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SECURITY, DRUGS, AND VIOLENCE IN MEXICO: A SURVEY P REPARED FOR THE S IXTH N

SECURITY, DRUGS, AND VIOLENCE IN MEXICO:

A SURVEY

SECURITY, DRUGS, AND VIOLENCE IN MEXICO: A SURVEY P REPARED FOR THE S IXTH N ORTH

PREPARED FOR THE SIXTH NORTH AMERICAN FORUM 2010

P REPARED FOR THE S IXTH N ORTH A MERICAN F ORUM 2010 Eduardo Guerrero-Gutiérrez (With

Eduardo Guerrero-Gutiérrez

N ORTH A MERICAN F ORUM 2010 Eduardo Guerrero-Gutiérrez (With the collaboration of Eunises Rosillo, Roberto

(With the collaboration of Eunises Rosillo, Roberto Arnaud and Ricardo Téllez)

F ORUM 2010 Eduardo Guerrero-Gutiérrez (With the collaboration of Eunises Rosillo, Roberto Arnaud and Ricardo Téllez)

Security, Drugs, and Violence in Mexico: A Survey

Preface

Acronyms

I. Diagnosis

1. The Security Sector

a. Main Areas

i. Federal Level

ii. State and Local Level

b. Budget

i. Federal Level

ii. State Level

c. Military and Police Forces

i. Military Forces

ii. Police Forces

(a)

Federal Police

(b)

State and Local Police

d. Regulatory Framework

e. Security Policy (2007-2010)

2. The Logic of Mexican Organized Crime

a. Cooperation between Cartels and Gangs

b. Other Organized Crime Businesses: Kidnapping, Extortion, Vehicle Thefts and Weapons Traffic

II. Organized Crime Violence

1. The Evolution of Violence

a. National Level

b. State and Local Levels

2. Causes of Violence

III. Government‟s Strategy and Actions against Organized Crime

1. Strategy

2. Actions

a. Arrests

b. Seizures

i. Drugs

ii. Weapons and Vehicles

c. Dismantled Laboratories and Crop Eradication

IV.

Drug Market

1. Production

2. Prices

3. Data Analysis of Drug State Prices

4. Market Value and Estimated Income

5. Transportation and Distribution

a. Points of Entry, Routes of Transportation and Point of Exit

b. Violence and Geography of Business

6. Consumption

a. International Comparisons

b. Consumption at the State Level

V. Public Opinion and the War on Drugs

VI. A Final Assessment

Appendix

Acronyms

AFI

Agencia Federal de Investigación [Federal Investigation Agency]

ATF

U. S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

CIDAC

Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo [Research for Development Center]

CISEN

Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional [Investigation and National Security Center]

CONADIC

Consejo Nacional de Adicciones [National Addictions Council]

CSN

Consejo de Seguridad Nacional [National Security Council]

FASP

Fondo de Aportaciones a la Seguridad Pública [Public Security Contributions Fund]

ICESI

Instituto Ciudadano de Estudios Sobre la Inseguridad [Citizens Institute for Security Studies]

INEGI

Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía [National Institute of Statistics and Geography]

INM

Instituto Nacional de Migración [National Migration Institute]

INSYDE

Instituto para la Seguridad y la Democracia

[Institute for Security and Democracy]

NAFTA

North America Free Trade Agreement

NDIC

U. S. National Drug Intelligence Center

PF

Policía Federal

[Federal Police]

PFP

Policía Federal Preventiva [Federal Preventive Police]

PGR

Procuraduría General de la República [General Attorney Office]

PJE

Procuraduría de Justicia del Estado [State Attorney Office]

SAT

Servicio de Administración Tributaria [Tax Service Administratio]

SEDENA

Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional [Secretary of National Defense]

SEGOB

Secretaría de Gobernación [Secretary of the Interior]

SEMAR

Secretaría de Marina [Secretary of the Navy]

SHCP

Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público [Secretary of Finance]

SIEDO

Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada [Specialized Deputy Attorney on Organized Crime Investigation]

SNSP

Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública [Public Security National Systema]

SRE

Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores [Secretary of Foreign Affairs]

SS

Secretaría de Salud [Secretary of Health]

SSP

Secretaría de Seguridad Pública [Secretary of Public Security]

USAID

United States Agency for International Development

Preface

This survey was written under the auspices of the North American Forum Co-Chair Pedro Aspe-Armella, former Mexican Minister of Finance, to serve as a reference document at the Sixth North American Forum (NAF). NAF is an annual meeting of American, Canadian and Mexican government and business representatives to discuss a broad regional policy agenda that includes security, energy, and economic issues. The Sixth NAF will be held at the city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (September 30 - October 2,

2010).

Pedro Aspe-Armella requested Eduardo Guerrero-Gutierrez the elaboration of the survey. The survey provides an overview of the security sector in Mexico, the logic of Mexican organized crime, the dynamics of organized crime violence, the government‟s strategy and actions against organized crime, the main features of the Mexican drug market, and the recent public opinion trends in Mexico regarding the “war on drugs”.

Survey’s Data Sources

The survey exhibits extensive public data from Mexican government agencies, and from American and international agencies such as the U.S. Department of Justice and United Nations. Some tables and figures derive from three databases constructed by the author, through the systematic recollection of information in newspapers, weekly magazines, and press releases from official agencies.

The first database shows the number of organized crime executions. For its construction more than 25,000 news articles related to organized crime homicides were collected. These articles were taken from the following 19 national and regional newspapers: Crónica, El Economista, El Financiero, El Gráfico, El Norte, El Sol de México, El Universal, Excélsior, Imagen, Impacto, La Jornada, La Prensa, La Razón, La Segunda de Ovaciones, Metro, Milenio, Ovaciones, Reforma, and UnoMásUno.

The second and third databases show the number of arrests, seizures, and dismantled laboratories. The second database was constructed by analyzing 1,500 PGR press bulletins, and the third one was constructed by collecting and analyzing around 20,000 press articles from the newspapers mentioned above.

About the Author

Eduardo Guerrero-Gutierrez is a University of Chicago trained political scientist who, as a policy and political analyst, has received the following awards: Joseph Cropsey Prize (University of Chicago), Carlos Pereyra Award (Nexos Foundation, México), National Essay Award (Federal Electoral Institute, Mexico), and the Accountability Award (Chamber of Federal Deputies, Mexico). Eduardo Guerrero has held executive posts at the Ministry of Social Development, the Federal Institute of Access to Information, and the Federal Electoral Institute. Eduardo Guerrero has also held advisory posts at the Office of the President, the Center for Investigation and National Security, and the Chamber of Deputies. At present, Eduardo Guerrero is partner of Lantia Consultores (www.lantiaconsultores.com), a consultant firm in public affairs.

I.

Diagnosis

1. Security Sector

a. Main Areas

i. Federal Level

Despite the efforts made over the last decade to improve the coherence, coordination and cooperation of the Mexican security sector, the problems of shifting and duplicated responsibilities in a number of agencies, and of general instability, persist. These problems have resulted in uncoordinated efforts (and often animosity) across federal, state, and local security and law enforcement agencies (particularly among police agencies).

National security responsibilities are carried out by the president and seven cabinet ministries: the Secretary of the Interior (SEGOB), the Secretary of Public Security (SSP), the General Attorney‟s Office (PGR), the Secretary of Finance (SHCP), the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE), the Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA), and the Secretary of the Navy (SEMAR). Two important security agencies are subordinated to a couple of these ministries: the main agency of civil intelligence (CISEN) is a branch of the SEGOB, and the Federal Police (PF) is a decentralized body of the SSP.

Security responsibilities are often duplicated across agencies because jurisdictional roles are not clearly defined in the legislation, which in turn leads to overlapping jurisdictions. For instance, drug interdiction activity is implemented by SEMAR, SEDENA, SSP and PGR.

While overlapping roles may provide checks and balances across agencies, the main issue is that there seems to be confusion regarding hierarchy and responsibilities, which ultimately has led to bureaucratic turf battles across agencies. The most recent case was a confrontation between SSP and PGR regarding the scope and limits of PF investigative powers vis-à-vis the investigative power of the Ministerial Police. Such confrontation ended with the resignation of the General Attorney in September 2009 and the approval in Congress of a new PF law (June 2009) that created a branch of federal police with investigative powers (see Appendix I Section d).

Five security agencies have experienced a high turnover rate at the executive level, which has produced extreme instability. In the previous 45-month period, the following five agencies have switched their top officials: the Ministry of Interior (four times), PGR (three times, the National Public Security System (four times), the National Security Council (four times), and the PF (five times). (See Appendix I Table 1)

Each of the two chambers of Congress has a Commission on Public Security, and there is also a Bicameral Commission on National Security. Formally, according to the Work Plan 2009-2010 of the Public Security Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, its powers include the following: strengthening coordination between institutions; promoting experience exchange and technical support among the three levels of government; drafting studies about current criminal trends and rates; and creating and managing the crime and violence database.

Formally, according to the Committee on Public Security of the Senate‟s Work Plan 2006-2012 1 , its lines of work are the following: to learn about the national and international mechanisms of police functioning and organization; to analyze, discuss, diagnose and determine the bills referred to this Committee; to disseminate and establish a communication link with citizens and public agencies at the three levels of government; to promote the allocation of adequate budgetary resources for public security and justice; and to properly distribute the Federal Funds for Public Security to states and municipalities.

