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Viewing cable 09MEXICO133, MEXICAN ARMY MAJOR ARRESTED FOR ASSISTING DRUG

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MEXICO133 2009-01-20 15:03 2011-02-21 12:12 SECRET Embassy Mexico
Appears in these articles:
http://wikileaks.jornada.com.mx/notas/expediente-medico-de-calderon-entregado-a-cartel
VZCZCXRO0793
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #0133/01 0201543
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 201543Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4651
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM  PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEADWD/DA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
187945
2009-01-20 15:43:00
09MEXICO133
Embassy Mexico
SECRET

VZCZCXRO0793
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #0133/01 0201543
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 201543Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4651
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM  PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEADWD/DA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 000133 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/16/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL SNAR MX
SUBJECT: MEXICAN ARMY MAJOR ARRESTED FOR ASSISTING DRUG 
TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATIONS 
 
Classified By: Polcouns Charles Barclay. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY:  A mid-level Mexican army major was arrested 
in late December 2008 for assisting drug traffickers and 
providing them with limited information about the activities 
and travel plans of Mexican President Felipe Calderon. 
According to an informant, the cartels were using the 
information to avoid heightened security around the 
president, not to target him personally.  The arrest 
represents the most serious security breach to date but is 
not surprising given high-level civilian Government of Mexico 
(GOM) corruption charges over the past six months.  While the 
case demonstrates that the Mexican Secretariat of Defense 
(SEDENA) failed to properly investigate and oversee an 
officer who was involved in providing security for the 
president, it nevertheless indicates that the military is 
serious about combating corruption.  Although the major was 
not part of the president's inner circle, it also shows that 
the cartels succeeded in infiltrating a significant area of 
the GOM's security apparatus.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (SBU) Mid-level Mexican Army Major Arturo Gonzalez 
Rodriguez was arrested the week of December 21, 2008, for 
allegedly assisting Mexican drug trafficking organizations 
(DTO) for USD 100K a month.  Gonzalez had been assigned to 
the Estado Mayor (Presidential Protective Division), the unit 
responsible for protecting Mexico's president, to secure the 
periphery around the president's location.  Based on 
statements from a former cartel member turned witness 
code-named "Jennifer," PGR has accused Gonzalez of passing 
information related to the activities and travel plans of 
Mexican President Felipe Calderon to the Arturo Beltran Leyva 
organization (ABLO).  Gonzalez also stands accused of leaking 
military intelligence, training ABLO hit men through a 
private security company and supplying military weapons to 
various DTOs, including los Zetas. 
 
3. (C) In light of high-level civilian Government of Mexico 
(GOM) corruption charges over the past months, this case is 
disturbing but certainly not shocking.  GOM sources sought to 
downplay the seriousness of the breach, but the revelation 
that Gonzalez was providing intelligence and materials to 
ABLO represented a double blow to the GOM.  First, the fact 
that a member of an army unit responsible for protecting the 
president was passing information about presidential 
movements to the cartels exposes a gap in Calderon's security 
detail.  While it is not known what specific information 
Gonzalez had access to, or what exact details he was passing 
to the cartels, this is a significant security breach.  PGR 
Senior Advisor Oscar Rocha told Poloff that, even though 
Gonzalez was not/not one of the president's personal guards, 
he had access to the president's movements to facilitate his 
unit's forward deployments.  However, given that not all 
batallions are deployed at any given event, the major likely 
only had partial information for a relatively short period of 
time about the president's movements.  According to PGR, the 
informant Jennifer has said the cartels were tracking the 
president's movements with the intent of avoiding the high 
level of government security that surrounds the president, 
but had no specific plan to target Calderon. 
 
4. (SBU) The second unsettling aspect of the case is that 
Gonzalez apparently had been on the cartel payroll since 
2005, during which time he held different positions in the 
government.  As he changed assignments, he was kept on as a 
cartel asset, and the nature of his involvement with the 
cartels changed.  It is entirely feasible that he fed 
information on other departments of the army (not just the 
Presidential Protective Division) over the course of his 
three-year relationship with the cartels. 
 
5. (S/NF) RSO shared threat information with the Presidential 
Protective Division regarding threats against the life of 
President Calderon from DTOs.  One source advised that 
Calderon's medical file was passed to a DTO by a corrupt 
member of Calderon's inner circle.  Regarding the arrest of 
Major Gonzalez, General Cuevas, the second in command of the 
Presidential Protective Division, was not overly concerned as 
he stated that the major did not have close access to the 
president.  . 
 
6. (C) COMMENT:  One of the primary reasons the GOM relies on 
the military to fight the cartels is the perception that the 
military is considerably less corrupt than the state and 
 
MEXICO 00000133  002 OF 002 
 
 
local police forces.  But this case -- along with other 
military corruption arrests in 2008 -- reaffirms that members 
of the Mexican military also are prone to corruption. 
Security expert Raul Benitez told Poloff that this case 
represents an intelligence failure on the part of the 
Secretariat of Defense (SEDENA) as it had cleared this 
individual for the assignment.  On the upside, SEDENA 
ultimately uncovered the criminal behavior and took action. 
According to the Embassy's Defense Attache Office (DAO), 
SEDENA recognizes the danger of corruption in the military in 
its fight against narcotrafficking, particularly in the 
garrisons out in the countryside.  To counter that threat, 
SEDENA administers a program of counter-intelligence 
(excluding the Presidential Protective Division) and has 
begun, under the Calderon administration, rotating units in 
from the outside in joint operations with local units.  Just 
as with other institutions engaged in the drug war, DAO 
believes that the cartels are reaching out to the military 
with offers some cannot refuse.  Although the army major was 
not part of the president's inner circle, this case 
demonstrates that the cartels were able to extend their 
intelligence network to those charged with protecting his 
personal security.  END COMMENT. 
 
Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American 
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap / 
GARZA