From Counterpunch: (link within title)
August 22, 2017
To some extent, the latest spike in violence is nothing new for Mexico. For more than a decade, Mexico has experienced waves of drug-related violence as the Mexican government has waged an internal drug war against the country’s drug cartels. “Successive Mexican presidents have implemented policies aimed at disrupting these drug-trafficking organizations, but the result has been a decade-long bloodbath that has cost more than 100,000 deaths to the ensuing violence,” former State Department official Roger Noriega said earlier this year.
At the same time, the spike in violence shows that Mexico’s struggles are far from over. Although a steady decline in violence from 2012 to 2014 raised hopes that the situation was improving, the trend reversed in 2014 and has only worsened since then. “Mexico’s bloody drug war is killing more people than ever,” the Los Angeles Times reported in July.
Observers cite numerous reasons for the increase in violence. They blame everything from the fracturing of drug cartels to the inability of local police forces to deal with the situation.
Officials in the Trump administration, who entered office at a time of increasing violence, have provided their own novel interpretation. Citing the national opioid epidemic in the United States, administration officials have blamed U.S. drug users for breathing new life into the Mexico’s illicit drug business. “But for us, Mexico wouldn’t have the trans-criminal organized crime problem and the violence that they’re suffering,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently argued. So “we really have to own up to that.”
At the Aspen Security Forum in July, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, who is now Trump’s Chief of Staff, also blamed U.S. drug users for the spike in violence. Countries such as Mexico “suffer terribly because of the violence of the trafficking and the production,” Kelly said. “So as Americans we should be ashamed of ourselves that we have done almost nothing to get our arms around drug demand.”
Despite these arguments, the leaders of the United States know that they bear significant responsibility for the violence in Mexico. While it is true that an opioid epidemic is sweeping across the United States, claiming more than 100,000 lives over the past few years, U.S. officials are the ones who have played a far more direct role in fanning the flames of violence in Mexico. For starters, they are the ones who devised and implemented the Mérida Initiative, a multi-billion dollar assistance package that has been a primary cause of the drug-related violence. In addition, they are the ones who have spent more than a decade urging the Mexican government to confront the country’s drug cartels, even though various escalations have made the violence worse. Rather than blaming the growing violence on U.S. drug users, officials in Washington should be paying closer attention to the their own actions, which have been fueling Mexico’s decade of violence.
The War Begins
The ongoing crisis in Mexico dates back to December 2006, when Mexican President Felipe Calderón went to war against the country’s drug cartels. Although it was unclear whether Calderón was legally justified in launching the internal military campaign, he set aside such concerns and began deploying tens of thousands of military forces across the country, setting off a major drug war.
“Calderon has launched major military-backed surge operations against drug traffickers in nine of the most conflictive states,” U.S. diplomats in Mexico explained in an internal report in April 2007.
Right away, the military-backed surge operations had devastating consequences for Mexico. Not only did they prompt a vicious backlash from the country’s drug cartels, but they sparked an increase in drug-related violence, or “soaring Cartel-related bloodshed,” as U.S. diplomats described it.
Nevertheless, U.S. officials remained optimistic about the operations. Instead of questioning the logic of legally dubious military operations that were increasing violence in the country, they began thinking that they should help the Mexican government escalate the operations.
“Now is the time for us to show our appreciation and respect for our neighbor’s commitment to the rule of law by significantly increasing our material support to the GOM’s law enforcement efforts,” U.S. diplomats in Mexico insisted.
The Mérida Initiative
Taking the advice of its diplomats, the Bush administration began devising a new military assistance program for the Mexican government called the Mérida Initiative.
According to U.S. Senator Harry Reid, the Mérida Initiative was made possible by the resolve that Calderón had shown in going after the country’s drug cartels. “That resolve paved the way for USG action on the Mérida Initiative,” Reid told Calderón in November 2007.
The terms of the deal, which were finalized the following year, brought a whole new phase to the drug war. Not only did the Mérida Initiative provide the Mexican government with a massive infusion of U.S. military support, but it also opened the door to a more direct U.S. role.
“The U.S. is about to insert itself in a major way into this challenging environment with the impending rollout of the Mérida Initiative,” U.S. diplomats in Mexico reported in December 2008.