Formally, the policies and actions related to national security are subject to monitoring and evaluation from the Congress through the Bicameral Commission for National Security. Formally, this commission has the following powers: 1) to request specific reports to different public security sector institutions when discussing a law or a case study concerning this subject; 2) to know the annual project of the National Risks Agenda and issue an opinion about it; 3) to know the activity reports sent to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (CSN) in order to make appropriate recommendations; 4) to know the compliance reports given by the Executive Secretary of the CSN; and 5) to ask the appropriate authorities the results of the reviews, audits and procedures to which they have been subjected. 2

When the powers of the Bicameral Commission are reviewed, it is immediately perceived that legislative monitoring and the evaluation of decisions and actions on national security matters are a mere aspiration. Indeed, the powers of the Bicameral Commission are only directed at knowing the content of reports or projects or, at best, to request information. Therefore, the Commission lacks the necessary de facto powers to fully comply with its obligations to monitor and evaluate policies and actions related to national security.

So far, the only genuine, but limited, instrument of legislative oversight of national security agencies is the Chamber of Deputies Audit Agency 3 , which reviews public accounts through financial audits related to performance.

Finally, a crucial factor that has exacerbated the insecurity problem in Mexico has to do with the performance of the judicial system. For example, about 75 percent of those arrested for alleged drug- related crimes are acquitted. This is mainly due to two reasons: corruption in the courts and the ineffectiveness of the investigative police and the public prosecutor (ministerio público, which is subordinated to the Executive branch) to provide evidence.

ii. State and Local Level

The public security sector at the state level is composed by the state public security secretary, the state attorney, the police corps (preventive and investigative) and the penitentiary system.

The role of the municipal police is to maintain order and peace in the community. To fulfill these functions, the municipal police force and its subsidiary bodies should ideally perform the following activities: conduct surveillance and take preventive measures over criminal activities, detention of felons and assistance provision to the Public Attorney in prosecuting offenders, organize municipal criminal information and keep

1 Mexico, Cámara de Senadores. Retrieved from the Internet on September 6, 2010, http://www.senado.gob.mx/comisiones/LX/seguridadpublica/content/informe_plan/docs/plan_trabajo.pdf, Pp. 10-11.

2 Mexico, Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional. Retrieved from the Internet on September 6, 2010, http://www.cisen.gob.mx/espanol/mecanismos_poder_leg_comision.htm

3 Auditoría Superior de la Federación.

databases, keep custody of municipal detention centers, communicate and coordinate efforts with state police agencies, conduct surveillance of vehicles and pedestrians within the municipality and organize municipal police archives. 4

The situation of the penitentiary centers is an acute security problem in all the states. Overcrowding and linkages between inmate groups and organized crime in these centers have compromised the control of the authorities to such an extent that sometimes inmates carry out crimes outside the prison with the help of the authorities. Recently, in July 2010, a group of inmates were allowed to leave the prison house to execute 17 people in Durango. The prison authorities did not only let the inmates abandon the prison; they also lent them their weapons and vehicles to commit the crime. The levels of penitentiary overcrowding in Mexico can be illustrated with data.

Average national prison overcrowding was approximately 22% in 2009 and it is about 21% in 2010. The ten states with the most severe problem of prison overcrowding are Distrito Federal, Nayarit, Sonora, Estado de México, Jalisco, Morelos, Puebla, Chiapas, Guerrero and Tabasco. In these states, prison overcrowding in 2010 ranges between 40 and 110 percent. The states with the largest penitentiary sub-population are Zacatecas, Tlaxcala and Michoacán, where the population is 35 percent below its total accommodation capacity.

b.

Budget

i. Federal Level

SEDENA receives the largest share of the security budget (around 39 percent), while SSP has experienced the largest budget increase in the last four years (from 22.2 percent of total security budget to 28.9 percent). It is worth mentioning that CISEN barely represents 1.9 percent of the total security budget.

SEDENA and SSP received most of the total expenditure budget allocated to the security sector (almost 70 percent). It is also striking to see the low amount of resources allocated to the national intelligence agency (CISEN) in comparison to the other security agencies over the 2007-2010 period. This is consistent with the federal strategic goal of developing a more professional and skilled federal police force. Finally, it is important to consider that total security expenditures ranged between 5.6 and 4.6 percent of federal budget from 2007 to 2010.

4 Mexico, Secretaría de Gobernación. Retrieved from Internet on September 6, 2010, http://www.inafed.gob.mx/wb/ELOCAL/ELOC_La_seguridad_publica_municipal

Table 1. Budget Expenditure by Security Agency (in Millions of Pesos)

Agency

2007

%

2008

%

2009

%

2010*

%

SEGOB

6,827.3

7.4

7,712.0

8.1

9,695.9

7.7

8,370.6

7.5

SEDENA

39,623.0

43.1

39,493.1

41.4

49,407.1

39.3

43,632.4

38.9

SEMAR

14,113.2

15.3

16,123.0

16.9

17,938.0

14.3

15,991.9

14.3

PGR

10,949.9

11.9

9,521.8

10.0

11,906.0

9.5

11,781.5

10.5

SSP

20,447.4

22.2

22,490.3

23.6

36,879.6

29.3

32,437.8

28.9

SEGOB* (CISEN)

1,292.7

1.4

1,351.6

1.4

2,615.2

2.1

2,140.6

1.9

Total

91,960.8

100

95,340.2

100

125,826.5

100

112,214.2

100

Total as percentage of total federal government expenditures

5.6%

 

4.0%

 

4.7%

 

4.6%

 

*Allocated budget. Source: Presupuesto de Egresos de la Federación and Cuenta de la Hacienda Pública Federal, 2007, 2008, 2009. A GDP deflator, based on the first quarter of each year, was used to calculate the budget amount at constant prices (2010 chained pesos). Note: In 2007 the total exercised budget was 1,634,181.6 million pesos, in 2008 it was 2,371,510.7 million pesos, and in 2009 it was 2,703,128.5 million pesos. The total Federal Budget Expenditure in 2010 was 2,425,552.7 million pesos.

All security agencies experienced a budget increase between 2008 and 2009 (in the cases of SSP and CISEN the increase was 64 and 93.5 percent, respectively). However, during 2010 all agencies experience a budget decrease between 1.0 and 18.1 percent mainly due to the global economic crisis. The two agencies that were least affected by these budget cuts were SEMAR and PGR, which suggests that these two agencies are top priorities for the current administration.

Table 2. Annual Budget Variation by Security Agency

Agency

2008

2009

2010*

SEGOB

13.0

25.7

-13.7

SEDENA

-0.3

25.1

-11.7

SEMAR

14.2

11.3

-10.8

PGR

-13.0

25.0

-1.0

SSP

10.0

64.0

-12.0

SEGOB* (CISEN)

4.6

93.5

-18.1

Total

3.7

32.0

-10.8

*Assigned budget

Tables 3, 4 and 5 in Appendix I show the differences between assigned resources and spent resources by each agency of the security sector in 2007, 2008 and 2009. In sum, in 2007 occurred an over-expenditure of the budget with an average of 11.5 percent. It can be noted that SSP spent 29 percent more than its assigned budget for 2007. In 2008, SEMAR is the agency that spent more (13.2 percent more in relation to the assigned budget), while PGR spent 3.8 less of its assigned resources. Finally, for 2009, in average, there is no under-expenditure in public security. Nevertheless, SEGOB and PGR have spent less, with an 8 and 12 percent respectively.

ii. State Level

As shown on Table 2 of Appendix I, the state 5 with the largest expenditure on security and law enforcement in the country is D.F. Its expenditure on security and law enforcement takes up the largest share of its total budget (12.9 percent). The second state that spends most on security (as a percentage of its total budget) is Baja California, with 7.9. A remarkable fact is that D.F. spends 27 percent of the total security budget allocated to all states.

As shown on Figure 1, state level security spending is not statistically significant nor exist a strong correlation associated with state levels of crime and violence. Note that there is no correlation between a high incidence of crime and violence (as displayed in Chihuahua, Baja California, Estado de México, Sinaloa, and Guerrero) and the proportion of the budget that each state allocates to security expenditure. D. F. is by far the state with the largest per capita security and law enforcement budget and it is not the state with the highest incidence of violence and crime. This may be a result of both the population density and that it is the country capital and seat of the federal government, and as such it needs to invest more in security and law enforcement due to the highest risks it faces.

Figure 1. Per Capita Budget on Security and Law Enforcement vis-à-vis the Criminal Incidence and Violence Index (2009-2010)

2,000 DF 1,800 1,600 1,400 1,200 1,000 COL 800 TAB BCS SON QROO BC CAM
2,000
DF
1,800
1,600
1,400
1,200
1,000
COL
800
TAB
BCS
SON
QROO
BC
CAM
SIN
MICH
600
CHIH
NAY
AGS
ZAC
JAL
GRO
GTO
OAX
COA
YUC
NL
MEX
400
TAM
TLA
PUE
DGO
GRO
CHIA
MOR
HGO
VER
200
SLP
-
-
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
Per capita budget

Violence index

Source: Presupuestos de Egresos Estatales, 2010. Índice de Incidencia Delictiva y Violencia 2009, CIDAC.

http://www.cidac.org/es/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=1000087

The Fondo de Aportaciones para la Seguridad Pública (FASP) is a federal fund to transfer resources to each state's public security budgets. These resources are intended for recruitment, training, evaluation of

5 As stated in Article 44 of the Mexican Constitution, the Federal District is the seat of the Powers of the Union and capital of Mexico.

public security human resources, police equipment, establishment of the national telecommunications network, and the national emergency line. These resources are allocated using the following criteria:

number of inhabitants (35%), crime rates (10%), prison occupancy rate (20%), progress in implementing the National Program of Public Security (10%), agreed national projects in progress (20%), application of FOSEG 6 resources in programs and/or preventive actions (4%), and resources spent by municipalities on public security programs and/or actions (1%).

