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Viewing cable 06MEXICO6085, PRESIDENT FOX'S NATIONAL SECURITY LEGACY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MEXICO6085 2006-10-25 17:05 2011-02-12 12:12 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Mexico
Appears in these articles:
http://wikileaks.jornada.com.mx/notas/el-legado-del-presidente-fox/
VZCZCXRO9923
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #6085/01 2981705
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251705Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3881
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHEHOND/DIR ONDCP WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USNORTHCOM
RUEWMCS/US MARSHALS SERVICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
83079
2006-10-25 17:05:00
06MEXICO6085
Embassy Mexico
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
06MEXICO3117|06MEXICO3296|06MEXICO3297|06MEXICO3305
VZCZCXRO9923
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #6085/01 2981705
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251705Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3881
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHEHOND/DIR ONDCP WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USNORTHCOM
RUEWMCS/US MARSHALS SERVICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 MEXICO 006085 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV KCRM SNAR PTER SMIG MX
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT FOX'S NATIONAL SECURITY LEGACY 
 
REF: A. MEXICO 3296 
     B. MEXICO 3117 
     C. MEXICO 3297 
     D. MEXICO 3305 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (SBU) This is the first in a series of four cables 
assessing the key accomplishments of President Vicente Fox 
Quesada during his six years in office, including the 
expansion of bilateral cooperation that helped Mexico advance 
in areas of greatest interest to the USG.  It focuses on 
progress made in national security; the economy and social 
welfare; governance, human rights and foreign policy; and the 
environment.  Fox's record--which will not be complete until 
December 1, 2006 when he leaves office--was far from perfect, 
and while a brief assessment of Fox's failures or 
shortcomings is included at the end of each report, the 
emphasis of these cables is on the principal achievements 
that moved Mexico forward between 2000 and today. 
 
2. (SBU) Summary continued: During the Fox years, Mexico made 
steady progress in the area of national security, and the 
level of USG-GOM law enforcement cooperation was 
substantially improved when compared with the situation prior 
to Fox's election.  After September 11, 2001, the GOM 
responded to USG requests to prioritize counterterrorism (CT) 
cooperation, which resulted in an increased emphasis on 
border security projects focused, inter alia, on special 
interest aliens (SIAs) and alien smuggling.  The GOM expanded 
and solidified the professionalization of federal law 
enforcement institutions, and Fox oversaw a dramatic increase 
in arrests of drug kingpins.  Drug interdiction also 
improved.  The number of annual extraditions nearly tripled 
from the beginning to the end of his presidency, and 
deportations increased markedly.  This paper does not address 
bilateral military cooperation, and a discussion of Mexico's 
persistent security deficiencies is limited to the comment 
paragraph.  End summary. 
 
------------------------------------------ 
Law Enforcement Infrastructure Development 
------------------------------------------ 
 
3. (SBU) During the Fox sexenio, Mexico restructured and 
strengthened the institutions directly responsible for 
fighting organized crime.  The GOM pushed forward with 
reforms aimed at establishing more professional police 
institutions and promoting greater accountability and 
transparency.  It created the Federal Investigative Agency 
(AFI) and further developed the Federal Preventive Police 
(PFP), which have both worked closely with U.S. law 
enforcement.  New legislation gave the Attorney General's 
Office (PGR) and AFI more autonomy to investigate, arrest and 
prosecute major criminals.  Several PGR entities established 
professional cadres of investigators, analysts, and 
technicians, and AFI agents played a central role in the 
investigation and arrest of drug traffickers, violent 
kidnappers, and corrupt officials.  As a result of 
coordination and cooperation between the USG and PGR/AFI 
Special Investigative Units (SIUs), there were approximately 
19 DEA tier 1 and tier 2 targets arrested between 2002 and 
2006. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
Border Security and Safety Cooperation 
-------------------------------------- 
 
