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E D I T O R I A L and O P I N I O N

7/18/2016

Transnational Criminal Insurgency- a complicated web of chaos
As the United States now continues to see an escalating onslaught of death and violence against its law
enforcement officials on the streets of their policing jurisdictions; they incongruently join a global
community of police that are victims, ardently and routinely killed- simply in blatant retaliation and in
full disrespect for the rule of law.
Are these vast killings of police simply disobedience or is it domestic terrorism? Who needs political
labels and protocols to define what terrorism is or is not; especially as the definition is conveniently used
or not in the US by many of the current government administration to define what is essentially
“murder?”
Just looking to the southern border of the U.S. in Mexico we see more than a decade of deliberate
aggressive ambush and murder of police officials with impunity; from local to federal ranks. To
Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala of 514 miles and south to Honduras and El Salvador in the
Northern Triangle of Central America, we see the highest rates of murder in the entire world. What rule
of law exists in those nations?
Decades of waffling, empty lip service and knee-jerk reactions to immigration and border security in the
U.S. alone has now brought perhaps an unfocused urgency to fix with what may be insurmountable
expectations.
There are political candidates in the U.S. that want to focus all security problems to the U.S. southern
border as to escalating death and violence.

7/18/2016

There are some with ludicrous boast that simply “building a wall” will protect us from ourselves and
eliminate all those pesky Mexican border crossers- stop them in their tracks.
Mexico’s border with Guatemala and its 156 mile border with Belize account for what is believed to be
half of all the illegal immigrants traversing Mexico from South America and Central America. Over
500,000 undocumented Central Americans illegally cross the border annually into Mexico, with the
majority traveling through the country en route to the U.S
Untangling that complicated web of chaos alone is a Pandora’s Box that may pose far more questions
than answers. No strategy for organizing a vision to undertake a solid and coherent plan of action in
designing, developing, and deploying a comprehensive police enforcement action or plan for a
homeland can succeed without first coming to grips with the reality of basic infrastructural weaknesses.
The incredible demand for drugs in the US alone showcases the multi-billions of dollars a year that are
simply handed away to transnational criminals to grow and prosper throughout the hemisphere.
Of course drug trafficking is but one facet of hedonistic demand, and one that could actually be
sacrificed to reap vast revenues to replace it, such as human/sex trafficking- growing and rivaling vast
revenue sources throughout the world. However, don't look for many of these highly addictive deliriants
to simply disappear. It is saturating this hemisphere in unfathomable wealth to some.
Police and governments in Mexico and the northern cone of Central America know all too well the
monumental task of policing and border security’s inherent weaknesses.
These police have been routinely murdered, aggressively ambushed, and have faced grenades, grenade
launchers, military-type AK-47 and AR-15 rifles, and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, while
witnessing these insurgents wearing sophisticated body armor and demonstrating tactical military-like
expertise.
Governments and police appear operationally dysfunctional in terms of having answers or the necessary
resources to be proactive in meeting these challenges and many remain stymied by indecision and
mental paralysis due to the escalating violence and continuing threats.
Mexico alone faces transnational organized criminals brandishing weapons that inflict mass casualties.
The reign of terror continues with police, as well as the military, routinely engaged head-on.
As President Obama; his administration; and many of their supporters believe; “US police” need to be
less militaristic in appearance, as well as less armed/equipped with the necessary superior weapons they
are facing and being gunned down with.
Many previously proactive and effective lawful patrol and street strategies and procedures have been
stopped or reduced due to concern more for public opinion, than for the previous successes exhibited in
illegal firearms seizure and capturing dangerous criminals that were wanted.
After all, the courts would determine what was an improper or illegal seizure, and obvious oversight
authorities (police/courts/prosecutors) would handle discrepancies. If they were not capable or
mistrusted to handle these alleged violations, we would certainly have a broken system of criminal
justice and not be much better off than many of those nations to our south struggling with astronomical
rates of violence and murder with impunity.
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In the history of traditional policing, it is hard to fathom the need to evolve into paramilitary strategies
and war-like engagement that have become necessary for Mexico, Latin America, as well as other world
nations.
The truth is that regardless of public opinion and other pundit conjecture on policing methodology, the
rule of law must prevail within a homeland to safeguard human life and property, and provide a
harmonious quality of life.
“Community Policing” is not much of an option for those nations merely trying to escape the slaughter.
While societal mandates in the US now must struggle with the open- season on police lives by people
and groups; the realities are that these attacks require tactical considerations that supersede weak
posture; both in terms of resources and strategic and proactive response. These are life and death
decisions required for the protection of all lives.
It is clear when we all face the facts and realities- traditional policing and related local law enforcement