During 2009 (January to September) a total of 6337.3 million pesos were allocated to states through FASP, an average of 198 million dollars per state. The three entities that received the greatest proportion of resources were Estado de México (495.1 million pesos), Distrito Federal (390.5 million) and Veracruz (299.5 million). The states that received the fewest resources were Colima (94.8 million), Aguascalientes

However, these funds registered high under-expenditure levels. In

2009, for example, only 38.7% of the FASP was spent. Between January and September 2009, the states with the highest levels of money spent were Baja California (78.7%), Colima (76.2%) and San Luis Potosi (75.5%). The states with the lowest expenditure levels were Jalisco (8.6%), Quintana Roo (10.6%) and Guanajuato (11.3%).

(97 million) and Campeche (97 million).

According to information contained in the quarterly reports submitted to the SHCP 7 , the main reasons why the funds are not exercised in full are the following: (a) delays on both the presentation and the approval of the Technical Annexes of the agreements of coordination by the Executive Secretary of the National Public Security System; (b) delays in issuing guidelines for spending the resources; (c) the lack of timely administration of budgeted resources by SHCP; (d) a prolonged bidding process for procurement contracts, leases and services; and (e) a long and complicated process to analyze and determine the programs and goals that will be carried out.

SUBSEMUN (Subsidio para la Seguridad Pública Municipal) is a group of federal resources transferred to the states, which in turn must be transferred to previously chosen municipalities. The aim of these transfers is to advance in the New Police Model by means of professionalization, equipment and infrastructure. The criteria for their allocation are the following: a) that during the previous year the municipality was incorporated in SUBSEMUN; b) to have a population of at least 50,000 inhabitants; c) to be geographically located in the state border; d) to be part of a conurbation (two or more localities from different municipalities with a population of at least 50,000 inhabitants).

The states with the largest amount of resources transferred by concept of SUBSEMUN are D.F. (338.6 million pesos), Estado de México (338.6 million pesos) and Baja California (275 million pesos). The states with the fewest received resources are Baja California Sur, Campeche, Tlaxcala and Zacatecas, which received 30 million pesos each.

6 Fondos de Seguridad Pública, in which are summed together FASP resources and others from state contributions. 7 “Formato Único” annexes to each of the quarterly reports published online by SHCP.

c.

Military and Police Forces

i. Military Forces

As can be seen in Figure 2, SEDENA personnel registered a gradual increase since 1991, from circa 150,000 soldiers to 200,000 soldiers in 2009. The increase in the number of soldiers means that, over a period of 20 years, the number of SEDENA available soldiers grew by 35 percent. In contrast with the ascending trend in SEDENA personnel, over the last 20 years the number of SEMAR personnel remained relatively stable.

According with the Third Government Report of President Calderón, SEDENA elements have get better job benefits than previous years. For example, in 2009 their benefits were 55.9 percent higher than in 2006; they received 7,234 house loans; working hours were more flexible; and finally, the elements received specialized training equivalent to more than 15 days. All these have decreased desertion by 39.98 percent compared to 2008. On the other hand, SEMAR has only promoted members and increased technical training by $1,000 pesos a month to class and marine rankings.

Figure 2. Number of Military Personnel

250,000

200,000

150,000

100,000

50,000

0

250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000 0 SEDENA Average SEMAR Average
SEDENA Average SEMAR Average
SEDENA
Average
SEMAR
Average

Source: Data from Felipe Calderón, Tercer Informe de Gobierno (Third Government Report). Figures for 2009 are linearly projected based on monthly averages.

ii. Police Forces

In total, there are 2,122 independent police agencies in Mexico, with jurisdiction at the federal, state and municipal levels (see Table 3). Most policing services are provided at the state and local levels. Currently, Mexico has approximately 407,708 8 federal, state and municipal police officers, but approximately 90 percent (361,133) are under the control of state and local authorities. The remaining 43,000 officers are under federal control.

Of the universe of 2,440 municipalities in the country, 2,021 had a municipal police force (83 percent). This raises excessively the number of police agencies. At the time this survey was written, legislators were

8 This figure results from adding up the elements of federal police (46,575), state police (195,646) and local police

(165,487).

discussing a reform proposal that aims to fuse municipal police corps into a single state police force. Some analysts also defend the idea of a single national force that absorbs state and local agencies.

Table 3. Number of Police Agencies by Government Level

 

Number of

 

Government Level

Police

 

Agencies

Federal

Preventive, PGR (Judiciary), Migration

3

 

Preventive Judiciary Transit Bank, Commercial, Auxiliary Touristic, Rural, Others

32

32

State

11

13

10

Municipal

2,021

Total

 

2,122

Source: Secretaría de Seguridad Pública, 2009. Information Request No. 2210300015709.

(a) Federal Police

The Federal Police structure includes personnel from three agencies: the SSP, PGR, and the National Migration Institute (INM) 9 . In the case of SSP, there was a significant personnel increase of its preventive police during the 2007-2009 period, when it doubled. INM personnel also increased, while the PGR personnel was reduced.

There has also been a significant increase in the number of federal police personnel over the 2009-2010 period (more than 10 percent in the case of preventive police officers). The number of migration police officers has shown a notable increase too (24 percent). In contrast, ministerial police officers shrank by 20 percent. This reduction could be due to the fact that the new Ley de la Policía Federal gives investigative power to the preventive police.

9 The INM is a decentralized agency of SEGOB.

Table 4. Federal Police Personnel Variation (2007 and 2009)

   

SSP

Federal Police

Agencies

2007

2009

Percentage

2010

Percentage

Variation

Variation

Preventive Police

15,464

32,276

108.7

35,712

10.6

Jail Guards

1,301

1,670

28.4

2,055

23.1

Total

16,765

33,946

102.5

37,767

11.3

   

PGR

Ministerial Police

5,900

4,347

-26.3

3,472

-20.1

Total

5,900

4,347

-26.3

3,472

-20.1

   

INM

Preventive Police

2,832

4,298

51.8

5,336

24.2

Total

2,832

4,298

51.8

5,336

24.2

Source: Own elaboration with information from SNSP-CON, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

(b) State and Local Police

Article 21 of the Federal Constitution mandates that public security is a shared responsibility among the federal, state and municipal authorities. Nevertheless, due to low wages, lack of professionalization, and inadequate recruiting processes, corruption is a widespread phenomenon especially among local police officers.

The laws and programs related to public security implemented by Presidents Zedillo and Fox underlined the importance of cooperation and collaboration among the three levels of government. Under President Calderón, the issue of interagency coordination was again included, but it has not been achieved. When he started its campaign against organized crime, President Calderón‟s government found local police deeply infiltrated by organized crime.

Figure 3 shows that there seems to be no strong correlation between the number of municipal and state police officers, and criminal and violence incidence.

Figure 3. State and Municipal Police Officers per 10,000 Inhabitants and Criminal Incidence and Violence (2009)

100 DF 90 80 70 60 50 TAB 40 MEX BCS YUC QROO TLA OAX
100
DF
90
80
70
60
50
TAB
40
MEX
BCS
YUC
QROO
TLA
OAX
GRO
30
JAL
SIN
PUE
COL
MOR
SLP
HGO
VER
NL
TAM
CAM
CHIA
BC
MICH
SON
AGS
20
GTO
NAY
DGO
COA
ZAC
CHIH
GRO
10
-
-
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
State and Municipal Police Officers per 10,000 Inhabitants

Violence index

Lack of cooperation and coordination among the three levels of government is the major weakness of the current Mexican struggle against drug trafficking organizations. States and municipalities do not collaborate with the Federal Government. The reasons behind this situation might be the following: 1) current legislation indicates that organized crime related felonies are under federal competence; thus state and municipal governments shy away from getting involved in these type of incidents; 2) state and municipal authorities (especially municipal police corps) are highly infiltrated by organized crime; and 3) the federal authorities frequently deploy operatives against organized crime in different states without previous consultation with local authorities, bringing about frictions among levels of government. Sometimes these interventions by the federal government trigger waves of violence. The lack of involvement in the federal strategy against organized crime on the side of state and local police agencies is in part a byproduct of assigned legal jurisdictions, which depend on the type of the crime. This typology distinguishes crimes on commonor federaljurisdictions.

Commonjurisdiction felonies (delitos del fuero común) are those whose effect falls on the affected person because of the behavior of the criminal (for example, threats, property damage, sexual offenses, frauds, homicides, house robbery, vehicle theft). These crimes are prosecuted by the Common Jurisdiction Public Attorney, investigated by justice attorneys and judged by the Judiciary branch of each state.

Federaljurisdiction felonies (delitos del fuero federal) are those that affect the health, economy and security of the country or the interests of the federation (for example, attacks to transport or communication routes, smuggling, fiscal fraud, ecological crimes, drug trafficking, illegal possession of weapons, copyright violations, money laundering, human trafficking, electoral crimes, etc). These crimes are prosecuted by the

Federal Public Attorney, investigated by the General Attorney and judged by the Federal Judiciary branch. 10

The lack of state and local police collaboration and involvement in the strategy against organized crime is patent when we observe the evolution of the number of police officers in each state over the last few years. For example, as shown in Table 5, Chihuahua (the most violent state in the country) did not increase its number of police officers between 2007 and 2010. In fact, during this period the number of police officers in this state decreased 3.3 percent. Something similar happened in Guerrero, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Baja California, Durango and Tamaulipas between 2007 and 2009. In all these states, where there is a high presence of organized crime, the efforts to strengthen police forces seem to be below the required level. Finally, it is important to point out the increase in the number of police forces between 2009 and 2010 in states such as Baja California Sur, Quintana Roo, Baja California, Guerrero, Nayarit, Zacatecas and Durango.

