Monday, August 19, 2013



Comment:  As predicted last year.  PRI has little tolerance for sharing power.  The zetas were a threat to the State/Establishment/Ruling Class, and were the first target.  EPN and the PRI will work with the devil (USA) to remove that threat.  With that strategy, the next to fall should be the CT and LFM.  El Chapo and the Sinaloa/Pacifico came to  being during the previous PRI reign, and suspect there might be no problemo?

Mexico's new gov't follows old drug war strategy

File-This July 23, 2013 file photo shows armed members of a local self-defense group wearing white T-shirts with the slogan "For a Free Aquila" stand at a street corner in the town of Aquila, Mexico. At least 23 bodies were found in two neighboring states in western Mexico where drug cartels, vigilantes and security forces have been fighting for much of the year, authorities said Saturday Aug. 17, 2013. The state prosecutor in Michoacan said that nine bodies, hands bound and shot, were found on an abandoned property near the town of Buenavista Tomatlan along with a sign indicating they may have been members of the Knights Templar cartel. (AP Photo/Gustavo Aguado, File)

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013 2:06 pm | Updated: 4:04 pm, Sun Aug 18, 2013.
Associated Press |

With the capture of two top drug lords in little more than a month, the new government of President Enrique Pena Nieto is following an old strategy it has openly criticized for causing more violence and crime.
Mario Armando Ramirez Trevino, a top leader of Mexico's Gulf Cartel, was detained Saturday in a military operation near the Texas border, just weeks after the arrest of the leader of the brutal Zetas cartel near another border city, Nuevo Laredo.
Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong came to his post last December saying the strategy of former President Felipe Calderon to focus on cartel leadership only made the drug gangs more dangerous. The new administration, he said, would focus less on leadership and more on reducing violence.
Yet the new strategy appears almost identical to the old. The captures of Ramirez and top Zeta Miguel Angel Trevino Morales could cause a new spike in violence with battles for leadership of Mexico's two major cartels.
"The strategy of the military is exactly the same," Raul Benitez, a security expert at Mexico's National Autonomous University, said Sunday. "It's not a failure of the new government. It's the reality they face ... Changing strategy is a very slow process. In the short term, you have to act against the drug-trafficking leaders."
Ramirez, a drug boss in Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas, had been vying to take over the cartel since the arrest of the Gulf's top capo, Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, alias "El Coss," last September. Some say he succeeded by reportedly killing his main Gulf rival, Miguel Villarreal, known as "Gringo Mike," in a gunbattle in March. Villarreal's death is still disputed by some.
The U.S. State Department also offered a reward of $5 million for the capture of Ramirez for several federal drug violations. 

He was taken down during a major military offensive that involved air and ground forces in Rio Bravo, according to the Tamaulipas state government.

The once-powerful Gulf Cartel still controls most of the cocaine and marijuana trafficking through the Matamoros corridor across the border from Brownsville, Texas, and has an international reach into Central America and beyond. But the cartel has been plagued by infighting since Costilla's arrest, while also being under attack in its home territory by its former security arm, the Zetas. 

The split is blamed for much of the violence in Reynosa, where there have been regular, public shootouts between Gulf factions and authorities in the last six months. The factions are willing to fight for the largest piece of the lucrative business of transporting illegal drugs to the biggest market, the United States. Mexico continues to be the No. 1 foreign supplier of marijuana and methamphetamines to the U.S. An estimated 93 percent of South American cocaine headed to the U.S. travels through Mexico, according to 2010 FBI statistics. 

Before leaving office, Calderon repeatedly touted the fact that his forces had captured 25 of Mexico's 37 most-wanted drug lords, a strategy backed by the U.S. government with hundreds of millions of dollars in funding and close cooperation with American law-enforcement, military and intelligence agencies.
With that strategy, Osorio Chong said, "we have moved from a scheme of vertical leadership to a horizontal one that has made them more violent and much more dangerous." 

The new government also said it was going to limit the widespread and casual access that U.S. agents had to Mexican forces under Calderon.
But security analysts agree that close cooperation between the Mexican military and the U.S. continues along the border, despite messages from Mexico City. The coordinated efforts to track and capture Zeta leader Trevino had started under Calderon and continued, said George Grayson, a College of William & Mary professor who has written extensively on the Gulf and Zetas cartels.
"Enrique Pena Nieto would really like to not be going after capos," Grayson said Sunday. "He wants to change the agenda. He doesn't want the headlines to be about capos. But the situation in Morelos and Michoacan (states), and now the takedowns in the north have kept the capos on the front pages."

