May 1, 2013
The New York Times, 4/30/13
In their joint fight against drug traffickers, the United States and Mexico have forged an unusually close relationship in recent years, with the Americans regularly conducting polygraph tests on elite Mexican security officials to root out anyone who had been corrupted. But shortly after Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, took office in December, American agents got a clear message that the dynamics, with Washington holding the clear upper hand, were about to change.
There have long been political sensitivities in Mexico over allowing too much American involvement. But the recent policy changes have rattled American officials used to far fewer restrictions than they have faced in years. Asked about security cooperation with Mexico at a news conference on Tuesday, President Obama said: “We’ve made great strides in the coordination and cooperation between our two governments over the last several years. But my suspicion is, is that things can be improved.”
April 30, 2013
Associated Press, 4/30/13
Mexico is ending its unprecedented open relationship with U.S. security agencies that developed in recent years to fight drug trafficking and organized crime. All contact for U.S. law enforcement will now go through “a single window,” the federal Interior Ministry, the agency that controls security and domestic policy, said Sergio Alcocer, deputy foreign secretary for North American affairs.
Alcocer confirmed the change to The Associated Press on Monday, three days before U.S. President Barack Obama visits for his first bilateral meeting with his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office Dec. 1. The new policy is a dramatic shift from the direct sharing of resources and intelligence between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement under former President Felipe Calderon, who was lauded by the U.S. repeatedly for increasing cooperation between the two countries. FBI, CIA, DEA and border patrol agents had direct access to units of Mexico’s Federal Police, army and navy and worked closely with Mexican authorities in major offensives against drug cartels, including the U.S.-backed strategy of killing or arresting top kingpins.
April 29, 2013
The Washington Post, 4/27/13
For the past seven years, Mexico and the United States have put aside their tension-filled history on security matters to forge an unparalleled alliance against Mexico’s drug cartels, one based on sharing sensitive intelligence, U.S. training and joint operational planning. But now, much of that hard-earned cooperation may be in jeopardy.
The December inauguration of President Enrique Peña Nieto brought the nationalistic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) back to power after 13 years, and with it a whiff of resentment over the deep U.S. involvement in Mexico’s fight against narco-traffickers. The new administration has shifted priorities away from the U.S.-backed strategy of arresting kingpins, which sparked an unprecedented level of violence among the cartels, and toward an emphasis on prevention and keeping Mexico’s streets safe and calm, Mexican authorities said.
April 29, 2013
New York Times, 4/29/2013
Mr. López played a leading role in what is widely considered the biggest drug-trafficking case in Mexican history. The episode — which inspired the 2000 movie “Traffic” — pitted the Mexican military against the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Throughout the 1990s, Mr. López worked closely with them both. He served as a senior adviser to the powerful general who was appointed Mexico’s drug czar. And he was an informant for the D.E.A.
His two worlds collided spectacularly in 1997, when Mexico arrested the general, Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo, on charges of collaborating with
. As Washington tried to make sense of the charges, both governments went looking for Mr. López. Mexico considered him a suspect in the case; the D.E.A. saw him as a potential gold mine of information.
February 5, 2013
The New York Times, 2/4/2013
As Mexico’s military staged its annual Independence Day parade in September, spectators filled the main square of Mexico City to cheer on the armed forces. Nearly 2,000 miles away in Washington, American officials were also paying attention. But it was not the helicopters hovering overhead or the antiaircraft weapons or the soldiers in camouflage that caught their attention. It was the man chosen to march at the head of the parade, Gen. Moisés García Ochoa, who by tradition typically becomes the country’s next minister of defense.
The Obama administration had many concerns about the general, including the Drug Enforcement Administration’s suspicion that he had links to drug traffickers and the Pentagon’s anxiety that he had misused military supplies and skimmed money from multimillion-dollar defense contracts. In the days leading up to Mexico’s presidential inauguration on Dec. 1, the United States ambassador to Mexico, Anthony Wayne, met with senior aides to President Enrique Peña Nieto to express alarm at the general’s possible promotion.
November 5, 2012
Washington Post, 11/3/2012
A few miles west of downtown, past a terra-cotta-tiled gateway emblazoned with “Bienvenidos,” the smells and sights of Mexico spill onto 26th Street. The Mexican tricolor waves from brick storefronts. Vendors offer authentic churros, chorizo and tamales. Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood is home to more than 500,000 residents of Mexican descent and is known for its Cinco de Mayo festival and bustling Mexican Independence Day parade. But federal authorities say that Little Village is also home to something else: an American branch of the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.
September 20, 2012
New York Times, 9/19/2012
DEA agent Enrique Camarena
Rubén Zuno Arce, a central defendant in the 1985 torture and killing of an American drug enforcement agent in Mexico, a crime that increased tension between Mexico and the United States in part because of Mr. Zuno’s ties to Mexican government officials, died on Tuesday in a federal prison in Coleman, Fla. He was 82.
Mr. Zuno had connections high in the Mexican government and was the brother-in-law of Luis Echeverría Álvarez, who was president from 1970 to 1976. In 1992, he was convicted of kidnapping and conspiracy in the death of Enrique Camarena Salazar, a longtime agent for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration who had helped discover and destroy billions of dollars worth of drugs controlled by the so-called Guadalajara Cartel in the mid-1980s.
September 12, 2012
Mexico has extradited an alleged founder member of the powerful Zetas drug cartel to the United States…
Mr Rejon Aguilar, also known as El Mamito, is alleged to be the third in command of the Zetas, a drug gang formed by former Mexican special forces soldiers.
He was handed to DEA officers at Toluca airport on Tuesday.
July 26, 2012
Al Jazeera, 7/24/2012
The US Central Intelligence Agency and other international security forces “don’t fight drug traffickers”, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico has told Al Jazeera, instead “they try to manage the drug trade”.
Allegations about official complicity in the drug business are nothing new when they come from activists, professors, campaigners or even former officials. However, an official spokesman for the authorities in one of Mexico’s most violent states – one which directly borders Texas – going on the record with such accusations is unique.
July 10, 2012
Fox News Latino, 7/7/12
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and police in the Arizona city of Tempe have arrested 20 members of a criminal gang linked to Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa drug cartel, authorities said.
In addition to the arrests, made within the scope of “Operation Nayarit Stampede,” authorities also confiscated $2.4 million in cash, an airplane, 10 vehicles, three tons of marijuana and 30 pounds of methamphetamine