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US Support for Mexico's Drug War Goes Beyond Guns and Money

By SmokeTwibz, Dec 1, 2014 | |
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  1. SmokeTwibz

    In spite of widely acknowledged and rampant corruption in Mexico's security and law enforcement institutions, implicated in the September disappearance of more than 40 college students, the United States continues to supply the country with well over $100 million per year in military and police assistance, including world-class weapons, training and intelligence.

    Now, a new report from the Wall Street Journal is adding fuel to long-standing criticisms of the United States' extensive role in helping to execute the so-called "war on drugs" in Latin America. Evidently, the United States has gone well beyond simply providing diplomatic, financial and technical support for Mexico's fight against organized crime; it even puts its own personnel on the front lines.

    The Journal reported recently that the US Marshal Service has repeatedly sent "specialists," disguised as local security forces, into Mexico to hunt down suspected criminals, including some who aren't on a US wanted list.

    In spite of widely acknowledged and rampant corruption in Mexico's security and law enforcement institutions, implicated in the September disappearance of more than 40 college students, the United States continues to supply the country with well over $100 million per year in military and police assistance, including world-class weapons, training and intelligence.

    Now, a new report from the Wall Street Journal is adding fuel to long-standing criticisms of the United States' extensive role in helping to execute the so-called "war on drugs" in Latin America. Evidently, the United States has gone well beyond simply providing diplomatic, financial and technical support for Mexico's fight against organized crime; it even puts its own personnel on the front lines.

    The Journal reported recently that the US Marshal Service has repeatedly sent "specialists," disguised as local security forces, into Mexico to hunt down suspected criminals, including some who aren't on a US wanted list.

    Police in another part of Tamaulipas state also recently opened fire on a truck that allegedly failed to stop at a checkpoint, wounding a pregnant 14-year-old US citizen. Both these incidents went relatively uncovered in United States and global media, and officials on both sides of the border have not been eager to comment on them publicly.

    In January of this year, a tense armed standoff between Mexican soldiers and US Border Patrol agents in Arizona brought attention to the continuing friction between the United States and Mexico in policing the massive border between the countries.

    The confrontation also drew questions from some US officials about whether the Mexican soldiers were actually chasing drug smugglers across the border, as they claimed, or whether they were protecting cartels using drug trafficking routes into the United States.

    Like their Mexican counterparts, many US officials have also been linked to organized crime. Sources from the Department of Homeland Security told Mexico's El Universal newspaper that more than 2,000 US officials have been investigated for potential underworld ties this year alone.

    A recent string of law enforcement arrests in Hidalgo County, Texas, has revealed deep-seated corruption on the US side. In July, former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño was sentenced to five years in federal prison on charges of federal money laundering connected to a drug trafficking scheme.

    Treviño's conviction came just three months after his son, Jonathan Treviño, was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for his role in the Panama Unit corruption scandal, which involved a rogue anti-narcotics squad stealing both drugs and cash from criminals and negotiating their own drug transactions.

    While federal officials from Mexico and the United States have made little public mention of these events, the Ayotzinapa case has become an international issue. A November 25 letter from a bipartisan group of US Senators "express[ed] . . . deep concern for the lives of the 43 young students who disappeared" and "call[ed] for additional attention on strengthening the investigative and forensic capacity of Mexican law enforcement and its ability to serve victims of crime, violence and human rights abuses." The lawmakers also implied that the situation in Guerrero is symptomatic of a larger issue that has been endemic to Mexico in recent years.

    In response to the continued and growing outrage over the Mexican government’s lethargic response to the Ayotzinapa incident, Peña Nieto’s administration unveiled 10 proposals for security and justice reform, including removing some authorities from local police forces. The US government also recently announced that it would be providing $68 million over the next five years to support efforts to reform the Mexican judicial system.

    However, the United States has come under heavy criticism for the behavior of its own local police forces. In Ferguson, Missouri, the killing of the unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown by a local police officer in August of this year resulted in weeks of popular protests that were met with a militarized response from local and state authorities. The Ferguson prosecutor’s office has come under heavy criticism for failing to secure an indictment against the officer who shot and killed Brown.

    These and numerous other incidents of excessive violence by US security forces against citizens at home and abroad raise serious doubts about the ability of the United States to support effective reforms to other countries’ police and military institutions.

    Rather than pushing for the difficult, long-term reforms necessary to achieve positive changes in law enforcement and citizen security, the United States has continued to provide massive amounts of aid, intelligence, training and, evidently, secret manpower to try to patch up gaping holes in the drug war framework.

    The absence of official statements from the US government about the international outrage generated by the Ayotzinapa case and the general lack of citizen security in Mexico - even when it directly impacts American citizens - belies a refusal by the United States to acknowledge its complicity in propping up a security apparatus fundamentally undermined by corruption, impunity and incompetence.

    Even more concerning, the United States has yet to adequately address issues of transparency, accountability and respect for human rights in its own security forces. Until the United States cleans up its own image in this regard, perhaps it should refrain from giving so much information and assistance to partner countries with even worse policing records than its own.

    December 01, 2014
    Mike LaSusa | Angelika Albaladejo | TruthOut
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/...-secret-manpower-in-mexico-s-drug-war-exposed

    Author Bio

    SmokeTwibz
    My name is Jason Jones. I'm from Rochester, MN and I'm 35 years old. I scrap metal and work as grounds keeper at a local trailer park. In the winter, I shovel a bunch of driveways and sidewalks to make some extra money and to stay busy. In my free time, I try to find interesting articles about the war on drugs that I can post on Drugs-Forum, so that the information can reach a wider audience.

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