10 Instituto Ciudadano de Estudios sobre Inseguridad, Retrieved from the Internet on Septmeber 6, 2010, http://www.icesi.org.mx/publicaciones/gacetas/federalismo_e_inseguridad.asp

Table 5. State Police Officers Variation

   

State Police

State

2007

2009

Percentage

2010

Percentage

Variation

Variation

Aguascalientes

469

491

4.7

524

6.7

Baja California

403

447

10.9

980

119.2

Baja California Sur

18

15

-16.7

258

1,620.0

Campeche

627

939

49.8

917

-2.3

Coahuila

606

732

20.8

712

-2.7

Colima

658

631

-4.1

705

11.7

Chiapas

4,501

4,501

0.0

4,438

-1.4

Chihuahua

1,217

1,217

0.0

1,177

-3.3

Distrito Federal

77,132

80,803

4.8

83,973

3.9

Durango

126

172

36.5

255

48.3

Guanajuato

870

1,187

36.4

1,333

12.3

Guerrero

2,395

2,395

0.0

5,140

114.6

Hidalgo

2,586

2,707

4.7

2,707

0.0

Jalisco

4,213

5,361

27.2

5,800

8.2

México

30,694

35,367

15.2

36,675

3.7

Michoacán

3,091

3,091

0.0

3,117

0.8

Morelos

1,597

1,623

1.6

1,738

7.1

Nayarit

185

185

0.0

346

87.0

Nuevo León

2,062

2,072

0.5

2,176

5.0

Oaxaca

5,750

6,009

4.5

6,009

0.0

Puebla

6,892

6,710

-2.6

6,712

0.0

Querétaro

775

720

-7.1

720

0.0

Quintana Roo

945

299

-68.4

1,060

254.5

San Luis Potosí

3,759

3,882

3.3

3,882

0.0

Sinaloa

396

1,303

229.0

1,303

0.0

Sonora

261

719

175.5

417

-42.0

Tabasco

2,975

5,008

68.3

3,862

-22.9

Tamaulipas

1,192

1,464

22.8

1,428

-2.5

Tlaxcala

2,067

1,711

-17.2

1,954

14.2

Veracruz

10,437

11,826

13.3

11,651

-1.5

Yucatán

2,525

3,075

21.8

3,075

0.0

Zacatecas

295

400

35.6

602

50.5

Total

171,719

187,062

8.9

195,646

4.6

Average

5,366

5,846

8.9

6,114

4.6

Source: Own elaboration with information from SNSP-CON, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

In contrast with the increase of 4.6 percent in the state police corps between 2009 and 2010, municipal police forces increased, on average, 3.8 percent. The only state that notably increased its number of municipal police officers was Chihuahua (the most violent state in the country) with a 61.9 percent increase. According to the Federal Public Security Secretary, organized crime spends 1,270 million pesos each year in municipal police bribery, equivalent to a monthly payment of 7,967 pesos to each municipal police officer. 11 This represents a 155 percent increase in relation to the monthly average salary of a municipal police officer in 2009.

11 Reforma, “Completa Narco Sueldo de Policías”, Sección Justicia, Retrieved from the Internet on August 6, 2010,

http://www.reforma.com/nacional/articulo/569/1136782/

Table 6. Municipal Police Officers Variation

   

Municipal Police

 

State

2007

2009

Percentage

2010

Percentage

Variation

Variation

Aguascalientes

2,111

2,141

1.4

2,244

4.8

Baja California

6,697

6,528

-2.5

6,371

-2.4

Baja California Sur

1,837

2,005

9.1

2,387

19.1

Campeche

957

920

-3.9

869

-5.5

Coahuila

3,528

3,973

12.6

3,664

-7.8

Colima

1,186

1,126

-5.1

1,330

18.1

Chiapas

5,956

7,187

20.7

7,187

0.0

Chihuahua

4,603

4,482

-2.6

7,258

61.9

Distrito Federal

   

*

 

*

Durango

2,336

2,678

14.6

2,693

0.6

Guanajuato

8,061

8,848

9.8

9,198

4.0

Guerrero

6,885

6,885

0.0

7,838

13.8

Hidalgo

3,448

3,499

1.5

3,499

0.0

Jalisco

12,278

13,505

10.0

13,622

0.9

México

18,875

22,650

20.0

23,156

2.2

Michoacán

5,203

5,203

0.0

6,113

17.5

Morelos

3,546

3,578

0.9

3,651

2.0

Nayarit

1,691

1,691

0.0

1,865

10.3

Nuevo León

6,395

8,055

26.0

7,897

-2.0

Oaxaca

4,299

4,688

9.0

4,688

0.0

Puebla

6,208

6,460

4.1

6,460

0.0

Querétaro

1,922

2,357

22.6

2,357

0.0

Quintana Roo

3,146

3,528

12.1

3,528

0.0

San Luis Potosí

3,037

3,240

6.7

3,230

-0.3

Sinaloa

6,008

6,144

2.3

6,144

0.0

Sonora

4,637

4,777

3.0

4,912

2.8

Tabasco

3,819

4,172

9.2

4,265

2.2

Tamaulipas

5,384

5,777

7.3

5,617

-2.8

Tlaxcala

1,540

1,700

10.4

1,829

7.6

Veracruz

7,748

5,913

-23.7

5,913

0.0

Yucatán

1,329

3,465

160.7

3,465

0.0

Zacatecas

2,115

2,237

5.8

2,237

0.0

Total

146,785

159,412

8.6

165,487

3.8

Average

4,735

5,142

8.6

5,338

3.8

Source: Own elaboration with information from SNSP-CON, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

The next figure shows that the states which have a number of police officers (per 1,000 inhabitants) above the UN recommended average are D.F. (with an excessive figure of 9.5 police officers per 1,000 inhabitants), Baja California Sur, Guerrero, Estado de México, Tabasco, Quintana Roo, Yucatán, Colima, Tlaxcala, Morelos, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí and Sinaloa (that is 13 out of 32). States with a high organized crime presence such as Coahuila, Durango, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Baja California, Michoacán and Chihuahua are below the UN recommended average.

Despite the fact D.F. has almost the double of population than Nuevo León (96.5 percent more), the number of police officers per 1,000 inhabitants in D.F is far superior because it employs 83,973 officers, compared to 2,176 officers employed in Nuevo León.

Figure 4. Number of Police Officers in the Mexican States and the Minimum Number of
Figure 4. Number of Police Officers in the Mexican States and the Minimum
Number of Police Officers Recommended by the United Nations Per 1,000 Persons (2010)
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Distrito Federal Baja California Sur Guerrero México Tabasco Quintana Roo Yucatán Colima Tlaxcala Morelos
Distrito Federal
Baja California Sur
Guerrero
México
Tabasco
Quintana Roo
Yucatán
Colima
Tlaxcala
Morelos
Oaxaca
San Luis Potosí
Sinaloa
Jalisco
Chiapas
Hidalgo
Chihuahua
Veracruz
Aguascalientes
Michoacán
Puebla
Nayarit
Baja California
Nuevo León
Campeche
Tamaulipas
Sonora
Guanajuato
Zacatecas
Durango
Querétaro
Coahuila
2010 ONU

2010

ONU

Source: Own elaboration with information from SNSP-CON, 2007, 2009 and 2010. Population: CONAPO 2005-2050 projection.

d. Regulatory Framework

Out of the most relevant eleven federal legislative pieces that relate to security and organized crime, four have been approved during the current presidential term (see the topics of Appendix I Section d). These laws regulate the intergovernmental public security system, the federal police law, the domain extinction law, and the new PGR organic law. The laws are the following:

1. Ley Orgánica de la Procuraduría General de la República (General Attorney Organic Law): This law aims to organize the General Attorney‟s Office.

2. Ley de la Policía Federal 2009 (Federal Police Law): This law regulates the organization and operation of the Federal Police in its respective area of competence.

3. Ley Federal de Extinción de Dominio 2009 (Federal Law on Domain Extinction): This law regulates forfeiture of property by the State.

4. Ley General del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública 2009 (General Law of the National Public

Security System): This law regulates the integration, organization Public Security System.

and operation of the National

To a certain extent, at the state level, public security efforts have been expressed through public security laws, public programs, and other kinds of regulations. In this regard, all states have their own Public

Security Law; fourteen states (out of 32) have a Public Security Program, and only six states have regulations on police professionalization. States with a high criminal incidence like Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Guerrero, Michoacán, Nuevo León and Sinaloa, do not have a public security program or regulations over police professionalization.

Also, during the current administration have been reformed two constitutional articles in relation to public and security (see Appendix I Section d). These articles are the following:

1. Article 21 of the Mexican Constitution (2008): Before the reform, this article gave the sole responsibility over criminal investigations to the public prosecutor, it did not state any principles over which police actions shall be carried out, or provided a description of public security and the principles that govern the actions of the respective agencies. The reform of the Article 21 covered three dimensions: judiciary procedures, police professionalization and public security.

2. Article 29 of the Mexican Constitution (2007): Article 29 states the procedure to suspend civil guarantees in the whole country or in a determined place. This article was reformed in 2007. Before the reform, the article said that in case of “invasion or a grave disruption of public peace that puts the society in danger or conflict” (Art. 29, paragraph 1), the President, in accordance with the state ministers, administrative departments, PGR and with the approval of Congress, can suspend guarantees in the whole country or in certain parts.

e. Security Policy (2007-2010)

Security policy objectives

1. Disruption of criminal organizations (short term)

2. Recovery of public spaces (short term)

3. Institutional strengthening (long term)

4. Decrease drug consumption (long term)

Policy achievements

1. In relation with the first objective, the government has implemented an active strategy. However, high-level organized crime arrests have provoked, in some cases, divisions within the cartels and with this the emergence of new organizations. These divisions and the retaliatory actions of organized crime against the government have caused an abrupt increase of violence.

2. Regarding the second objective, the fragmentation of criminal organizations has led to their geographic dispersion throughout the national territory, which has impeded the recovery of public spaces. Now, criminal organizations maintain a stable presence in more municipalities than they

used to have back in 2006.

