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Richard Valdemar

Richard Valdemar

Sgt. Richard Valdemar retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after spending most of his 33 years on the job combating gangs.
Gangs

Mexico's Deal With the Devil

By voting the old guard PRI party back into power, Mexicans may have given the cartels free rein.

July 11, 2012  |  by Richard Valdemar - Also by this author

Newly elected Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto pledged to shift strategies in dealing with drug cartel violence. Photo: Wikimedia
Newly elected Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto pledged to shift strategies in dealing with drug cartel violence. Photo: Wikimedia

A politician is the devil's quilted anvil; he fashions all sins on him, and the blows are never heard.—John Webster

A high-tech war is being fought every day on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Eagle-eyed Predator drones now defanged of their missiles and bombs search for narcotics and human traffickers from high above the desert floor. High above the drones, Russian and Chinese satellites watch the movements of our Border Patrol units and relay GPS locations to the Mexican cartel paramilitary lookouts on observation posts north of the border. Both the U.S. Border Patrol and their adversaries—the Mexican coyotes and halcones (hawks)—scan the terrain with night-vision equipment.    

But the outcome of the war won't be determined by high-tech gear or the actions of soldiers, gangsters, or cops. It will be determined in Mexico City, in the halls of power. And it may just have been lost.

On July 1, the man who declared Mexico's war on narco traffickers back in December 2006, President Felipe Calderón of the National Action Party (PAN), was voted out of office. He will be replaced by Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Enrique Peña Nieto. In Mexico the difference between the PAN and the PRI candidates is profound.

The PRI has controlled Mexican politics for more than 70 years. Formed by revolutionaries with a socialist bent, the PRI's mission was to institutionalize the ideals of the Mexican Revolution (1910-'20). Several prior Mexican presidents who were members of the PRI party have acted against drug traffickers in various parts of Mexico since the first drug cartel, the Guadalajara cartel, was formed in the late 1970s by Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, a former Mexican federal judicial police officer. 

Following Mexico's first revolution, a religious persecution sparked a second revolution called the Cristeros War, which recently depicted in a motion picture titled "For Greater Glory." In 1939 Mexican political conservatives and Catholic church leaders formed the National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional, PAN). It is one of the three main political parties in Mexico. The party's political platform is generally considered right-wing in the Socialist Mexican political spectrum. In 2000, the PAN party broke the PRI's long reign of control and since then the president of Mexico has been a member of this party.

The third Mexican political party is the Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD). The PRD is a member of the Broad Progressive Front alliance, a socialist left-wing party, and one of two Mexican affiliates of the Socialist International.

During the PRI reign, Mexican presidents mostly targeted cartels that were rival cartels of the ones from their particular political supporters. The narco war in earnest really began in December 2000, when newly elected PAN President Vicente Fox sent federal troops to stem the violence between warring cartels in Nuevo Laredo. In December 2006, the second PAN party president, Felipe Calderon, sent 6,500 federal troops to Michoacán, and eventually would deploy 45,000 troops to fight the drug cartels.

The Mexican press estimates that 19.5% of the official ballot boxes in the recent election were installed in areas controlled by the drug cartels. Many voters avoided the poles altogether in fear of intimidation and violence.

In addition, violence and misbehavior were rampant nationwide during the election.

• Guerrero, eight were arrested for vote buying and coercion, and a PRI candidate for mayor was kidnapped and released.

• Chihuahua, gunmen prevented the delivery of ballot boxes.

• Chiapas, the names of PAN candidates were crossed out from the ballots.

• Nuevo Leon, gunmen stole the ballot boxes.

• Villaflores, Chiapas, 15 were arrested for stealing the ballot boxes.

• Sinaloa, the PRD party handed out free gas vouchers for votes.

• Mexicali, the state police arrested people buying votes for 500 to 600 pesos apiece.

• Yucatan, more than 100 were arrested in election violence.  

• Veracruz, a gun battle erupted between the Mexican Army and gunmen outside the voting booths.

• Salto, Jalisco, gunmen murdered an official at the voting headquarters.

Tlacojalpan, the PAN party mayor was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered.

All this violence was above and beyond the "normal" murder and bloodletting of Mexican citizens, policemen, prosecutors, and crooked politicians. All three major parties were involved in some of these incidents. But the cartels were clearly involved in some of the most violent election tampering.

Just days before the election, two IEDs were detonated in front of PRD headquarters and the Mexican Government Federal Election Institute (IFE) in Mexico. On June 29, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) exploded outside the Mayor of Nuevo Laredo's Office wounding seven. And on July 3 in the city of Victoria, Tamaulipas, another VBIED exploded outside the home of the Tamaulipas security secretary killing two policemen and wounding four others. There have been 10 car bomb incidents this year.

PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto has claimed victory against PRD candidate Andres Manuel Lopez and third place PAN candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota. According to reports in the Mexican press, President Peña Nieto has vowed to give no quarter to the cartels. But he also knows that he was elected partially because Mexican citizens were tired of the drug wars and the resulting years of unprecedented numbers of kidnappings and murders. And the PRI has a reputation of "negotiating" for peace with the cartels.

"There will be no pact or truce with organized crime," President Peña Nieto pledged. This was seen as an apparent response to critics in Mexico and the United States who fear the return of the PRI’s past tolerance of the drug cartels.