4. (SBU) Under Fox, USG-GOM law enforcement cooperation 
became more effective and more routine, characterized by 
enhanced communication channels and greater 
information-sharing, including about SIAs.  The Mexico-U.S. 
Border Partnership signed in March 2002 served as an initial 
framework to institutionalize border security cooperation and 
was later incorporated into the Security and Prosperity 
Partnership (SPP).  Under the Smart Border Action Plan, Fox's 
government implemented the Advance Passenger Information 
 
MEXICO 00006085  002 OF 005 
 
 
System (APIS) in 2004, establishing an important screening 
and enforcement tool that allows the USG and GOM to exchange 
"real time" information regarding airline passengers 
perceived as threats to national security.  The GOM's 
continued cooperation in APIS has led to the capture of 
approximately 50 fugitives and represents a significant step 
in coordinating aviation and border security. 
 
5. (SBU) In August 2005, the USG and GOM also implemented the 
Operation Against Smugglers Initiative on Safety and Security 
(OASSIS), a standardized prosecution program to identify and 
prosecute smugglers and human traffickers on both sides of 
the border and save lives of migrants put at risk by criminal 
organizations.  The USG has turned over to the GOM 497 cases 
to date for prosecution (approximately 300 cases have been 
accepted), demonstrating its value as a tool that reduces the 
number of human smugglers operating along the border. 
 
6. (SBU) The Border Security and Public Safety Working Group 
formed in March 2006 has become another important tool for 
bilateral cooperation, establishing protocols between both 
governments to respond to critical incidents and emergencies 
along the border.  It remains in the pilot stage.  The USG 
was able to further develop its border security relationship 
with the GOM under President Fox through training programs, 
which focused on using non-intrusive inspection equipment, 
detecting weapons of mass destruction, and identifying 
fraudulent documents. 
 
----------------- 
Counter-Terrorism 
----------------- 
 
7. (SBU) Information sharing on CT issues under the Fox 
administration has been commendable (ref A).  USG law 
enforcement agencies have enjoyed particularly strong 
relationships with the Center for National Security 
Investigations (CISEN--the GOM civilian intelligence and 
security service) and the National Migration Institute (INM). 
 The GOM worked with the USG to enhance aviation, border, 
maritime, and transportation security, secure critical 
infrastructure, and combat terrorism financing.  The March 
2005 launching of the SPP, which consists of ten 
security-related goals within its Security Pillar, 
institutionalized mechanisms for information exchange across 
agencies and levels of our respective governments. 
 
8. (SBU) Among the most important new efforts developed, the 
GOM coordinated with the USG on information sharing of 
APIS-derived data and the use of its Integrated System for 
Migratory Operations (SIOM).  Efforts are now underway to 
expand the dissemination of the APIS-derived information 
automatically and directly to CISEN.  The USG and GOM also 
agreed to share on an ad hoc basis biometric data for 
inclusion in the Integrated Automated Fingerprint 
Identification System (IAFIS).  Under President Fox, there 
were no incidents detected in which terrorists sought to 
exploit Mexican territory to attack the U.S. or U.S interests. 
 
----------------- 
Counter-Narcotics 
----------------- 
 
9. (SBU) The Fox administration has been especially effective 
in stepping up Mexico's efforts against narcotrafficking and 
the cartels it regards as national security threats.  Between 
2000 and 2005, GOM authorities arrested more than 57,000 drug 
traffickers, including kingpins such as Osiel Cardenas 
Guillen of the Gulf Cartel and Benjamin Arellano Felix of the 
Tijuana Cartel, in ongoing efforts to dismantle major drug 
organizations operating in Mexico.  Most major indicators of 
counter-narcotics effectiveness increased during the Fox 
administration when compared to statistical data for the 
preceding Zedillo government.  Average annual eradication of 
opium poppies increased from 16,002 hectares during 1995-2000 
to 19,168 hectares during 2001 to 2005 (complete data is not 
yet available for 2006).  Eradication of marijuana rose 
markedly, from 26,437 (1995-2000) to 31,550 hectares 
(2001-2005).  Average annual heroin seizures totaled 324 
 
MEXICO 00006085  003 OF 005 
 
 
kilos (2001-05) versus 221 kilos (1995-2000).  The annual 
rate of cocaine seizures is the only major indicator that 
decreased slightly during the Fox years compared to the 
previous administration, at 24.5 tons versus 25.9 tons. 
(Note: Since cocaine is not produced in Mexico, however, this 
variation may be attributable to changes in international 
trafficking patterns.  End note). 
 
