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Viewing cable 09MEXICO3423, MEXICO: Scene setter for A/S Valenzuela

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MEXICO3423 2009-12-04 20:08 2011-03-02 12:12 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Mexico
Appears in these articles:
http://wikileaks.jornada.com.mx/notas/en-privado-mexico-apoya-la-politica-de-eu-pero-no-en-publico
VZCZCXYZ0004
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHME #3423/01 3382033
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 042033Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9283
238278
2009-12-04 20:33:00
09MEXICO3423
Embassy Mexico
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

VZCZCXYZ0004
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHME #3423/01 3382033
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 042033Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9283


UNCLAS MEXICO 003423 
 
FOR A/S VALENZUELA FROM AMBASSADOR PASCUAL 
 
NSC FOR RESTREPO/OQREILLY; DEPT FOR WHA DAS 
JACOBSON, MEX DIRECTOR LEE, D STAFF CUE, WHA 
STAFF GONZALEZ 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958:N/A 
TAGS: OVIP PREL PGOV PINR MX
SUBJECT: MEXICO: Scene setter for A/S Valenzuela 
(6-8 December) 
 
1. (SBU) Your visit comes at a crucial moment in 
our efforts to deepen our bilateral relationship 
with Mexico through an ambitious joint project 
to broaden the Merida initiative into a more 
comprehensive effort.  We are in the midst of a 
dizzying level of bilateral activity, including 
a wave of senior interagency visits.  Deputy 
Secretary Lew and ICE Assistant Secretary Morton 
were just here on successful back to back 
visits, which came on the heels of a second 
joint high level inter-agency review with the 
Mexicans on issues related to legal reform and 
marginal communities. 
 
2. (SBU) Joint dual assessment missions Q one to 
Tijuana and San Diego, and another to Ciudad 
Juarez and El Paso Q will book mark your visit 
and help place our efforts to build out Merida 
in the context of the ground truth along the 
border.  The assessments should help us 
crystallize some important requirements, 
particularly with regard to the crucial 
collaboration between Mexican military and 
civilian authorities on the front line along the 
border. 
 
3. (SBU) DHS Assistant Secretary for 
International and Border Affairs will arrive on 
the day of your departure, and Assistant to the 
President for Homeland Security and 
Counterterrorism John Brenan, the U.S. lead in 
the bilateral inter-agency effort, will arrive 
in mid-December in time for the turn-over of 
five Bell Helicopters and to participate with 
President Calderon, on a review of where we are 
and what remains to be done.  The pace will pick 
up again early next year with the visit of the 
SecretaryQs Advisor on Energy Issues, David 
Goldwyn and with another series of interagency 
meetings and visits. 
 
4. (SBU) You can help ensure that the process 
remains properly focused.  Your vantage point 
requires you to engage on the full range of 
interagency inputs and can help us maintain the 
needed coherence required to bring the process 
to a successful conclusion.  Your contacts and 
knowledge of Mexico can help clear away 
lingering reservations and reassure our southern 
neighbors about the benefits we will reap from 
greater collaboration. 
 
5. (SBU) The frenetic pace of our bilateral 
activity is unfolding at a politically 
challenging moment for the Calderon 
administration.  The PresidentQs PAN party 
emerged seriously weakened from a dramatic set- 
back suffered in the July Congressional 
elections.  CalderonQs bold plan for ten 
ambitious areas for reform, announced in 
September, has yet to translate into any 
concrete initiatives.  His personal popularity 
numbers while over fifty percent and 
historically in line with his predecessors, have 
dropped ten points since last February, the 
lowest level of support during his first three 
years in office.  Even more worrying is an eight 
point drop in his approval on the security 
front, an issue on which he has garnered his 
strongest support. 
 
6. (SBU) In addition, the publicQs deepening 
economic worries have overshadowed their concern 
about security, further complicating the 
PresidentQs political engagement.  He survived a 
bruising battle over the budget, and managed a 
relatively complicated operation to close down 
the inefficient Luz y Fuerza utility company in 
Mexico city but the follow-on tax increases that 
will hit in early 2010 and the blow back from a 
ham- handed effort to QblameQ the close down of 
LyF on lazy and coddled workers will likely 
further depress his numbers with his most ardent 
supporters in the business community and his 
most vehement detractors in the populist left of 
center parties. 
 
 
 
7. (SBU) Meanwhile the opposition PRI party is 
in the ascendancy, cautiously managing its 
illusory unity in an effort to dominate the ten 
governorQs races that are up in the coming year, 
and to avoid any missteps that could jeopardize 
its front-runner status in the run-up to the 
2012 Presidential elections.  The PANQs 
prospects are bleak and former Party president 
Calderon at times appears preoccupied and 
uncertain about the best way to shore up his 
partyQs prospects.  He clearly believes that a 
dramatic success in the fight against the DTOQs 
would provide a political boost, a rationale 
that to an extent explains his interest in 
deepening our Merida cooperation and stepping up 
the fight along the border.  The challenges on 
the security side are well known: an insular 
military establishment that resists 
modernization, a tightly structured political 
system that discourages inter-agency 
cooperation, a legal system badly in need of 
reform, and a weak federal structure that 
frustrates cooperation between local, state and 
federal authorities. 
 
