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Mexico Remains Precariously in the Path of Hemispheric Threats

Mexico Remains Precariously in the Path of Hemispheric Threats

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Hemispheric Crime, Risks to Mexico and Counterinsurgency Needs
Hemispheric Crime, Risks to Mexico and Counterinsurgency Needs

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Published by: Jerry E. Brewer, Sr. on Jun 12, 2014
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08/20/2014

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Column 060914 Brewer 
 
Monday, June 9, 2014
 
Hemispheric Crime, Risks to Mexico and Counterinsurgency Needs
 
By Jerry Brewer
 
 Although there is a myriad of opinion and other pundit conjecture on the status and projected plight of Latin America as it relates to crime and  violence, Mexico's apparent unabated rates of homicide, kidnappings and assassinations, with targets that include public figures and ournalists, continue. Last week alone in the resort mecca of Acapulco, another journalist was found murdered with his  body bearing signs of torture, four days after he  was kidnapped by unknown gunmen. The victim  wrote a political column for a weekly newspaper,  with one of his final reports describing 
“protests
against violence and extortion by local and
federal authorities.” Acapulco today is a
 battleground of lawlessness and homicide with impunity. The US State Department recently warned that
the “number of kidnappings throughout Mexico
is of particular concern and appears to be on the rise. According to statistics published by the Mexican Secretaria de Gobernacion (SEGOB), during the first 11 months of 2013 kidnappings nationwide increased 32 percent over the same
period in 2012.” Guerrero State (Acapulco) was
listed with the highest numbers of kidnappings.
 
To the south of Mexico, the United Nations reports that Honduras 
“retains the w 
orld's
highest murder rate.” Not surprisingly, El
 
Salvador was listed as second and Venezuela third.  What is outrageous is the fact, as the UN
reported, that “n
early 40 percent of the 437,000 murders committed globally in 2012 took place in the Americas, with the majority in Central and
South America.”
 
 Where is the progress that so many local nation leaders and their political cronies regurgitate in this hemisphere? Where does the US officially stand, beyond token meetings with Mexican and other Latin American government leaders and throwing mega-dollars their way for so-called "assistance"? Where is the oversight and quality control of US efforts and resources expended anywhere in Latin America at this point?
 
 While many of the northern tier nations of Central America are facing nearly identical problems, Mexico too faces a war-like dilemma.
Recently, Mexico’s army again deployed
additional forces to two of the northern states, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, which border the US. This was reportedly done to reinforce police and military units in place.
 
However, many of these saturation strategies simply displace the organized criminal insurgents that move to areas of lesser attention and control, where there are essentially no policing infrastructures. They remain in those locations until they are swept again.  And, throughout all of this arrests and successful prosecutions are rare
 while the number of deaths mount measurably.
Evidence of the “sweeping effect," from Mexico
into northern cone nations of Central America,  was partly reflective of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon's aggressive military response to violence and crime. However,
Mexico’s southern border
s, with Guatemala and Belize, are virtual revolving doors.
 
Mexico’s current president, Enrique Peña Nieto,
 who pledged to build a better police
 
infrastructure and to remove the military from enforcement venues, has had little recourse but to fight superior armed criminals head on, while he too seeks to protect his crime fighters from ruthless criminals and ambushes. Even the US Border Patrol is requesting additional training to
include “cover and concealment” strategies to
combat resourceful and well trained criminal insurgents.
 
These insurgent-like threats continue to graphically demonstrate the new organized crime-terror nexus. Fear, intimidation, political tampering, corruption, kidnappings, murders,  bombings, and torture seem to have become the norm in the Americas. The organizational similarities of organized crime and terror have definitely merged to essentially form a single merchant of violence and death. Groups have emerged as third generation gangs possessing extensive, asymmetrical warfare capabilities. Interdiction efforts along the lines of a successful counterinsurgency campaign can neutralize insurgents, secure populations, and reestablish government legitimacy where threatened. Without order and the rule of law the insurgents succeed by inflicting chaos and disorder everywhere they can. These governments will fail unless they can maintain order and reduce fear. Building effective policing infrastructures must eventually follow military success in stabilizing regions in which competent investigations and arrests can lead to prosecutable victories, with extended incarceration for violent offenders.
 
The primary goals of transnational organized criminals are to gain power, territory and control for massive profits, and to remain in place doing so. They exploit voids in leadership and rule of law in cities to gain this power and control. Corruption of police, military and government is thus a bonanza for them
 if there is resistance, they simply kill, and the numbers are astronomical. Anyone helping to attain their goals is an ally until they no longer serve a need.
 

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