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.