3. Regarding institutional strengthening, the federal government has moved ahead with the following actions:

Creation of a new federal police with rigorous professional standards and investigative powers.

Strengthening of the Attorney General‟s Office. Two kinds of actions have been intensified:

professionalization of public attorneys and the detention of networks of public officials linked to organized crime groups.

Consolidation of the criminal database Plataforma Mexico in order to implement the Sistema Único de Información Criminal (Single System of Criminal Information), which centralizes information shared by federal, state and municipal governments.

Strengthening of the Armed Forces. Considerable increase in the armed forces budget, which has had two main effects: important improvements in personnel wages (especially in low ranking officers) and improvement in equipment and operative capacity.

Reform of the criminal justice system. The penal justice system has adopted oral trials, become more simplified and transparent, as well as a regime of victims‟ rights protection.

In terms of public opinion, the government has recently made some changes that should improve its communications efforts and capacity to manage information. Calderón recently appointed Alejandro Poiré as Technical Secretary of the National Security Council and spokesperson. Till now there was no federal government spokesperson for public security issues, so Poiré‟s appointment could solve the issues in communicating the federal strategy to the public

The government has recently made significant strides in setting up the means for going after the financial side of cartel activities, including efforts to limit and monitor cash deposits, money exchanges, and cash purchases, as well as legislation to help the government tackle money laundering.

4. Finally, regarding drug consumption levels, the most recent national addictions surveys from 2002 and 2008 reveal an important increase in cocaine consumption patterns (which grew by 100 percent during this period). In the case of marijuana, the increase in the level of consumption was 20 percent. This shows that despite the preventive efforts of the government, drug consumption is on an ascending trend. However, the number of Mexican citizens that consume drugs is still very small in comparative terms.

High-Profile Arrests

1. Compared with previous administrations, the current government has been especially efficient in arresting or killing criminal bosses.

2. During the first four years of the current administration the number of bosses arrested (18) has dramatically increased in relation to previous administrations. They are the following: four from the Sinaloa Cartel (Sandra Ávila Beltrán, Jesús Zambada García, Vicente Zambada Niebla and Ignacio Coronel); six from the Beltrán Leyva Cartel (Alfredo Beltrán Leyva, Ever Villafañe Martínez, Carlos Beltrán Leyva, Gerardo Álvarez Vázquez ,Édgar Valdez Villareal and Enrique Villareal Barragán); three from the Tijuana Cartel (Eduardo Arellano Félix, Teodoro García Simental and Manuel García Simental); one from the Zetas Cartel (Jaime González Durán); three from La Familia Michoacana Cartel (Alberto Espinoza Barrón, Rafael Cedeño Hernández and Arnoldo Rueda Medina); and one from the Juárez Cartel (Vicente Carrillo Leyva).

3. Current governmental actions against organized crime have also resulted in the death of some important cartel bosses. This has been the case with the deaths of Arturo Beltrán Leyva in December 16, 2009, boss of the Beltrán Leyva cartel, and Ignacio Coronel Villareal in July 29, 2010, boss of the Sinaloa cartel.

2. The Logic of Mexican Organized Crime

According to new institutional economic literature, criminal organizations are companies that provide illicit goods and services for which there is a high demand. Two essential features allow these companies to operate successfully: the exercise of violence and the exercise of bribery. The first allows them to maintain

internal discipline, resolve disputes, prevent the entry of competitors, monitor their territory, and respond to military or police harassment. The ability to corrupt, in turn, decreases or neutralizes the government's action against the organization, which reduces the incentives of its members to defect and strengthens internal cohesion. 12

Once the criminal organization has a monopoly of violence in a given territory (a few blocks or a neighborhood), its aspiration is to exercise quasi-governmental functions such as charging taxes (extortion) and selling protection. So far, in several Mexican municipalities no organization has successfully imposed itself over the others, hence the ongoing violence between drug cartels.

Number of Cartels, Internal Structure, and Modus Operandi. Within the Mexican illegal drug market two types of organizations coexist: i) the large cartels that have the capacity to coordinate at the national and international levels and which are involved mainly in illegal drugs exports to the United States; and ii) the smaller organizations that compete locally for drug distribution and selling. The largest criminal organizations have achieved a high level of vertical integration, which gives them a high degree of coordination. 13 In general, the larger criminal organizations strive to achieve some of the next features: a centralized and hierarchical structure that maintains internal cohesion and reduces infiltration risks; controlling monopoly prices to save resources by avoiding competition; increasing their corrupting capacity; and, finally, obtaining access to the international financial markets. 14

Typically, cartels have a hierarchical structure of five levels: the first is the “bosses” level; in the second level are the specialized operators such as lawyers and accountants; in the next level are the lieutenants and military leaders, known as logistics operators; the gunmen are located in the fourth level; and the lowest level is the operative base, composed by drug dealers, drivers and drug smugglers. Kinship and cronyism are important foundations for authority and legitimacy within the organization. Based on these criteria, the cartels are able to maintain high, though vulnerable, levels of cohesion and internal solidarity.

Geographical Location. Zetas, Sinaloa, and Golfo are the three cartels with the most extended presence, in 19, 16 and 9 states, respectively. In six states there is only one established drug cartel: Campeche (Golfo), Distrito Federal (La Barbie), Hidalgo (Zetas), Tabasco (Zetas) and Zacatecas (Zetas). The presence of just one cartel is relevant because territorial struggles between two or more cartels leads to higher levels of violence. In the absence of competition, the average number of executions per state is 37 per year; on the contrary, in a contested territory the number of executions increases to 378 per year. 15 Tlaxcala is the only state without record of stable drug cartel presence.

12 Gianluca Fiorentini and Sam Peltzman, “Introduction”, in The Economics of Organized Crime, New York:

Cambridge University Press.

13 Vertically integrated companies are united through a hierarchy and share a common leader. The members of this hierarchy combine different tasks to accomplish a common goal: to generate economies of scale in each company, and synergies within the corporation to increase profits. Oil companies, for example, have a high level of vertical integration as they have under their control such diverse tasks such as exploration, drilling, production, transportation, refining, marketing and sales.

14 Fiorentini and Peltzman, Op. Cit., pp. 5-6.

15 This figure resulted from a MCO regression with a dummy variable. The figure is not significant at a 10 per cent level, which may be due to the size of the sample (it only considers data from 2009), however it still shows an existing correlation.

Table 7. Cartel Presence per State (As of August 2010) 16

State

ZET

SIN

OTH

GOL

LB

LF

MIL

PS

JUA

DZP

TIJ

Aguascalientes

X

X

X

               

Baja California

 

X

               

X

Baja California

   

X

               

Sur

Campeche

     

X

             

Coahuila

X

 

X

X

             

Colima

 

X

       

X

       

Chiapas

X

X

X

X

   

X

       

Chihuahua

X

X

           

X

   

Distrito Federal

       

X

           

Durango

X

X

                 

Guanajuato

X

X

 

X

 

X

         

Guerrero

X

X

   

X

   

X

     

Hidalgo

X

                   

Jalisco

X

X

X

     

X

       

México

X

 

X

   

X

 

X

X

   

Michoacán

         

X

X

       

Morelos

X

 

X

 

X

   

X

     

Nayarit

 

X

 

X

X

           

Nuevo León

X

   

X

             

Oaxaca

X

 

X

           

X

 

Puebla

X

X

         

X

     

Querétaro

 

X

X

               

Quintana Roo

X

X

 

X

             

San Luis Potosí

     

X

 

X

         

Sinaloa

 

X

           

X

   

Sonora

 

X

   

X

           

Tabasco

X

                   

Tamaulipas

X

 

X

X

             

Tlaxcala

                     

Veracruz

X

       

X

         

Yucatán

 

X

X

               

Zacatecas

X

                   

Total

19

16

11

9

5

5

4

4

3

1

1

16 Cartel Key: ZET: Zetas, SIN: Sinaloa, OTH: Others, GOL: Golfo, LB: La Barbie, LF: La Familia, MIL: Milenio, PS:

Pacífico Sur, JUA: Juárez, DZP: Díaz Parada, and TIJ: Tijuana.

Over the last four years there has been an increase in the number of Mexican cartels. In 2007 there were seven large cartels: Sinaloa, Golfo-Zetas, Tijuana, Juárez, La Familia Michoacana, Milenio and Díaz Parada. By 2010, three new organizations appeared. First appeared the Zetas, originally Golfo hitmen. This group is present in 19 states, and is considered to be the most aggressive and dangerous. Secondly, we have La Barbie Cartel and, thirdly, the Pacífico Sur Cartel. These last two appeared as a result of a split within the Beltrán Leyva cartel after the death of its leader, Arturo Beltrán Leyva. However, La Barbie was arrested on August 30, 2010, so its small organization is at risk of disappearing.

Between 2007 and 2010, the number of intercartel conflicts has grown from four to eight. Yet, as the number of conflicts between cartels has increased so has the number of alliances among them. Each cartel is continually looking for ways to geographically expand its presence and control new points of entry/exit and transport routes. This leads to local alliances among cartels as a way to ensure safe passage through certain areas or to counterbalance rival cartels. In 2007 there were three cartel alliances (Sinaloa and Juárez; Golfo and Zetas; and Sinaloa and Milenio); in 2010 there are six (Sinaloa and a faction of Tijuana; Zetas and a Beltrán Leyva faction; Juárez and Zetas; Sinaloa, Milenio and La Familia; Golfo, Sinaloa and La Familia; and Zetas and Juárez). The Sinaloa and Zetas cartels are the most active alliance-seeking cartels.

From April 2008 to December 2009 the geographical location of criminal organizations radically changed. This was, in part, a consequence of the Beltrán Leyva cartel split from the Sinaloa cartel. The Beltrán Leyva organization (which rapidly became a cartel itself), made alliances in nine states with the Tijuana, Juárez, and Zetas cartels to remove the Sinaloa cartel from strategic places for drug trafficking.

