes still plague Mexico
By Diana Washington Valdez \
El Paso Times
Posted: 03/15/2013 02:49:16 AM MDT

Drug violence in Mexico is shifting to different parts of the
country, domestic illegal drug production is up, drug use has risen,
and corruption remains a problem, according to the U.S. State
Department's 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
released Tuesday.

But not all the news is bleak.

The report also says Mexico, which adopted a $9.4 billion security
budget for 2013, achieved important strides in countering illegal
drug activities.

"Mexico has made significant progress in dismantling and disrupting
TCOs (transnational criminal organizations) and their operations,"
the report says. "This progress has led to a number of TCO leaders
being brought to justice, the fragmentation of cartels, and a
reduction in violence, as evidenced by the decline in organized crime-
related homicides in 2012."

The country, however, continues to be a major transit and source
country for illegal drugs, including cocaine, heroin, marijuana and
methamphetamine, and it is a center for money laundering, the U.S.
State Department said.

Among the progress noted:
# 22,964 Mexican nationals and 251 foreign nationals were arrested on
organized crime charges.

# 15 high-level drug traffickers were captured or killed, including
high-ranking members and co-leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, Zetas
Cartel, and Gulf Cartel.

# Mexico's Federal Police increased from 11,000 officers in 2006 to
nearly 40,000 by the end of 2012.

# 99,691 weapons were recovered in Mexico between 2007 and 2011 and
submitted to the U.S. government for tracing. Of these, 68,161 came
from the United States.

# Mexico extradited 115 people to the United States in 2012,
including 52 for drug-related offenses.

# A new anti-money-laundering law approved in October will go into
effect later this year.

It will restrict the amount of U.S. currency that Mexican banks may
receive. In light of this, many businesses in Mexico had already
stopped accepting payment in dollars for a variety of goods and

Under the Merida Initiative, the report says, the United States has
provided about $1.1 billion in assistance since 2008 for counterdrug
activities and programs. The aid is meant to help disrupt and
dismantle the capacity of organized criminal groups to operate,
institutionalize the rule of law, construct a 21st-century border,
and build strong and resilient communities.

Between 2008 and 2012, more than 11,000 people were killed in Juárez,
most of them by gunfire. Authorities attribute most of the deaths to
the wars between rival drug cartels. The violence has declined
dramatically, although sporadic homicides still occur, suspected of
being linked to the drug trade or associated organized crime.

The U.S. report also praises what it describes as "unprecedented
cooperation" between the two countries in the efforts against drug-

"U.S.-Mexico cooperation has been used to train over 55,000 law
enforcement and justice sector officials, including 7,500 Federal
Police officers," the report says. "Likewise, it has helped state
criminal justice reforms, strengthened crime prevention (and)
reduction efforts, and funded programs for at-risk youth."

Other points of concern mentioned in the report:
# As narcotics-driven profits fall, transnational criminal
organizations have turned to kidnapping, extortion, human trafficking
and retail drug sales.

# Drug production including marijuana and opium poppies, which are
grown in the states of Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Durango and Guerrero, and
smaller crops grown in the states of Sonora, Nayarit, Michoacan and

Mexico's National Council Against Addictions reported that the
prevalence of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine use increased
steadily from 2002 to 2008, but has since stabilized.

"Nevertheless, recent drug use by men between 18 and 24 years of age
has risen significantly," the U.S. report also says. "Northern states
are disproportionately impacted by increased availability of drugs
from failed smuggling attempts and the use of drugs as payment."
Chihuahua is one such northern state.

In its conclusions, the report says, "The United States should also
continue programs to curb its domestic drug demand and inhibit the
illegal flow of arms and cash into Mexico."

The report for the year 2012 contains drug-related information about
other countries around the world in addition to Mexico.

Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at;

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