entities, whether in Mexico, the U.S., or elsewhere, were never designed, resourced and/or deployed to
confront the paramilitary-like armaments, tactical strategies and espionage-like tradecraft and
surveillance used by many of the transnational organized crime groups/terrorists and domestic groups
intent on killing anyone that represents authority. In the US alone that represents the policing task of
keeping over 300 million citizens safe.
A coherent border security plan should include that the truth is that walls and fences are needed in
manageable sectors of the border where they can be strategically monitored realistically; especially near
cities and towns and where heavily illegal transient movement is popular.
Yet, even police holding hands from Brownsville, Texas to the Pacific Ocean could not fully “secure”
the border. We must all face the historical fact that a little less than 2,000 miles of the U.S. southern
border with Mexico has never been secure to begin with.
As enforcement officials know very well, what goes over and under a border will get through, even if
temporarily- especially the $80B in revenue from the US drug demand that must return to the
transnational organized criminal hierarchies- much of this through the ever-growing network of tunnels
supplied by the six figure amounts that are paid to experienced engineers of “El Chapo” Guzman who
has always relied on them for his escapes as well.
So what should be done to end the decades of handwringing and frustration? More decades of
indecision?
The complex border security problems require a commonsense approach to manage and control the
border, devoid of prejudices, misinformation and partisan politics. It is clear that Mexico must secure
their borders with Guatemala and Belize- and do their part on their side of the US southern border.
Many realists and those of us who have served in enforcement venues in these border sectors know that
this border represents far more than just a dividing line between two neighboring nations.
Vast, multi-billions of dollars for a full wall barrier promised by political aspirant(s) that apparently
have not researched many of those ranchers along the Rio Grande where their cattle drink; as well as the
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Tribal land of the Tohono O’odham Indian nation (2.8 million acres- about the size of Connecticut) of
75 miles of the U.S.-Mexico international border; are in for a fight by those residents.
Mexico’s borders must achieve the necessary and timely infrastructure and resources to significantly
make an impact on its own adjacent borders and with its neighbors to make an impact on these
transnational criminals that also significantly affect the US border.
It is obviously clear that the unpredictability and uncertainty of transnational criminals and related
insurgents/groups that are defining the characteristics of threat; as well as response in the world today
possess transregional linkages around the world that help criminal networks to operate within virtually
all nations.
A strategic focus on these groups beyond simply the offenses is critically necessary, along with the
cooperation of all nations of the world that must police their territories and be vigilant in each of their
communities. These transnational organizations are both highly and loosely structured, as well as
cellular, and require intelligence-sharing and law enforcement cooperation.
Globalization has allowed unprecedented openness in trade, finance, travel and communication, that has
also unleashed the quest for prosperity and control and desire for power over others. This fuels
corruption that is flourishing worldwide and empowering the ruthless to take human life at will to
achieve a desired goal.
In this hemisphere, Mexico is very different from many of its southern neighbors, having a much larger
and diversified economy, a stronger government, and milder social divisions. Nonetheless, Mexico has
suffered tragic loss of life; more than all of the US lives lost in Viet Nam. Corruption in Mexico has
been endemic.
Russian, Iranian, and Chinese activities in this hemispheric region must be intricately monitored by
democratic nations and their security services. An eye and capacity for recognizing and proactively
interdicting destabilizing operations, corruption influences and the global reach of these transnational
threat networks is critically important.
As far back as 2009 (and prior examples) it was reported that just Mexican organized crime cartels alone
were spreading their tentacles into 47 nations, including the U.S. and Colombia. The full spectrum of
past, present and future conflict in Mexico alone is so much more than drug trafficking, It has morphed
into a transnational criminal insurgency that is fluid throughout the hemisphere; as well as the entire
world.
With Mexico on our southern border having a relatively dismal record in implementing policing and
effective security reforms, and thus impacting US national security and democratic international
partners; the US will need to do much more soul searching.
Allowing unscrupulous pundits to simply insult and wall out an entire neighboring nation, and refusing
to recognize the contributing elements that draws violent transnational criminal insurgents to operate
and prosper within our nation and our international partners; would be a snub and do a great injustice to
all nations of the world struggling with transnational criminal insurgency with little hope to regain
control.
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CRIMINAL JUSTICE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATES
United States of America
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jbrewer@cjiausa.us
JERRY BREWER is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice
International Associates, a global threat mitigation
firm headquartered in northern Virginia. His Website
is located at www.cjiausa.us BREWER Published archives
TWITTER: CJIAUSA BIO: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jerry-brewer-sr25b8298?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

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