How the Drug War Redefines U.S.-Mexico Relations

July 23, 2015

7/23/15 Stratfor Global Intelligence

DEA badgeThe escape of notorious Sinaloa drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera has cast a shadow on Mexico’s attempts to appear capable of combating organized crime. Nearly a week after Guzman’s July 11 escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison, Mexico City’s top officials are working in earnest to organize Guzman’s recapture. Officials including Secretary of the Interior Miguel Angel Osorio Chong are also busy trying to ease the political fallout and temper international embarrassment from the prison break. Some 10,000 federal police officers reportedly have been assigned to the hunt, and Mexican federal officials are personally overseeing investigations of the case.

Though Guzman’s escape will not directly alter the established trajectory of Mexican organized crime or the resulting levels of insecurity, the fact that one of Mexico’s most famous crime bosses was able to elude authorities for a second time touches a nerve in Mexico City. Mexico has been trying to shake the image that it is corrupt and insecure, but to the dismay of many U.S. officials, the country is refusing to allow the United States to more actively intervene in the search for Guzman, a clear sign of the changing dynamic between Mexico City and Washington.

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Army fires on Michoacán protesters, 12-year-old killed

July 21, 2015

7/21/15 El Daily Post

michoacanenglishAnother burst of violence involving military troops on Sunday claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy, yet another sad chapter in the Army’s growing list of bloody confrontations with civilians. A 6-year-old girl was among the four other victims of the shoot-out who were treated at a nearby hospital.

The incident occurred in the rural village of Ixtapilla near Michoacán’s Pacific Coast in the municipality of Aquila. The villagers had organized a protest after hearing of the arrest of regional community defense leader Semeí Verdía Zepeda by the Army while he ate breakfast at another pueblo nearby.

As soon as word of his arrest reached Ixtapilla, his supporters set up road blocks on the coastal highway hoping to prevent the Army from taking Verdía Zepeda to prison. Some media reported that several soldiers had been stopped and taken hostage, effectively, and then taken to Ixtapilla.

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Mexico Homicide Rate Drops 27 Percent Since Start Of Peña Nieto’s Term

July 21, 2015

7/20/15 International Business Times

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto and first lady Angelica Rivera salute during the military parade celebrating Independence Day at the Zocalo square in downtown Mexico CityMexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was continuing to recover from a tough week that saw both the dazzling escape of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and a disappointing show for its historic oilfield auction. Still, there were some hopeful statistics for the president to tout: New government figures released Monday showed that homicides fell again last year from the year before, making for a continuous downward streak since Peña Nieto first took office.

The national statistics office published its most recent homicide tally Monday, showing 19,669 homicides for 2014, or a rate of 16 per 100,000 people. That marks a 27 percent decrease in homicides since 2012, when Peña Nieto first stepped into office, and a 37 percent increase since Mexican homicide figures hit their peak in 2011. The figures include intentional as well as unintentional killings.

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Facing the Facts on Illegal Immigration

July 21, 2015

7/19/15 New York Times

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants 2 participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2006Donald Trump is entitled to his own opinions, not his own facts, to paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Mr. Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, gets a lot wrong in his comments about immigration and Mexico. There is no evidence that Mexican officials are dispatching criminals across a porous border, and immigrants don’t commit more crimes, studies show.

Yet even some of his critics give him credit for tapping into something real: what they see as the perils of President Obama’s lax approach to immigration, generally, and enforcement along the Mexican border in particular.

“We need to secure the border,” says Carly Fiorina, another presidential contender. This, too, is misleading.

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‘El Chapo’ Guzman will be Mexican President Pena Nieto’s legacy

July 20, 2015

7/20/15 BBC News

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

It was either anger or laughter. But it was humour that won out, at least for the first 24 hours.

Pretty soon, fake selfies appeared on social media showing El Chapo outside Trump Tower smiling. A dig, of course, at businessman Donald Trump who outraged Mexicans recently when he said those who came to the US were “bringing drugs, bringing crime, they’re rapists”.

Sarcasm and dark humour are what seem to be getting Mexicans through these difficult times.

And these times are excruciating for President Enrique Pena Nieto too.

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PHONE EVENT: The Escape of El Chapo Guzmán and the Struggle Against Organized Crime

July 20, 2015

Exclusive Dial-In Event:

ElChapoWHEN: Wednesday, July 22 at 9:30am

DIAL-IN INFO: 

Toll Free #: 888-947-9018
Conference #: 1-517-308-9006
Conference Passcode: 13304

Click here to RSVP.

On Saturday, July 11, around 9 p.m., drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as “El Chapo” Guzmán, escaped, for the second time, from a maximum security prison in Mexico.

The Mexico Institute is delighted to present a dial-in event in which expert analysts will offer their take on the broader implications of this escape on the future of Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico security relationship. The event will address four specific questions:

1. How damaging is the escape for the credibility of the Mexican government’s struggle against organized crime?

2. What steps is the government taking to try to recapture El Chapo, and what elements are missing from that effort?

3. How does El Chapo’s escape impact on the panorama of organized crime in Mexico? Will we see a resurgent Sinaloa Cartel now that its leader is free?

4. What impact will the escape have on bilateral relations with the U.S., on trust levels between security agencies, and the ongoing debate over extradition?

Join us BY PHONE for a discussion of this current event, the response by both governments, and the meaning of El Chapo’s escape for Mexico’s international image, with Mexico security experts Duncan Wood, Alejandro Hope, Steven Dudley, and Eric L. Olson.

Speakers

Alejandro Hope
Director de Política de Seguridad, IMCO

Steven Dudley
Co-Director, InSight Crime

Eric L. Olson
Associate Director, Latin American Program, Wilson Center

Moderator

Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.


Mapping Mexico’s deadly drug war

July 1, 2015

07/01/15 Science

mexican drugsOn 11 December 2006, former Mexican President Felipe Calderón deployed troops to fight the country’s increasingly powerful drug cartels, plunging Mexico into a war in which more than 100,000 people have been killed or disappeared. Now, a new study uses statistics and complex networks analysis to reveal the patterns by which violence spread across the country between 2007 and 2011—the last year for which records are available. The results may contribute to the debate about how effective the government’s policy of attacking cartel leaders has been in reducing violence, experts say.

This approach “represents an attempt to reveal the actual dynamics of drug violence [and demonstrates] how the conflict actually unfolds and evolves,” says Michael Lawrence, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Waterloo in Canada, whose work has focused on the application of complexity science to issues of conflict and security and who was not involved in the research.

Discover the innovative maps and read more…


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