As U.S. officials began implementing the Mérida Initiative, drug-related violence in the country increased rapidly. It quickly surpassed the previous rise in violence that began with Calderón’s surge operations, claiming more lives in some of the most horrific ways possible. Beheaded and dismembered bodies, which had already become common sights throughout the country, kept appearing more frequently.
“Levels of violence show no signs of decreasing, with organized crime-related homicides and casualties suffered by security forces in the counterdrug fight likely to surpass 2008’s record figures,” U.S. diplomats in Mexico informed President Obama in July 2009.
The violence peaked in 2011 with more than ten thousand people killed. A few years into the Mérida Initiative, Mexico had become one of the deadliest countries in the world.
“Violence is unprecedented, people are afraid, mayors are being killed,” U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual observed.
The Pause to Mérida
The rising drug-related violence did not continue indefinitely. Starting in 2012 and continuing into the following years, Mexico experienced a slow and steady decline in drug-related violence, which for a time approached pre-Mérida levels.
The reversal was largely due to changes in Mexican politics. Not only were the Mexican people beginning to protest the drug war, but Mexican politicians began calling for major changes in the war.
During Mexico’s 2012 presidential campaign, all three leading presidential candidates pledged to shift tactics and reduce drug-related violence in the country.
The winner of the election, Enrique Peña Nieto, promised major changes. During his inauguration in December 2012, Peña Nieto announced that his primary goal was to reduce drug-related violence. “My government’s first aim will be to bring peace to Mexico,” Peña Nieto said.
Peña Nieto acted on his pledge. As U.S. officials later confirmed, Peña Nieto halted the implementation of any new programs under the Mérida Initiative. “There was a huge pause,” one U.S. official later said. The program came to a “screeching halt,” another U.S. official agreed.
Most important, the pause to Mérida programs addressed the concerns of the Mexican people by reducing drug-related violence. While U.S. officials kept trying to stop the pause and get the Mérida Initiative back on track, drug-related violence steadily declined in the following years. Indeed, Peña Nieto helped to reverse the alarming trends in drug-related violence by impeding one of its main causes, the Mérida Initiative.
The Revival of Mérida
In spite of these hopeful signs, the pause did not last long. Instead of making the pause permanent and extending it to the remaining Mérida programs, Peña Nieto eventually reversed course. Working closely with U.S. officials, he agreed to approve a series of new programs that revived the Mérida Initiative, thereby reigniting the drug war.
In May 2014, State Department official William Brownfield provided a basic explanation of what happened for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Essentially, “there was a period where both governments, logically and understandably, said let us review what is the nature of the cooperation that we have today,” Brownfield explained. “This process took some time. Much of the year 2013 was dedicated to it.”
In other words, the new Mexican government kept reviewing various Mérida programs before deciding to move forward with new operations.
After spending a year to review the programs, both the U.S. and Mexican governments then agreed to move forward with new operations. “We have reached an agreement on $438 million worth of 78 new programs,” Brownfield said.
A senior State Department official provided additional confirmation of the change. There has been some concern about “a slowdown in the Mérida Initiative and the funding that we were doing for some of the security projects,” the official said. “But you’ve now seen over $430 million of funds approved for projects, 78 projects approved. Those will now be pushed forward.”
The decision to push forward new Mérida programs had a familiar effect. Just as previous intensifications of military operations increased violence in the country, the revival of the Mérida Initiative sparked a new phase in drug-related violence.
In fact, drug-related violence quickly returned to its previous highs. Nearly 10,000 people died in 2015, more than 10,000 people died in 2016, and the total death toll is expected to be even higher for 2017.
“Mexico is reaching its deadliest point in decades,” the New York Times reported earlier this month.
Making matters worse, the Trump administration has been eager to expand the programs. So far, the Trump administration has publicly supported the Mérida Initiative and indicated that it intends to intensify the drug war.
President Trump clearly articulated his intentions when he first entered office. Speaking with Peña Nieto in January, Trump said that he wanted to work more closely with the Mexican government to deliver a final blow against the country’s drug cartels. “Enrique, you and I have to knock it out – you and I have to knock the hell out of them,” Trump said. “Listen,” he added. “I know how tough these guys are – our military will knock them out like you never thought of.”
While it remains unclear whether the Trump administration will send U.S. forces to Mexico, additional officials have similarly called on Mexican officials to intensify the war. A few months after Trump made his proposal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson advised Mexican officials to do more to confront the country’s drug cartels. “I told my Mexican counterparts it’s time to stop playing small ball, we’ve got to start playing large ball,” Tillerson told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in June.