10. (SBU) Under President Fox, the GOM and the USG achieved 
unprecedented levels of cooperation in deploying 
infrastructure to inhibit illicit narcotics trafficking (ref 
B).  Using a combination of GOM and State/INL funds, Mexico 
installed 86 contraband detection units using sophisticated 
gamma ray technology at strategic points along our common 
border.  Other INL-funded efforts led to the addition of new 
and refurbished helicopters to augment the PGR's interdiction 
fleet; provision of vehicles and training to AFI for use in 
safe destruction of clandestine methamphetamine and other 
drug laboratories; the furnishing of telecommunications, 
computer and command/control infrastructure to various 
components of the PGR; and specialized training for thousands 
of Mexican law enforcement and aviation support officers in 
anti-narcotics operations and techniques. 
 
---------------- 
Money Laundering 
---------------- 
 
11. (SBU) The USG developed strong working relationships with 
the Financial Intelligence Unit of the PGR and its companion 
unit in the Mexican Treasury (Hacienda) in combating money 
laundering, terrorist financing, and narcotics trafficking. 
Notable was the task force deployment to the Mexico City 
airport that included elements from AFI, Mexican customs, and 
prosecuting attorneys from the PGR's anti-money laundering 
criminal prosecution section.  The Bulk Currency Smuggling 
Initiative was launched in July 2002 and has resulted in $57 
million in seizures of bulk cash transfers at Mexican ports 
of entry, including seizures associated with tax evasion, 
narcotics trafficking, public corruption, bank fraud, and 
alien smuggling.  These seizures have resulted in the 
identification and dismantling of several money laundering 
cells.  Under Fox, the first joint U.S.-GOM wire intercept 
investigation was also initiated targeting a money laundering 
group in Mexico with connections to the U.S. 
 
12. (SBU) Despite excellent USG-GOM cooperation, money 
laundering remains a significant problem in Mexico, and the 
USG would like to see more Mexican resources dedicated to 
tackling the problem.  While our cooperation with the Fox 
administration reached new heights, the underlying legal 
framework remains inadequate, and the Fox administration was 
unable to improve that framework for a variety of political 
reasons.  Specifically, the Embassy would like to see changes 
being made to the judicial processes required for Hacienda's 
Financial Intelligence Unit to certify money laundering 
crimes, prosecutorial ability to "layer" or "stack" several 
related charges including money laundering, better efforts to 
stop federal income tax evasion in association with major 
narcotics trafficking and other federal crimes, and the 
establishment of a specific Mexican penal charge against 
money laundering connected with terrorism. 
 
---------------------------------------- 
Extradition under the Fox Administration 
---------------------------------------- 
 
13. (SBU) Bilateral cooperation in returning fugitives to the 
United States by extradition and other legal means increased 
significantly under Fox.  Although extradition in Mexico is a 
judicial process often delayed by a defendant's right to 
appeal, the GOM has advocated strongly on behalf of the USG 
before the Mexican courts.  In the phase of the extradition 
process requiring a decision from the executive, the GOM also 
has made clear its firm policy to grant the extradition of 
criminals, regardless of their nationality, to face justice 
where they have committed crimes.  The GOM has used its 
immigration laws to expeditiously deport fugitives to the 
U.S. in lieu of the often lengthy extradition process. 
 