The ensuing confrontation between the Beltrán Leyva Cartel (and its allies) against the Sinaloa Cartel drastically increased the levels of violence in the municipalities where the confrontations took place. The death of the Beltrán Leyva cartel leader (Arturo Beltrán Leyva) in December 2009 divided the organization. Interestingly, the drastic increase of violence between April 2008 and December 2008, and between December 2009 and May 2010 have their immediate causes on federal government action aimed at arresting Alfredo Beltrán Leyva in March 2008, and Arturo Beltrán Leyva (who died in the confrontation) in December 2009.

The Beltrán Leyva Cartel allied itself with three cartels (Tijuana, Zetas and Juárez) to extend its presence in nine states. The Beltrán Leyva cartel saw the alliance alternative as a practical way to gain entrance to new markets and counterbalance rival organizations with a strong presence in those states.

Cartel Presence in Central America and the Southern Border

More than 200 gangs, with some 3,000 members, operate in the Mexican southern border states and Central America. They control illegal traffic of people, drugs and weapons from Central America to Mexico and the United States. 17 Some of these gangs have established close connections with drug cartels, assisting them in drugs and weapons traffic along the border. For example, Zetas are settling in Guatemala, establishing training camps and recruiting former Kaibiles (Guatemalan elite soldiers). 18

17 USAID, Central America and Mexico Gang Assessment, April 2006, p. 6. 18 El Universal, “Presumen que Zetas y Kaibiles Entrenan Juntos,” March 30, 2008, retrieved from the Internet in July 12, 2010: http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/494002.html

Table 8. Cartels in the Southern Border States

State

Cartel

 

Zetas

Golfo

Chiapas

Sinaloa

Milenio

 

Zetas

Quintana Roo

Sinaloa

Golfo

Campeche

Golfo

Tabasco

Zetas

In January 2009 the Chief of the Colombian National Police informed that the “gravity center” of the Latin American drug trafficking industry was in Mexico and that Colombian cartels only performed a subordinated role in it. 19 Now Colombian drug cartels are partners to their Mexican counterparts; they are mainly drug producers and do not control transport routes and distribution networks in the U.S., at least not to the same extent as Mexican drug cartels. 20 Proof of this relationship was the detention in Mexico in July 2008 of Ever Villafañe Martínez, considered one of the seven most important Colombian cartels bosses. Villafañe, boss of the Colombian Norte del Valle Cartel, was Arturo Beltrán Leyva‟s partner in a cocaine production and distribution network that started in Colombia, passed through Mexico and concluded in the U.S. In this relationship the Colombians were just drug providers; the Mexicans bestowed transportation routes and distribution networks into every major American city.

The 2009 Latinobarómetro 21 notes that the citizens of Central America have not rejected the idea of a military government, and many feel a coup d’état would be acceptable in circumstances of state corruption or where crime has been allowed to get out of control. The perception that crime is out of control often leads to the perception that the police are incompetent, undermining public confidence in the government as a whole. Even worse, in many areas of this region, the police are viewed as actively contributing to the crime problem.

a. Cooperation Between Cartels and Gangs

Mexican cartels are dynamic organizations with a high adaptation capacity to new conditions. The logic of the war waged by the government against drug cartels and other criminal organizations, together with the business logic of expanding markets and rising profits, have pushed the cartels to take decisive steps towards their professionalization. One of these steps is the practice of outsourcing specialized services provided by the gangs, with which the cartels have established a relationship of mutual convenience. Gangs offer various services to the cartels in the areas of drug enforcement, freight transport, distribution and sale. Together with the cartels, gangs are also actively forayed into kidnapping, extortion, human trafficking, money laundering, vehicle theft, and weapons traffic, which are typical organized crime activities.

19 El Universal, “México, Centro de Gravedad del Narco: Colombia,” January 25, 2009, retrieved from the Intenet on August 31, 2010: http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/571796.html 20 National Drug Intelligence Center, 2010. National Drug Threat Assessment, Washington: U.S Department of Justice, p. 9. 21 Latinobarómetro 2009, Retrieved form Internet on September 10, 2010 http://www.latinobarometro.org/

There are at least five factors for which cartels hire gangs and the services they can provide:

1. The first factor is risk reduction and protection for the cartels. When they operate with semi- autonomous cells, the leaders of the cartels reduce the probability of infiltration by government agents or other criminal groups. Also, when gang members are arrested by the authorities or recruited by rival cartels, they cannot provide information about the modus operandi of the cartel because they simply do not have it: they have worked for the cartel but outside of it.

2. A second factor is related with the logistical, informational and operational advantages. The gangs are located in various parts of the country and each one knows in detail the space they inhabit. Cartel-gang collaboration allows them to carry out their activities swiftly, and it also increases information flows between the leaders and its various cells across the country. In addition, outsourcing increases versatility and specialization within the cartel.

3. A third factor is the effective exercise of violence. The gangs‟ ability to display gang violence throughout the country (especially in border areas in the north and south), is increasingly being employed by the cartels. The ability to inflict high degrees of violence, together with the capacity to bribe and corrupt, are essential assets for any organized crime organization.

4. The fourth factor is of economics nature: with gangs, cartels save resources. Outsourcing a gang to perform certain tasks is cheaper than maintaining a bloated bureaucracy of gunmen.

5. Finally, the fifth factor is gang members are often drug consumers, resulting in considerable sales and profits for the cartels.

Cooperation between gangs and cartels is maintained and assured in terms of mutual convenience. There are at least five reasons why the gangs would collaborate with the cartels.

1. The first reason is financial gain. The cartels have resources to pay for the gangs‟ services, to reward efficiency and loyalty, and to encourage future cooperation. In addition, they often give "concessions" to the gang to collect rents from retail drug dealers.

2. Second, by allying themselves with cartels, gangs ensure regular supplies of drugs (with discounts).

3. Third, the link between gangs and cartels protects the gangs from police interference, and also makes them immune to arrests or convictions.

4. Fourth, gang affiliation to a cartel creates a sense of solidarity between them and ensures their continuity.

5. Finally, with this alliance gangs receive recognition from a drug cartel, which in turn strengthen its group identity.

In Ciudad Juárez there are between 300 and 500 gangs, of which 30 have between 500 and 1,500 members. The largest gangs, like Barrio Azteca and Mexicles, exceed two thousand active members. These two gangs cooperate, respectively, with the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels. However, these are not the only two cartels that have developed networks with gangs in Juárez. Other large and aggressive gangs

have links with the cartels of Tijuana, Golfo and Zetas.

According to reports from the U.S. Department of Justice, Barrio Azteca is a "transnational" gang that operates in both Mexican and American territory with a degree of sophistication rarely seen in groups of that nature. According to the U.S. authorities, Barrio Azteca‟s capacities are largely due to the financial and logistical support it received from the Juárez cartel. The degree of organization of Barrio Azteca is such that to avoid interception of their messages they have developed secret codes based on Náhuatl numerology and phrases.

Another place where there has been an abrupt increase in the number of street gangs in Nuevo León, where 1,500 gangs exist, of which 700 are located in the Monterrey metropolitan area. Information from the local police indicates that 20 of these gangs are linked with the Zetas cartel. These gangs are smaller than the Juárez gangs and are low drug consumers. Given hostile police actions towards them, gang leaders induce their members to collaborate with drug cartels as a way to protect themselves from police harassment. Local police officers frequently extort gang members, and cartels punish the police officers who assault gang members.

In summary, youth gangs are becoming an important asset for Mexican cartels. With them, drug dealers‟ criminal activities have multiplied and become more efficient. Furthermore, gangs that operate with cartels have become more effective in avoiding and confronting law enforcement agencies. The overwhelming presence of gangs in several parts of the country provides almost unlimited human resources for the cartels. Hence, in order to disarticulate the gang-drug cartel link the Mexican government will have to deploy, alongside the military and police offensive, a comprehensive policy that combines social and security issues.

b. Other Organized Crime Businesses: Kidnapping, Extortion, Vehicle Thefts and Weapons Traffic

In absolute figures the states with the highest incidence of kidnappings are Chihuahua, Estado de México, Baja California, Michoacán and D.F. Regarding extortion, the states with the highest incidence are D.F. Estado de México, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Veracruz and Chiapas. Finally, the states with the highest incidence of vehicle theft are Estado de México, Baja California, D.F., Chihuahua and Nuevo León. These three are typical organized crime felonies.

There is a strong and positive correlation between executions and kidnappings (0.75), vehicle thefts and kidnappings (0.77) and vehicle thefts and extortions (0.78). Interestingly, the correlation between execution and extortion is very low: 0.05. This shows that extortion is closely linked to intimidation activities against civilians that are threatened in several ways but who are not killed to obtain potential financial gains. As shown in organized crime theory, in the areas where extortion is prevalent the objective is not to generate violence, but to perform criminal activities. Finally, the correlation between kidnapping and extortion is 0.43.

Weapons Traffic. Weapons smuggled through the Northwest border region have contributed to escalated violence in Mexico. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Mexican cartel members or associates acquire thousands of weapons each year in Arizona, California and Texas and smuggle them across the border to Mexico.

One of the main reasons behind the increasing traffic of weapons has been the neglect of the U.S. authorities to contain the problem. In 2004, neither Congress nor the Executive ratified the Assault Weapons Ban, or any laws prohibiting the sale of high-powered weapons and other lethal weapons. Since then, weapons are sold almost without restriction in the United States. In the American Southern border states there are more than 7,000 gun shops.

To illustrate the extent of this problem, note that during the last three and a half years more than 76,000 weapons have been seized, of which more than half are assault rifles. Over 90 percent of these seized weapons were produced and sold in the U.S. In addition, the government has seized more than 5,400 grenades and more than 8 million cartridges. Most of the weapons seized by the Mexican government were bought in the border states of Texas, California and Arizona.