In these ways, the Trump administration has urged the Mexican government to work more closely with the United States to escalate the drug war. Despite the fact that heavy U.S. involvement through the multi-billion dollar Mérida Initiative has only succeeded in bringing more violence to the country while fueling its decade-long bloodbath, the Trump administration has been moving to intensify the ongoing military efforts, placing even more lives at risk.
“Your citizens are being killed all over the place, your police officers are being shot in the head, and your children are being killed,” Trump said during his conversation with Peña Nieto. But for Trump, those were not reasons to reconsider U.S. policy. Instead, those were reasons to increase U.S. involvement in the ongoing fight against Mexico’s drug cartels.
“And we will knock them out,” he promised.
The Fifth Report of the Government of the President of the Republic comes stained with blood like no other. His government will end up as one of the most violent and insecure in contemporary Mexican history. With the extradition of "El Chapo" Guzman, the atomization of the Sinaloa Cartel and the expansion of the CJNG 2017 will be the year with the highest number of executions
One of every four homicides in Mexico registered in the last 27 years, have been committed in the administration of the President of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto. His bloody numbers surpass even those of his predecessor Felipe Calderón, who declared the "war" against drug trafficking, awakening thousands of hit men under the orders of criminal groups in the country.
Thousands of families torn apart by homicide, orphans, wives or mothers, faces and names erased from the great total numbers: 104 thousand 602 registered felonious homicides since the PRI took protest as President of the Republic in December of 2012 and until 31 of July of this year.
This is the most current and closest figure in the abyss of drug trafficking and violence, in enforced disappearances, in narcotics, or in the disintegration of bodies, in the world of peoples far away from everything, with no records of their dead.
The killings during the peñanietista era represent 25 percent of the total homicides registered from 1990 to 2016, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
The violence reflected in the deprivation of life exploded with Felipe Calderón. Adding the number of murders during the PAN government (2006-2012) to those of the current administration, they represent 49% of the 427 thousand 698 victims of homicide in the last 27 years, according to figures obtained by the same Inegi. One of every two murders occurred under the mandate of Calderón and Peña.
16 thousand 152 dead in the course of 2017
If the trend in executions continues as it has in the first seven months of 2017, it will break a record of spilled blood. From January 1 to July 31, the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, fed by public prosecutors and procuratories of the states of the Republic, has registered 16,122 violent deaths.
The chilling number itself gets a lot more nerve when compared to the first year that Calderon opened fire on the drug cartels. That is, more than 16 thousand homicides in the first seven months of 2017 are practically double the ones that the government documented in 2007 (8 thousand 867).
Each month, in 2017, 2 thousand 100 violent deaths (intentional homicides) and 2 thousand 461 have been recorded. Some 2,300 executions on average monthly, 78 each day, three deaths per hour. If this average is sustained, this year would end with a record number: 27,690 victims.
BC surpasses Veracruz, Michoacán, Jalisco and Chihuahua
So far this year, in Sinaloa, Chihuahua, a little Guanajuato and especially Baja California, violence has intensified, entities that represent strategic points for trafficking, production and distribution of drugs in the country.
At the end of 2016, the states with the highest number of violent deaths were:
- State of Mexico, 2 thousand 256.
- Guerrero, 2 thousand 213.
- Veracruz, thousand 522.
- Michoacán, thousand 477.
- Jalisco, thousand 470.
- Baja California, thousand 258.
- Guanajuato, thousand 110.
- Mexico City, thousand 035.
- Oaxaca, thousand 013.
Just below Guerrero and Estado de México is Baja California, where practically 80% of homicides occur in Tijuana. What is most serious is that in the top 3, the State of Mexico is six times larger population than Guerrero and Baja California, condensing a greater number of murders for every 100 thousand inhabitants.
From January to July of 2010, according to the Report of Victims of Homicide, Kidnapping and Extortion published by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, some states have gained ground on the scale of death.
If we divide the number of homicides committed so far this year among the population of each State (according to the National Population Council), these would be the most violent entities. He emphasizes that the State of Mexico, which generally heads the top, loses spaces in front of other places.
Reacomodo of the Sinaloa Cartel, power of the CJNG
For Dr. David Shirk, a researcher at the University of San Diego in the United States, the wave of violence in Mexico has to do with a variety of factors such as poverty and lack of social opportunities.