President Peña Nieto also informed the press that Colombian strong man, General Oscar Naranjo, touted as "the cop who downed Pablo Escobar" and "dismantled Colombia's cartels" would be appointed as an advisor to his administration. According to an Associated Press report, Naranjo "has been praised by U.S. officials for a strategy that Washington holds up as a model for other Latin American countries' fights against traffickers."

However, Colombia has suffered from the same public corruption problems that are systemic in Mexico. Recently a U.S. Court in Virginia issued an arrest warrant for fellow retired Colombian General Mauricio Santoyo, who had been the security chief for former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. The Virginia court warrant charges Santoyo with drug trafficking.

I have several friends with sources who served in the military fighting the FARC and the drug cartels in Colombia. They tell me that General Naranjo had little or nothing to do with bringing down Pablo Escobar and that, like so many others in Colombia, he had as many associations with drug cartel members as with drug fighters. They do not express the same confidence in the general as the apparent sources in the Associated Press report.

Under PAN leadership, Mexico has been waging an all out war on Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs). This has cost them millions of dollars and more than 47,000 reported deaths since President Felipe Calderón's December 2006 offensive. The question now is: Will the Mexican people continue the struggle against these criminal gangs or will they return to the old PRI policy of appeasement?

Related:

Mexican Cartel Violence: None Dare Call It Terrorism

Blood Brothers: Roots of a Cartel War

Tags: Mexican Drug Cartels, Drug Trafficking, Elections


Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

brian @ 7/12/2012 11:43 AM

Perhaps it isn't how Mexico made a deal with the devil, perhaps it's more like how America made a deal with the Mexican Drug Cartels.

http://wakeupfromyourslumber.com/blog/heydrich/us-government-supports-sinaloa-drug-cartel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegations_of_CIA_drug_trafficking

http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/mexican-drug-lord-officially-thanks-american-lawmakers-keeping-drugs-illegal/

Grow up and stop siding with ignorance. by making this illegal instead of educating citizens on why they should choose not to use it only allows criminals to make money off of drug laws. They make ten times more than all states put together on income from drug busts. They even thank us.

This article is biased and ignorant intentionally.

DaveSAM25G @ 7/12/2012 9:24 PM

By putting this out here he is educating people - your choice to believe or not is a personal one! And I choose to exercise my two ears and two eyes rather than one mouth...I have found good writers always put their personality in their writing there is nothing wrong with once again my choice what to do with it...I think many times what Rich is saying is that there are not enough people listening...Whole reason we have two ears and only one mouth...Remember this also someone has to turn the light bulb on to see even where many do not want to! When you walked through Death Valley you know how great it is to get to the mountain that overseas it all with a whole new prospective on life and calling!

Thanks Rich

Brian @ 7/13/2012 9:18 AM

@DaveSAM25G Your rambling actually said nothing. Have you had a stroke? You should go get checked out. Also, what he said was utter nutter shit.

kiko @ 7/13/2012 10:19 AM

First i would like to state that i enjoy reading your insights on the many topics your experience affords you to share. Corruption is part of the substance that fabricates first individual then social moral decay. I grew up in Los Angeles around 31 st and San Pedro st. In the 1970's i was exposed to the residual influence of the old Clanton st gang now know as C14. I became a born again Christian in my teen years and renounced then and renounce again today any ties or glorification of the gang and criminal life style. In light of the this article on the decay of Mexican politics together with the raging troubles going on all over the world. In Damascus explosions of warfare, blood drenching the sidewalks. It is clear that the plagues of Revelation chapter 9 are vividly displaying themselves. Verses 20 and 21 read "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see , nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts." Drug dealers and most of those entangled at every level worldwide with those venomous cords of death will not repent of their murders, sorceries, fornication and thefts. It is clearly stated in The Holy Bible. So Mexico as the rest of the world Needs the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ now more than ever. "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars." 2 Chronicles 16:9 All this present corruption is due to the original deal with the devil. Christians let us pray and continue to resist. "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us."

Richard Valdemar @ 7/14/2012 5:37 PM

Kiko - The heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jer 17:9 - Amen
Dave - You see and seek the truth - Thanks
Brian - You have been smoking what you want to legalize, and think the U.S.A is a Zionist conspiricy - I pray you are not a LEO

FUNNY @ 7/14/2012 7:10 PM

"On July 1, the man who declared Mexico's war on narco traffickers back in December 2006, President Felipe Calderón of the National Action Party (PAN), was voted out of office."

That sentence alone should let you know enough to disregard this man's opinion.

The Mexican president can only serve one term. He wasn't voted out.

Rich you were a street cop. Your opinion on politics in Mexico and drug cartels matters little. Stick to streetgangs and obsessing about EME.

Brian @ 7/24/2012 1:38 PM

FUNNY sums it all up for you idiots.

As for me, smoking weed is not something I do. Just because I advocate it doesn't mean I partake in it. You advocate a useless war on drugs instead of education, do you participate in making your own life harder? Yes, when you resist educating your people in favor of making them criminals, of course your life as an officer is going to be harder. You create over half of your kind's problems then blame society for them. Open your eyes idiots.

SunsetIrish @ 8/30/2012 1:52 AM

Illegal drugs mean more dead homeboys fighting for distribution. Legal drugs would have other negative consequences. If socieity turns away from God, it all goes bad in a hurry.

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