Well-armed traffickers increasingly outgun Mexican authorities, and nearly all of the illegal guns seized in Mexico have been smuggled in from the United States. The weapons trade in many ways mirrors the dynamics of the drug market. Drugs flow north from Mexico to the United States, and guns flow south from the United States to Mexico. In 2004, it was estimated that there were 16.5 million illegal weapons in Mexico. ATF data show that 90-95 percent of the guns used in drug violence in Mexico enter illegally from the United States. Official numbers reveal that, between December 2000 and December 2005, Mexican customs officials were able to confiscate a mere 1,791 weapons: not even one per day. In 2007, the number of guns confiscated jumped to 9,000.

In addition, in 2007, the ATF started Project Gunrunner, an effort to stop the smuggling of guns into Mexico. In 2005, ATF reported that more than 6,400 guns had been sent illegally into Mexico from the United States. By the end of September 2007, after Project Gunrunner had been implemented, that estimate had dropped to about 3,200. 22

22 Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Benjamin Bahney and Kevin Jack Riley, 2009, Security in Mexico. Implications for U.S. Policy Options, Santa Monica: RAND, p. 37.

II.

Organized Crime Violence

1. The Evolution of Violence

a. National Level

What are the main patterns of Mexican violence? In general, it is a selective type of violence led by rival organizations and police and military authorities, driven by the chronic instability of criminal networks (to which the government has contributed significantly), and their goal to win and retain routes and territories for drug trafficking.

Figure 5 shows a dramatic increase in the number of executions in Mexico over the last 44 months. In February 2007 there were approximately 100 executions per month; in August 2010 there were about 1,100. From January 2007 to June 2008 the number of executions oscillated between a 100 and 400 margin. However, in July 2008 the number of executions began to grow systematically until it reached its current figure. There are two violence cycles triggered by a cartel boss detention in January 2008, which caused the split of the Beltrán Leyva faction from the Sinaloa Cartel, and the death of Arturo Beltrán Leyva in December 2009. Cartel‟s boss detentions have increased the national levels of violence.

Figure 5. Number of Executions per Month at the National Level (Jan. 2007-Aug. 2010)

per Month at the National Level (Jan. 2007-Aug. 2010) Source : Own elaboration with data retrieved

Source: Own elaboration with data retrieved from Reforma (2007-2009). Data for 2010 was collected from execution information from 19 national and regional newspapers. For 2007: Rolando Herrera, “Cimbra al país narcoviolencia”, Reforma, January 7, 2008, retrieved from Internet on August 11, 2010:

http://busquedas.gruporeforma.com/reforma/Documentos/DocumentoImpresa_libre.aspx?ValoresForma=944688-

1066,ejecutadospormes2007&md5libre=5ea8feb75f2d7d3041e9188d3ba5ab0d

For 2008: “Ejecutómetro”, Reforma, retrieved from Internet on August 11, 2010:

http://gruporeforma.reforma.com/graficoanimado/nacional/ejecutometro_2009/

For 2009: Benito Jiménez, “Superan ejecuciones la cifra de todo 2009”, Reforma, August 8, 2010, retrieved from Internet on August 11, 2010:

http://busquedas.gruporeforma.com/reforma/Documentos/DocumentoImpresa_libre.aspx?ValoresForma=1204495-

1066,ejecuciones2009&md5libre=3683c5148a45ffe5766715585a0f4237

Recently, the Mexican government has revealed some figures related to Mexican violence. According to the National Security Council Technical Secretary, from December 2006 to July 2010 there have been 28,353 organized crime related homicides. According to this version, 80 percent of the organized crime related violence was caused by seven conflicts among cartels. These conflicts are the following:

1. Cártel de Sinaloa versus Cártel de Juárez (Chihuahua, Durango and Sinaloa)

2. Cártel de Sinaloa versus Cártel de los Beltrán Leyva (Sinaloa, Sonora, Durango, Nayarit, Jalisco and Guerrero)

3. Cártel de Sinaloa versus Cártel del Golfo (Durango, Coahuila, Sinaloa, Guerrero, Tabasco, Quintana Roo and Chiapas)

4. Cártel de Sinaloa versus Cártel de Tijuana (Baja California)

5. Cártel de La Familia Michoacana versus Cártel de los Zetas (Michoacán, Estado de México, Guerrero and Guanajuato)

6. Cártel del Golfo versus Cártel de los Zetas (Tamaulipas and Nuevo León)

7. Cártel de La Familia Michoacana versus Cártel de los Beltrán Leyva (Guerreo and Morelos)

Furthermore, according to the federal government, this 80 percent of the executions have taken place in 162 municipalities around the country.

If the killings continue to increase at the current rate the total number of executions will rise to about 75,000 by the time the government's term in office ends in December 2012.

b. State and Local Level

Violence increased in 21 of Mexico's 32 states during the first half of 2010. In 12 states (which include the six northern border states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas) the growth of violence has been associated with increased collaboration between gangs and cartels.

Table 9. Violence Trends by Mexican State (Based on January-June 2010 Executions)

State

Trend

State

Trend

Aguascalientes



Morelos



Baja California



Nayarit



BCS



Nuevo León



Campeche



Oaxaca



Coahuila



Puebla



Colima



Querétaro



Chiapas



Quintana Roo



Chihuahua



SLP



Distrito Federal



Sinaloa



Durango



Sonora



Guanajuato



Tabasco



Guerrero



Tamaulipas



Hidalgo



Tlaxcala



Jalisco



Veracruz



México



Yucatán



Michoacán



Zacatecas



Note: Trends calculated with a linear projection by the least squares method based on the known information.

In Ciudad Juárez, for example, located in Chihuahua, the largest and most violent gangs (such as Barrio Azteca or Mexicles, each with about 3,000 members) are employed by drug cartels to smuggle, import weapons, murder, extort and kidnap. Frequent police action against gangs is often the decisive factor that pushes them to co-operate with the cartels, which offer them protection, among other benefits.

But in Mexico there are other types of violence that are not associated with gangs, which have distinct dynamics. For example, in states such as Sinaloa, Michoacán and Durango violence is not linked to gangs, but to clashes between disciplined bureaucracies of gunmen engaged in transporting and guarding drug routes and territories.

Table 10 shows that the five most violent states in terms of executions between January 2007 and June 2010 were Chihuahua (5,708), Sinaloa (2,935), Guerrero (1,766), Michoacán (1,605), Durango (1,492) and Baja California (1,463). In nine states the number of executions decreased from 2008 to 2009, these states are: Aguascalientes (38-34), Baja California (617-320), Campeche (3-2), Estado de México (360-354), Hidalgo (37-36), Oaxaca (49-6), San Luis Potosí (40-7), Tamaulipas (110-49) and Yucatán (17-0). The national total grew from 5,207 in 2008 to 6,587 in 2009.

Table 10. Number of Executions by State

State

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010*

Total

Aguascalientes

2

27

38

34

11

112

Baja California

163

154

617

320

209

1,463

Baja California Sur

1

1

0

1

6

9

Campeche

3

2

3

2

6

16

Coahuila

17

29

53

151

188

438

Colima

2

0

5

12

20

39

Chiapas

14

12

30

30

34

120

Chihuahua

130

147

1,652

2,082

1,697

5,708

D.F.

137

145

138

173

72

665

Durango

64

124

272

637

395

1,492

Estado de México

31

111

360

354

251

1,107

Guanajuato

25

40

61

146

56

328

Guerrero

186

253

294

638

395

1,766

Hidalgo

16

37

37

36

8

134

Jalisco

45

92

148

212

160

657

Michoacán

543

238

233

371

220

1,605

Morelos

10

17

28

77

84

216

Nayarit

1

2

5

22

109

139

Nuevo León

50

107

79

99

217

552

Oaxaca

17

33

49

6

59

164

Puebla

4

2

15

26

19

66

Querétaro

0

4

7

14

6

31

Quintana Roo

9

34

18

27

26

114

San Luis Potosí

1

13

40

7

26

87

Sinaloa

350

346

686

767

786

2,935

Sonora

61

125

137

152

218

693

Tabasco

19

24

20

54

22

139

Tamaulipas

181

88

110

49

379

807

Tlaxcala

0

1

1

3

0

5

Veracruz

25

48

30

55

45

203

Yucatán

0

1

17

0

1

19

Zacatecas

12

13

24

30

7

86

Total

2,119

2,270

5,207

6,587

5,732

21,915

Source: Own elaboration with data from Reforma for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and 2010 from a database with data from 19 national and state newspapers. http://gruporeforma.reforma.com/graficoanimado/nacional/ejecutometro_

2009/

Note: Data for 2010 is from January to June 2010

During the first semester of 2010 the most violent municipalities have been Juarez (17.5 percent of the executions), Chihuahua (4.7), Culiacán (4.5), Tijuana (3.3), Torreón (2.7), Gómez Palacio (2.3) and Mazatlán (2.3).

At the local level, violence is concentrated in six clusters or high-violence zones. The following table enlists the municipalities that integrate each of these clusters and map 2 shows the clusters locations

Table 11. Six Clusters of Violent Municipalities (2007-2010)

Zone 1 (Baja California)

Zone 2

Zone 3

Zone 4

Zone 5

Zone 6

(Chihuahua)

(Chihuahua)

(Sinaloa)

(Michoacán)

(Guerrero)

Ensenada

Casas Grandes

Chihuahua Cuauhtémoc Delicias Camargo Hidalgo del Parral

Ahome

Morelia

Zihuatanejo

Tijuana

Ascensión

San Ignacio

Uruapan

Petatlán

Tecate

Juárez

Guasave

Apatzingán

Técpan

Guadalupe

Sinaloa

La Huacana

Acapulco

Ahumada

Salvador Alvarado

Lázaro Cárdenas

Chilpancingo

 

Mocorito

Iguala

Navolato

Arcelia

Culiacán

Pungarabato

Badiraguato

Coyuca

Source: Own ellaboration.

