Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mexican Attorney General hands over domestic security reports to Associated Press

*Updated Dec. 21*
Guadalajara -
The Mexico City newspaper El Universal reports today that the Mexican Attorney General was recently compelled under this country's freedom of information laws to turn over domestic security reports covering president Enrique Peña Nieto's first year in office to the Associated Press.

AP first filed an informal request, according to the paper, but when the AG refused on national security grounds, the press organization appealed to an administrative board, which found in its favor under transparency rules.

Key excerpts from the reports, according to El Universal's redaction, include the following:

Mexican prosecutors maintain a list of the 122 most wanted narco bosses, 69 of whom have been killed or captured. The 53 still at large are not identified in the documents.

Federal security forces have focused on Los Zetas ("the Zs"), one of Mexico's most violent cartels. The new administration's biggest victory against the Zetas was last summer's arrest of Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, or Z-40 (stories below). Twenty-three members of the cartel have been captured and four killed since Peña Nieto was sworn in on Dec. 1, 2012.

Z-40 was a big score for the PRI government in 2013, earning a pat on the back from Barack Obama

Other successful operations have focused on the Sinaloa Cartel of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (Los Matazetas), Los Caballeros Templarios, and lesser known groups such as La Corona, which has been active in and around Guadalajara this year.

But the government has been greatly challenged by events in Michoacán, a state which the president said last summer had partially "passed into the hands of organized crime."

In the first 10 months of the new PRI administration there were 15,350 organized crime homicides, compared with 18,330 in the first 10 months of 2012 - the last year of the Felipe Calderón Hinojosa administration - representing a decline of 16%. (Are 1,555 drug war deaths a month encouraging?)

Yet kidnappings surged 33% during Peña Nieto's first year (Mexico is the world leader in 2013 kidnappings for ransom), and extortion posted a 10% increase (Virtual kidnappings plague Mexico).

One year ago today, Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam reported the country has about 60-80 cartels. But based upon the documents handed over to AP, it appears that about a dozen of them are responsible for most of the ongoing violence.

The numbers relied upon by El Universal in its story today are based upon official government reports. Not all agree with them. Mexican press: PRI government is lying about drug war deaths. Peña Nieto's chief cabinet secretary has promised an in-depth analysis of drug war progress next March. Mexican domestic security evaluation on the way, says top PRI official.

Dec. 21 - Presiding over a meeting of Mexico's National Public Security Council yesterday, president Enrique Peña Nieto acknowledged Mexico has a problem with kidnappings. He said he has instructed secretary of government Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong to devise a package of specific anti-kidnapping strategies, which will debut in January. What form those proposals may take the president offered not a clue.

Dec. 30 - El secuestro y la extorsión superan al plan de seguridad del gobierno

Dec. 31 - The list of drug capos eliminated by the end of 2013 is up to 71. Here are some of them: Gobierno de EPN presume que en un año cumplió más de la mitad de su objetivo sexenal contra el narcotráfico

Dec. 2 - Enrique Peña Nieto at one year: a marathon, not a sprint

Capture of Z-40
July 15 - Top Los Zeta boss, Z-40, arrested near Nuevo Laredo
July 16 - Mexican army shines again in Treviño Morales takedown
July 17 - Zeta boss Z-40 already making legal demands, filing suits
July 17 - Obama: high praise for Peña Nieto in capture of top Zeta
July 20 - Mexican A.G. comments on Z-40, El Chapo Guzmán and Yucatán security

"El Chapo" Guzmán/Sinaloa Cartel
Mar. 26 - Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel has 90% market domination in U.S., even licensing sales territories
Feb. 14 - Chicago calls El Chapo Guzmán "Public Enemy # 1"
Feb. 11 - The Chicago Connection: Sinaloa Cartel moves cocaine from Windy City to Australia
Feb. 10 - Mexican marines arrest chief executioner for El Chapo Guzmán in Sinaloa state

Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (Los Matazetas)
Dec. 6 - Body count continues at newly discovered narco burial site in Guadalajara outskirts
Nov. 16 - Mass grave by Jalisco's Lake Chapala held 67 remains
July 18 - Suspect arrested in 2008 case of 12 men decapitated in Mérida, Yucatán

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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