8. (SBU) You will see signs of steady progress 
on several of these fronts, in the schedule we 
have organized for you.  The tour of the two 
Federal Police (SSP) facilities on Monday 
morning will give you an appreciation for how 
our assistance is helping build law 
enforcement.  The National Command Center at the 
Constituyentes headquarters is an impressive, 
state of the art facility that analyzes a wide 
array of data in the fight against organized 
crime.  The training academy, fire arms facility 
and mini operations center at Iztapalapa will 
round out the view further.  We will end the 
visit with a thirty minute discussion with SSP 
Director Genaro Garcia Luna. 
 
9. (SBU) Your meeting with CISEN Director 
Guillermo Valdes, MexicoQs lead in our senior 
bilateral interagency discussions, and several 
other senior Mexican security officials, are 
among our closest interlocutors in our Merida 
collaboration.  This will be a good opportunity 
to review the outcome of the Tijuana-San Diego 
assessment mission and to clarify any needed 
action in the run-up to BrennanQs visit. 
 
10. (SBU) Your breakfast meeting at the Foreign 
Ministry on Tuesday will also give you a chance 
to speak in some detail on our bilateral 
cooperation with your counterpart, Julian 
Ventura, as well as to review MexicoQs position 
on Honduras and other regional topics with 
Undersecretary for Latin America Salvador 
Beltran.  Mexico has been reluctant to translate 
the support for our policy that they have 
communicated to us in private, into strong 
unambiguous public statements.  As the current 
president of the Rio Group, Mexico has opted for 
watered down pronouncements, remarkable only for 
their lack of clarity.  Secretary Espinosa will 
likely join at the end of the meeting, providing 
another opportunity for you to reaffirm our 
support for the Merida build out and to request 
stronger support for moving forward in 
Honduras.  After the breakfast, you will join 
the Mexicans for a joint press availability. 
Julian has promised to encourage Espinosa to 
participate. 
 
11. (SBU) You will have two excellent 
opportunities to review trade and 
competitiveness issues: at the Monday morning 
breakfast with local Mexican and U.S. business 
leaders, and a day later at a Los Pinos meeting 
with senior trade and economic government 
officials hosted by the PresidentQs Foreign 
Affairs Advisor Rafael Fernandez de Castro. 
These events will give you a chance to hear 
about the concerns and priorities of the local 
business community and to review with economic 
 
policy makers, ways to overcome recurring trade 
tensions. 
 
12. (SBU) Interior Minister Gomez-Mont (SEGOB) 
will host you for lunch on Tuesday, a good 
opportunity to review some of the high points of 
your meetings and to hear from one of CalderonQs 
trusted insiders.  Following the lunch, we will 
go back to Los Pinos for a capstone discussion 
with Fernandez de Castro and CalderonQs chief of 
staff, Patricia Flores, and a possible meeting 
with the President. 
 
13. (SBU) We have invited Congressional leaders, 
some journalists, and several other politicians 
and intellectuals to a dinner for you and Katy 
at the residence on Sunday night.  This should 
provide a good venue for a general discussion of 
the state of the Mexican polity and a more 
focused discussion on ways in which we can add 
substance and import to our annual parliamentary 
exchange, which will continue next spring with a 
joint U.S Congressional visit to Mexico next 
spring.  We have had several Congressional 
leaders, including your friend Munoz Ledo and 
Vazquez Mota, raise their interest in making 
next yearQs visit more substantive.  We would 
like to explore the possibility of centering the 
visit on a relevant theme such as economic 
competitiveness. 
 
14. (SBU) We have scheduled a public diplomacy 
event at our Benjamin Franklin Library, with 
citizen participation groups and new media 
networkers to support their 
efforts to engage the Mexican people on a zero- 
tolerance approach to violence.  Discussion will 
focus on raising popular awareness and building 
a national consensus against crime and violence. 
 
15. (SBU) Finally, I would encourage you to 
raise our concerns about Human Rights in your 
meeting at the Foreign Ministry and during your 
lunch with Gomez-Mont.  We are in the process of 
launching a three part effort to increase 
transparency and strengthen civil society.  A 
major focus of that effort is a new bi-lateral 
dialogue that the MexicanQs have agreed to 
develop with us that would include the SRE, 
SEGOB, the Secretariat of National Defense 
(SEDENA), and the Mexican Navy (SEMAR).  We are 
finalizing details on a schedule of regular 
meetings and an agenda that would include four 
priority areas, identified in a separate 
dialogue we have established with Human Rights 
NGOs. 
 
16. (SBU) We also have established a separate 
bilateral defense working group that would be 
allowed to engage on the dialogue as well.  A 
major focus of our effort will be the military 
justice system and the numerous violations that 
have been alleged in connection with their 
leading role in the fight against the DTOs. 
This will be challenging work that will have to 
be pushed along with an active and comprehensive 
training program training that Northcom is 
developing.  You should encourage the Foreign 
and Interior Minister to move forward quickly on 
the bilateral dialogue they have propose and 
note the continuing pressure from Congress to 
clarify allegations of abuse from the past and 
to show a commitment to prevent any future 
abuses. 
 
17. (SBU) We are making progress on a wide range 
of issues that will help establish a framework 
for a comprehensive and sustainable program that 
can build on our Merida success.  If successful 
in this collaborative project, we will not only 
be able to step up the fight against the major 
Drug Trafficking Organizations, but we will 
address some major structural issues that are 
holding Mexico back, contributing to economic 
bottlenecks, and fueling the exploding violence 
along the border.  Your visit will help push 
 
that effort forward. 
 
PASCUAL