Violence also continues in the western state of Michoacan near the border of Jalisco state, where two other cartels fight for territory. 

The administration tactic again has mirrored that of Calderon, sending more troops and federal police to try to regain control of the region, so far with little result.
Nine bodies, hands bound and shot, were found on an abandoned property near the town of Buenavista Tomatlan in Michoacan on Saturday. At least 23 bodies in total were found, counting those in neighboring Guerrero state, where drug cartels, vigilantes and security forces also have been fighting for much of the year.
Meanwhile, the Pena Nieto government continues to say its focus is on crime prevention to bring down violence. But there is very little evidence so far.
"It's a campaign slogan, a political discourse designed to convince the public," Benitez said. "They're giving very few resources to the prevention campaign."


Yuma Proving Ground's aerostat out for repairs
August 17, 2013 11:22 PM

The iconic – and enormous – white aerostat balloon seen floating over Yuma Proving Ground to the northeast of the city of Yuma has temporarily been grounded while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) assumes control of its operation. The blimp, in use since 1989, had formerly been operated by the U.S. Air Force.

"The Department of Homeland Security accepted Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) operations and executive responsibilities from the U.S. Air Force over the summer," said Bill Brooks, Branch Chief for the Southwest Border Media Division of the Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs.

"DHS will manage and maintain the TARS system for the foreseeable future as part of our comprehensive portfolio of border security and surveillance tools."

When in use, the giant helium and air filled aerostat balloon floats 2 miles above YPG about 50 miles from Yuma. Known as the "eye in the sky," the blimp continuously scans the border area with radar in search of low-flying aircraft that could bring illegal drugs or other contraband into the United States. Tethered to the ground by cable, the 208-foot-long aerostat can detect activity up to 230 miles away. All radar data is transmitted to a ground station where technicians monitor the information and disseminate it as needed.

The surveillance balloon at YPG is one of eight along the southern border of the U.S., with additional aerostats in Texas, New Mexico, the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico and Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

"The TARS system complements numerous other surveillance technologies, such as drones and satellites, to enhance our understanding of events along our borders and to assist our responses as situations warrant," Brooks said. "DHS will continue to seek out ways to enhance the current system to maintain this very important part of our nation's security."

In Dec. 2011, the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed the DoD to end its sponsorship of the TARS program, noting the decision was based largely on budgetary constraints due to the fiscal environment.

In Jan. 2013, Arizona Congressmen Ron Barber and Trent Franks signed a letter with 14 of their colleagues in other states urging Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Office of Management and Budget not to discontinue the program but to pass the reigns over to DHS.

DHS has not commented on exactly when the aerostat will resume operations.

"The Yuma TARS site is critically important for our nation's security," Brooks said. "As such, the Department is now taking necessary steps to restore the Yuma site to full operational capability as quickly as we can."

Note:  not very important, but interesting

NACIÓNSEGURIDAD ¿Qué le fue decomisado a 'El Comandante X-20'?
Además fueron detenidas dos personas que dijeron ser "escoltas" de Ramírez Treviño. (Foto: EFE)
PERFIL El 'x-20', de policía ministerial a narcotraficante

Durante una rueda de prensa, el vocero de Seguridad, Eduardo Sánchez informó sobre la detención del líder del cártel del Golfo y los artículos que le fueron decomisados
Agosto 18, 2013
Por Doris Gómora, Alberto Morales

La detención de Mario Armando Ramírez Treviño, identificado como el X-20, presunto líder del cártel del Golfo, fue el resultado de un operativo con información de inteligencia del gobierno federal, informó el vocero de seguridad, Eduardo Sánchez.

En una conferencia de prensa en Gobernación, el funcionario confirmó que la detención del presunto narcotraficante se realizó el sábado en Reynosa, Tamaulipas, en una acción coordinada por el Ejército y la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR).

Durante la detención de Ramírez Treviño fueron aseguradas tres armas largas de uso exclusivo del Ejército, 9 equipos móviles de comunicación, más de 38 mil dólares en efectivo, más de 25 mil pesos y 11 centenarios.

Además fueron detenidas dos personas que dijeron ser "escoltas" de Ramírez Treviño.

Sánchez Hernández dio a conocer que previo a la detención del líder del cártel del Golfo, el pasado 12 de agosto, en un operativo fueron detenidos 24 miembro de esa organización criminal cuya información sirvió para la localización y captura de "X-20".


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