At the same time, the exponential growth of the New Generation Jalisco Cartel (CJNG) are the reasons for the deaths that have increased and diversified throughout the country. "It has to do with the readjustment of the criminal world in the wake of the realm of the Sinaloa Cartel," he describes.
In an interview with ZETA , the master of International Relations also admits that "CJNG's growth effectively consolidated during the early years of Peña Nieto by achieving the largest elimination in terms of rivals such as Los Zetas, Los (Knights) Templars, in that time when there is a very important advance of Sinaloa ".
Shirk states: "The first capture made by the government of Peña to 'El Chapo' did not detract from its ability to operate, because it was able to escape, was in a situation of power despite being imprisoned, that means that the time of greater power of Sinaloa was in 2012 and 2013. Removing from the game to 'El Chapo' - continues the professor in Political Science - is when the instability begins, the increase of violence, was in the end of 2015, particularly after moving it to Chihuahua, the violence continued to grow after his extradition to the United States. "
Shirk is the director of the Justice in Mexico program at the University of San Diego and believes that violence will cease when a cartel succeeds in seizing the disputed territories or achieving alliances for a ceasefire to eliminate poverty or unemployment, education can not be carried out over two years, but in that period the dynamics between organized crime groups can be radically altered.
"The waves of violence have grown and decreased much faster than changes in politics or public administration, which means that despite the fact that politicians and police like to claim the merits of changes in violence, as in 2012 and 2014, there are other factors in the criminal groups themselves, "he says.
One of the biggest problems is impunity, since "the authority has neither the time nor the capacity to investigate and punish homicides. This is very problematic, because if I kill someone and nobody punishes me, I will do it again. "
That is why the margin for reducing violence by the state is to strengthen investigations and punish homicides.
"Government attacks symptoms, not causes": Semáforo Delictivo
For Santiago Roel, director of Semáforo Delictivo, the most ambitious citizen project in the country regarding the revision of figures on insecurity, "the government has been attacking the symptoms without attacking the causes, which is the black market for drugs."
In contrast, he explains, retail drug sales "have to protect a whole square, a whole city or a whole state, a whole territory, generally young at risk recruited, the colony's thief in the beginning, it is not a very sophisticated organization, then they have to defend their territories with much violence, they have less funds, they have arms and they are collapsing to the authority. This is the first cause of violence in Mexico.
"It is a competition of mafias by the territory. When you have a single mafia that controls a drug market, the region is usually quiet. When you have competition, it causes a lot of violence. The problem is that the Mexican government itself has been creating this violence by atomising the cartels, creating more competition and war between them, "he concludes.
In addition, criminal groups can not be defined without the complicity of the governments in turn: "There is a recomposition in government and obviously, there is a recomposition in criminal groups, their alliances, their contacts within the government. Electoral turbulence creates turbulence in organized crime as well. "
To solve this, Roel suggests: "It's very simple and it's drug regulation. Take away the business, snatch the market from the mafias, take away the economic, war and social power with which recruit young people, families, authorities, police. Regulation does not imply promoting drugs. Promoting drugs is what has been happening today, mafias are promoting dangerous drugs freely throughout the country."
And he adds: "All the institutional attempts that you can or want to make with respect to reducing violence or corruption will not work if you do not take the money from these mafias first."
Roel knows that not a single political party has raised the agenda. And less now that the 2018 electoral process is at the door: "First the pressure of the DEA, CIA and other agencies of the United States in Mexico, who do not care that Mexico regulates because if it does, there they run out of piñata, they love to beat up their failure in their drug policy. "
The other reason is that "there are politicians involved in the narco. No narcopolytic will agree on the regulation of drugs, they would be shooting their foot. " And finally, "the lack of understanding on the part of society that continues to confuse regulation with drug promotion and is just the opposite. That's the way it is now, get any drug anywhere. "
Jimena David is a researcher at the Center for Public Policy Analysis Mexico Evalúa, based one of her most recent research on how to make up the numbers of willful homicides by reclassifying them as wrongful killings.
"Ideally, these two categories should have no relation because one refers to accidental (wrongful) acts and the other to intentional (intentional) acts, so they would have to move completely differently," he says in an interview with ZETA.