MEXICO 00006085  004 OF 005 
 
 
 
14. (SBU) This improved cooperation can be seen in the annual 
numbers of fugitives extradited by Mexico to the U.S., which 
have increased in each of the last six calendar years: 
 
--2001 = 17 fugitives extradited 
--2002 = 25 fugitives extradited 
--2003 = 31 fugitives extradited 
--2004 = 34 fugitives extradited 
--2005 = 41 fugitives extradited 
--2006 = 50 fugitives extradited (January - October 24) 
 
Of the 198 fugitives extradited by Mexico during the Fox 
sexenio, 120 have been Mexican citizens, with the majority 
wanted in the U.S. for the most serious of crimes.  By 
comparison, only 68 fugitives, including 8 Mexican citizens, 
were extradited by Mexico to the U.S. during the Zedillo 
administration (1995-2000). 
 
15. (SBU) Excellent cooperation between the USG and the INM 
and AFI, as well as Mexican authorities' aggressive use of 
their immigration laws to deport foreign fugitives to the 
U.S., resulted in an unprecedented 198 fugitives being 
deported to the U.S. in 2005.  Although exact figures are not 
available, this speedy alternative to extradition was used 
much more sparingly in previous administrations. 
 
16. (SBU) In 2006, the Mexican Supreme Court issued landmark 
decisions removing significant obstacles to extradition, 
including a former prohibition on the extradition of 
fugitives who faced life imprisonment without the possibility 
of parole in the United States.  In 2001, the Mexican Supreme 
Court reaffirmed the executive's exclusive discretion to 
grant or deny extradition based on the Mexican nationality of 
the defendant, a right which the GOM made full use of. 
 
17. (SBU) The Fox government did not extradite a major 
narcotics cartel leader to the United States.  While 
important leaders of Mexican drug cartels were arrested in 
Mexico, they face Mexican criminal charges in addition to 
extradition requests by the U.S. (Note: Mexico has extradited 
high-profile fugitives including Francisco Rafael Arellano 
Felix, cop-killer Raul Gomez Garcia, and even drug 
traffickers charged under the U.S. Kingpin Statute (21 USC 
848).  However, none of these individuals would be considered 
top-level leaders of Mexican drug cartels.  End note). 
Pending extradition reform legislation, when enacted, would 
mitigate delays by allowing the surrender of such fugitives 
to the U.S. before completion of their Mexican sentences. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
18. (SBU) At the beginning of the Fox administration, the 
U.S. sought more effective law enforcement cooperation with 
the GOM, rapid moves to extradite a number of major criminals 
and to deport American fugitives, less corrupt Mexican law 
enforcement institutions, and better GOM control of Mexico's 
southern border.  After September 11, 2001, the focus on 
intensifying USG-GOM security cooperation grew, especially 
regarding CT, and Mexico largely responded to the challenge, 
although specific improvements are still needed (ref A). 
 
19. (SBU) Despite initial delays, the GOM also cooperated in 
extraditing important criminals and deporting American 
fugitives, although these extraditions have not yet yielded a 
major cartel leader.  Notwithstanding the Fox 
administration's significant accomplishments in arresting 
drug kingpins and other traffickers, Mexico faces a crisis in 
narcotics-related violence along the border (as well as 
domestic insecurity more generally) that requires urgent 
attention (ref C). 
 
20. (SBU) The GOM's record at rooting out endemic corruption 
among its law enforcement entities has been targeted toward 
units with which the USG cooperates, but has been 
unremarkable otherwise.  The GOM achieved significant 
progress in establishing more effective, professional 
 
MEXICO 00006085  005 OF 005 
 
 
enforcement institutions through the creation and development 
of AFI and PFP, respectively.  Nevertheless, Mexican law 
enforcement agencies, including AFI and PFP, too often fail 
to coordinate horizontally across other Mexican law 
enforcement entities, placing significant but artificial 
limits on what has otherwise been remarkable progress.  The 
GOM has also done little to secure its southern border and 
even less to reduce violence and illegal migration and 
promote interdiction along the northern border (ref D). 
While the Fox government has made important advances in 
national security relative to its predecessors, Mexico still 
has a long way to go. 
 
 
Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity 
GARZA