Mexico: Ceasefire


June 27, 2007: Two of Mexico's biggest drug gangs have negotiated a "ceasefire agreement" between themselves. Allegedly the Sinaloa and Gulf drug cartels have agreed to "divide drug shipment routes" instead of fighting over them. Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas (two Mexican states bordering on Texas) are regarded as key territory. How they will be divvied up is unclear. It could well be that the government's drug war is having an effect. Drug shipment seizures have increased. The government has apparently been quite successful in its campaign in the state of Michoacan. Attempts to get rid of corrupt cops and judges may also be having an effect. There's also another reason: the cartels are killing themselves. The "internecine drug war" has taken a lot of lives. Another point isn't clear, at least not yet. What happens with whackos like the Zetas? The Zetas began as a paramilitary hit squad for the Gulf cartel, but word is they are also "freelancing" from their base in Nuevo Laredo.

June 26, 2007: The US government estimates the Mexican drug gangs may take in up to 24 billion dollars a year. Of this 24 billion dollars, the US believes three billion is used to buy political and police protection. How were these figures generated? That's not clear. But recall that police recently found over 100 million dollars in cash in a hacienda outside Mexico City.

June 25, 2007: The government is reportedly in the midst of a "corruption purge" of its federal police. The Federal Preventative Police and Federal Investigative Agency are both involved in the investigations. The investigations began "months ago" according to authorities, but the likelihood is they began in December 2006 or January 2007 after Felipe Calderon became president. Former president Vicente Fox promised corruption investigations of the police but few materialized (though an attempt was made in 2001 to remove some corrupt federal police). But 284 Mexican police commanders and sub-commanders (sub-commandantes) will be replaced. Not all of the commanders will be arrested, however. An interesting wrinkle is a "rehabilitation" course for some of the policemen. Mexican police are poorly paid. The government is considering increases in salary.




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