Map 1. Six Violent Municipalities Clusters (2007-2010)

Map 1. Six Violent Municipalities Clusters (2007-2010) 29

At the local level, during 2010 the phenomenon of executed majors has intensified. As September 2010 nine mayors have been executed by organized crime (two from Chihuahua, two from Oaxaca, and one from Guerrero, Durango, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí). (See Appendix III Table 18)

Ciudad Juárez: Causes and Mechanisms of Violence

Given the exceptional violence levels reached in Ciudad Juárez, maybe here it is possible to see more clearly the internal mechanisms that generate, amplify, escalate and spill over violence. Ciudad Juárez is, by far, the most violent municipality in the country. During the January 2007-June 2010 period around 4,500 executions have been registered in this municipality. In mid-2008 the number of executions in Ciudad Juárez increased till it accumulated 20 percent of national total of executions. This trend has sustained along 2009 and 2010. Probably, Ciudad Juárez will close the year with 2,861 executions; this is about 21 percent of the national projected total. 23 How did violence arrive to Ciudad Juárez? Why it has increased exponentially? Along the process of violence in Ciudad Juárez can be distinguished the following groups of events:

1. Alfredo Beltrán Leyva arrest → Detachment of the Beltrán Leyva faction from the Sinaloa Cartel → Frame of a coalition of organizations (Beltrán Leyva-Zeta-Juárez) to displace the Sinaloa Cartel from the border passage in Ciudad Juárez-El Paso. This sequence of events had the effect of activating or "igniting" the conflict in Ciudad Juarez, so this is called the "igniting effect."

2. The conflicting cartels hired teams of hitmen to undertake and sustain the war → There was a massive recruitment of gang members by cartels → There was an alignment of gangs with the warring sides in Ciudad Juárez → The cartels provided weapons to the gangs. This sequence of events has the effect of "amplifying" the conflict, to swell the manpower and weaponry of each side; this is why it is named the "amplification effect."

3. Neither side have sufficient capacity to defeat the other → The authorities are not involved in direct confrontation to the sides in dispute → Security and law enforcement agencies are not able to investigate the vast majority of violent events and to enforce the law. There were a few random arrests. These events have the effect to "escalate" the conflict and the levels of violence, so it is categorized as the "escalation effect."

4. The exacerbation of violence encouraged the involvement of more criminal organizations and gangs in the dispute to strengthen the ranks of each party → The decapitation of such organizations and gangs often encouraged fragmentation → Territorial disputes provoked that some criminal organization and gangs move to other places. These events have the effect of "spreading" violence to other areas, thus increasing violence in new, towns or municipalities that is why it is referred to as "spillover effect".

23 Trends calculated with a linear projection by the least squares method based on the known information from a database retrieved from 19 national and local newspapers.

2.

Causes of Violence

Even though a systematic study about the causes of the increasing violence in Mexico has not been made, there are two promising hypotheses. According to the U.N. 2010 World Drug Report, one reason behind the violence in Mexico is that drug traffickers are fighting over a shrinking cocaine market. Indeed, cocaine consumption has fallen significantly in the United States over the past few years. The retail value of the U.S. cocaine market has declined by about two-thirds in the 1990s, and by about one quarter in the past decade. However, the U.N. 2010 World Drug Report does not elaborate on this idea and does not mention the specific mechanisms that have triggered Mexican violence.

The second hypothesis has to do with the effects of arrests and seizures on executions. A detailed analysis

of

the data available reveals the following patterns of impact for detentions:

1. The impact of arrests on violence spreads to several months after they were performed.

2. The arrests of drug cartel bosses increase levels of violence, regardless of the cartel to which they belong.

3. The arrests of cartel members operating for the Juárez, Tijuana and Beltrán Leyva cartels have decreased violence (probably several of them were hitmen leaders). The same thing happened in 2009 with the arrests of members of the Golfo Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel members (although in the latter case, the violence took a month to drop).

4. However, in the case of arrests of members from La Familia Michoacana and Zetas detentions have increased levels of violence.

In

the case of seizures:

1. The impact of seizures on violence can extend several months after the seizures event, and their effect is also mixed: there are seizures that increase violence and others that decrease it.

2. Seizures of heroin, cocaine and marijuana have steadily increased the levels of violence in the past three years.

3. The seizure of weapons and money systematically decreased violence.

This type of analysis could be useful in designing a new strategy that, in addition to weaken organized crime, avoids triggering uncontrollable waves of violence. But for such strategy to be viable two conditions are required: that the security agencies have the ability to implement a targeted strategy of arrests and seizures; and that the decrease, or at least the containment, of violence becomes the new additional objective of the government strategy.

A focused strategy of arrests and seizures means favoring police actions that reduce violence, such as the

arrest of hitmen leaders and multi-homicides and the seizures of weapons and money. It must also be designed a specific strategy to confront the most violent cartels such as Zetas or La Familia Michoacana. This is because these cartels‟ organization, and their operation and deployment tactics, make them a singular threat. 24

24 Eduardo Guerrero, “Organized Crime and Violence in Mexico (2007-2009): Empirical Explorations.” Mexico, D.F.:

Lantia Consultores, April 2010, 36 pp.

III.

Government Strategy and Actions against Organized Crime

1. Strategy

The main objective of the Mexican government with its “war on drugs” seems to be the generation of hundreds of small criminal organizations that do not represent (for their size) a threat to the state and its monopoly on the use of force (as in Colombia). This implies the replacement of current large cartels in extended parts of the country with a variety of small drug enterprises. Without denying that this goal could be achieved at some point, the fact is that given the size, number, resources, capacities (of violence, among others), and the social base that the Mexican cartels currently have, the transition could be long and costly in terms of social welfare and human lives. Moreover, in this hypothetical scenario the drug market would not be affected; quite on the contrary, there would be a more competitive market composed of businesses that, because of their small size and high mobility, would be more elusive to the authorities.

President Calderón has deployed an estimated 40,000 troops since December 2006, launching his first military antidrug operation (Operación Michoacán) on December 11 of that year. Michoacán was particularly hard hit by violence in 2006: there were more than 560 murders and 17 beheadings, and six police officers were assassinated. This mixed operation involved 7,000 personnel, 5,300 of whom came from various forces, and included armored cars, aircraft and surface vessels. Also, in 2006, Mexico launched the Northern Border Initiative, a federal-state effort to fight violence that included the deployment of 800 federal police officers to Nuevo Laredo, who joined the 300 federal officers already deployed there under Operación México Seguro.

According to President Calderon Third Government Report (2009), SEDENA has deployed a monthly average of 48,750 soldiers (24.1 percent of the total) that have participated in anti-drug operatives between September 1, 2008 and June 2009. Hence, from January 2008 to June 2008 and 2009 periods, SEMAR has deployed a monthly average of 7,324 navy elements (14.1 percent of the total for both years) in anti- drug traffic operatives. In sum, the total number of military elements deployed by both agencies is 56,074, which represents 22 percent of the total in 2008 and 2009.

2. Actions

a.

Arrests

The number of detainees in 2004 rose well above the national average registered between 1994 and 2003. During the first half of the current government, however, the number of detainees was similar to those from the last two years of the previous government. Thus it can be said that the number of detainees per year has been stable since 2004.

Figure 6. Detainees Related to Drug Trafficking Activities (1994-2009)

25,000

20,000

15,000

10,000

5,000

-

25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 - 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

1994 1995 1996 1997

1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Detainees Average

Detainees

Average

Source: Data from Informes de Gobierno from 1994 to 2008 (Government Reports). 2009 figures are lineally projected based on the same year‟s monthly average.

When we classify the number of detainees by hierarchical level, the distribution is quite uneven: 96 percent of detainees belong to the lowest two ranks of organized crime organizations, 0.2 percent of detainees are top members, and 3.8 percent are specialized or logistics operators.

Figure 7. Percentage of Detainees by Hierarchy Level

0.2% 2.0%

55.2% 40.8%
55.2%
40.8%
0 . 2 % 2.0% 55.2% 40.8% 1.8% Boss Specialized Operator Logistics Operator Hitmen/Guardian Operative Base

1.8%

Boss0 . 2 % 2.0% 55.2% 40.8% 1.8% Specialized Operator Logistics Operator Hitmen/Guardian Operative Base

Specialized Operator0 . 2 % 2.0% 55.2% 40.8% 1.8% Boss Logistics Operator Hitmen/Guardian Operative Base

Logistics Operator0 . 2 % 2.0% 55.2% 40.8% 1.8% Boss Specialized Operator Hitmen/Guardian Operative Base

Hitmen/Guardian0 . 2 % 2.0% 55.2% 40.8% 1.8% Boss Specialized Operator Logistics Operator Operative Base

Operative Base0 . 2 % 2.0% 55.2% 40.8% 1.8% Boss Specialized Operator Logistics Operator Hitmen/Guardian

Source: Own elaboration from data collected from PGR press bulletins

The following table shows that the current government has made great efforts to increase the number of detainees belonging to the three highest levels within criminal organizations. That is, although the total number of detainees linked to organized crime remains more or less the same since 2004, top-level arrests have increased year by year from 2007 to 2010 (as shown in Table 12 below). For example, Sinaloa, Golfo, Zetas, La Familia Michoacana and Beltrán Leyva suffered the highest number of boss detentions during 2009 in comparison with those suffered in the first two years of this government. It is quite likely that the increase in bosses‟ arrests is linked with the increase in conflicts and confrontations among criminal organizations and between criminal organizations and the government.