However, when Jimena and two of his fellow investigators from Mexico's Security and Justice Program evaluate the behavior of the incidents of these two crimes, "we find very significant and rare relationships that should not exist. We can not know for sure if they are manipulating the figure, but the data behave in an atypical way, so there is probably a problem, "he notes.
The investigator points out that these reclassifications can be made in the corrections that each prosecutor sends to the Secretariat: "Sometimes homicides can be subtracted or added later when, for example, twenty intentional homicides were given and two are subtracted, one for natural causes and another accidental. There are several times when this can happen, either by decision or by mistake. "
Regarding the reliability of these databases, David considers: "Both state and national strategies are constructed with defective information."
According to what the researcher has collected in her research, "some public ministries are capturing data by hand on paper or have no electricity, this slows down the authorities' ability to correctly collect data and make the best use of it."
One of the ways it proposes to improve the databases on homicides in the country is for public ministries to form a more complete picture of the modalities of this crime, beyond the data that are traditionally classified as homicide type , weapon and location, as well as that of a watchdog."
September 2017 Homicidios Dolosos-Executions: 84 so far this month, 1,149 YTD Tijuana
Shortly after noon today, Zeta reported there had been 13 people killed in Tijuana in the past twenty-four hours. Their figures (which are I believe accurate) then would bring the total year to date homidcidios dolosos/executions in Tijuana alone to 1,149. With these figures and this report in September so far there have been eighty four (84) people killed. The killings they said "...seems to have no end."
Zeta - 09/12/17
Tijuana: 13 ejecuciones en 24 horas
But it doesn't end there by any means.
- Rosarito Beach:
Today, a human head located which was thrown in front of a pre-school; the man who saw and reported it after leaving his daughter off at the high school said it was in a transparent bag, you could clearly see it was a head; he said it gave him the shivers:
Tiran Cabeza Humana a la entrada de un Jardin de Ninos en Rosarito
por, Carmen Gutierrez
And, more body parts in Rosarito Beach, unknown if these are related to the head. Several bags thrown into the Ensenada-Rosarito turnoff with body parts inside:
Localizan bolsas al parecer con restos humanos en Rosarito
Por, Sergio Ortiz
In Ensenada today on the road to Ojos Negros, two bodies located wrapped in plastic bags:
Hallan restos humanos en la carretera a Ojos Negros
El Sol de Tijuana has reported that there have been 93 homicidio dolosos the first fourteen days of September in Tijuana, bringing the YTD total up to 1,158 in Tijuana. This number is increasing rapidly, Frontera has reported even more this day, check link below:
El Sol de Tijuana
Van 93 Homicidios en 14 Dias de Septiembre
por, Eduardo Lopez
To follow the mayhem go to:
AFN - Seguridad
El Mexicano - Policiaca
El Sol de Tijuana
I'll be back with more stats. ...and the DACA situation where people are fearful the kids might be being held hostage for a "Wall" deal.
"The goose has gotten fat On caviar and fancy bars
And subprime homes And broken homes
Is this the life, the holy grail?
It’s not enough that we succeed
We still need others to fail
Fear, fear drives the mills of modern man Fear keeps us all in line
Fear of all those foreigners Fear of all their crimes
Is this the life we really want? (Want, want, want, want)
It surely must be so For this is a democracy and what we all say goes
And every time a student is run over by a tank
And every time a pirate’s dog is forced to walk the plank
Every time a Russian bride is advertised for sale
And every time a journalist is left to rot in jail
Every time a young girl’s life is casually spent
And every time a nincompoop becomes the president
Every time somebody dies reaching for their keys
And every time the Greenland falls in the fucking sea is because
All of us, the blacks and whites Chicanos, Asians, every type of ethnic group
Even folks from Guadeloupe, the old, the young Toothless hags, super models, actors, fags, bleeding hearts Football stars, men in bars, washerwomen, tailors, tarts Grandmas, grandpas, uncles, aunts Friends, relations, homeless tramps Clerics, truckers, cleaning ladies
Ants – maybe not ants Why not ants? Well because its true
The ants don’t have enough IQ to differentiate between The pain that other people feel
And well, for instance, cutting leaves
Or crawling across windowsills in search of open treacle tins
So, like the ants, are we just dumb?
Is that why we don’t feel or see?
Or are we all just numbed out on reality TV?
So, every time the curtain falls
Every time the curtain falls on some forgotten life
It is because we all stood by, silent and indifferent "
- Roger Waters