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Viewing cable 07MONTERREY130, DRUG VIOLENCE CONTINUES IN NORTHERN MEXICO DESPITE MILITARY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MONTERREY130 2007-02-22 17:05 2011-02-10 12:12 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Consulate Monterrey
Appears in these articles:
http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2011/02/10/index.php?section=politica&article=006n1pol
VZCZCXRO4991
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHMC #0130/01 0531723
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221723Z FEB 07
FM AMCONSUL MONTERREY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1707
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 2518
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEABND/DEA WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHMC/AMCONSUL MONTERREY 6766
97717
2007-02-22 17:23:00

07MONTERREY130

Consulate Monterrey

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

07MONTERREY130|07MONTERREY58|07MONTERREY73
VZCZCXRO4991
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHMC #0130/01 0531723
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221723Z FEB 07
FM AMCONSUL MONTERREY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1707
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 2518
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEABND/DEA WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHMC/AMCONSUL MONTERREY 6766

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MONTERREY 000130 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR DS/IP/ITA AND DS/IP/WHA; WHITE HOUSE FOR ONDCP 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR PGOV ASEC ECON MX
SUBJECT: DRUG VIOLENCE CONTINUES IN NORTHERN MEXICO DESPITE MILITARY 
PRESENCE 
 
REF: A) MONTERREY 58, B) MONTERREY 73 
 
MONTERREY 00000130  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY.  Drug-related violence in Northern Mexico has 
continued despite an increased military presence.  The new wave 
of violence left a state investigator and two former police 
officers dead and, for the second time in less than a month, 
drug cartels assassinated two men only hours after President 
Calderon visited Monterrey to reiterate his promise to fight 
organized crime.  Several innocent bystanders were also 
seriously wounded, including a nineteen month old girl who was 
rendered blind by a drug-cartel hitman's bullet intended for her 
father.  Two days before the attempted assassination of a 
federal Congressman, the GOM sent over 3000 soldiers, navy 
personnel, and federal police to the two northern states on 
February 16 in an effort to curb the killings.  Post is 
encouraged by the GOM's apparent commitment to stem the tide of 
drug-related violence in the region, and will continue to work 
closely with local law enforcement officials to monitor the 
situation.  END SUMMARY. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 
--------- 
NEW WAVE OF ATTACKS LEAVES BABY BLIND 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 
--------- 
 
2. (U)  Despite a push by state and federal law enforcement to 
crack down on violence in Northern Mexico after January's 
increase in drug-related assassinations (reftel A), the killings 
continued, leaving more dead and wounded officials and innocent 
bystanders in its wake.  On February 3, assailants shot and 
killed an investigator with the Nuevo Leon Attorney General's 
Office as he exited a furniture store in Santiago, a town just 
outside Monterrey popular with tourists.  The officer, the sixth 
to be killed in the area this year, died instantly after being 
hit by several bullets fired from automatic rifles.  A week 
later on February 10, unidentified "sicarios" (hitmen) shot and 
killed two former police officers in downtown Monterrey.  One 
February 13, an innocent bystander was shot and wounded during a 
high speed pursuit and shootout between rival drug gangs in 
Guadalupe, greater metropolitan Monterrey.  Several kilos of 
cocaine were found in one of the armored vehicles involved in 
the ensuing collision. 
 
3. (SBU)  On February 15, President Calderon visited the 
Monterrey area to reiterate his promise to fight organized crime 
and violence in the state.  Later that same day, two men were 
shot and killed by "sicarios" in separate incidents in the city. 
 One was a local businessman assassinated outside of a 
convenience store, and the other was a young man gunned down in 
the parking lot of his father's business.  NOTE.  These 
assassinations are strikingly similar to those that occurred 
immediately following Calderon's last visit to Monterrey on 
January 17 (reftel A).  The warning message to President 
Calderon, who has made fighting drug-related violence a top 
priority, certainly appears to be the same.  END NOTE. 
 
4. (U)  (SBU) On February 17, a nineteen month old girl and her 
father were seriously wounded when "sicarios" opened fire on the 
family's car as they were leaving their home in Santiago, 
greater Monterrey.  The father, who has known ties to the 
Sinaloa drug cartel, was shot six times, but managed to drive to 
the local police station where the family sought help for their 
daughter.  The girl was rendered blind by a bullet wound to her 
head and remains in critical condition at a local hospital.  To 
date, authorities have not arrested any suspects involved in the 
shooting. 
 
5. (SBU)  Finally, a Mexican Congressman survived an 
assassination attempt when his car was ambushed by "sicarios" on 
February 19 in Nuevo Laredo.  The Tamaulipas state attorney 
reported that a vehicle drove up alongside the Congressman's car 
and opened fire, killing the driver and seriously wounding the 
Congressman.  Representative Horacio Garza Garza, who represents 
Nuevo Laredo in the Mexican lower house of representatives and 
who previously served as the city's mayor, was flown to a Mexico 
City hospital on February 20.  Post law enforcement officials 
believe that the attack was in retaliation for the Federal 
government's increased military presence in Tamaulipas and Nuevo 
Leon.  NOTE.  Immediately after the assassination attempt, Post 
was informed that local, state, and federal police officers 
would immediately ramp-up their patrolling of Nuevo Laredo. 
However, a source close to the Consulate reported that less than 
 
MONTERREY 00000130  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
two hours after the incident, there was little or no police 
activity visible in Nuevo Laredo.  END NOTE. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
GOM RESPONDS WITH MORE MILITARY 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
6. (SBU)  In response to the continued violence in Northern 
Mexico, the GOM dispatched approximately 3000 soldiers, navy 
personnel, and federal police on February 16 to the northern 
states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon.  In a news conference, 
Mexican Defense Minister Guillermo Galvan told reporters that 
the military will set up checkpoints in and around the two 
states.  Post law enforcement confirmed that the campaign will 
focus on stopping the flow of narcotics and weapons along known 
drug trafficking routes.  This increased military presence comes 
less than a month after the Mexican military began operating 
checkpoints in the Monterrey metropolitan area (reftel B). 
NOTE.  Interestingly, Post's RSO noticed that, despite the 
public announcements about increased military presence, there 
were no troops at the usual checkpoints between Monterrey and 
Nuevo Laredo as of February 17.  However, RSO did note that the 
military has installed a new checkpoint at the main entrance to 
Colombia International Bridge in Nuevo Laredo and is inspecting 
all cars and trucks entering the bridge from the main access 
road.  END NOTE. 
 
7. (SBU)  COMMENT.  Post continues to be concerned that the drug 
cartels are targeting high-ranking officials and that none of 
these assassinations result in the arrest or prosecution of 
those responsible.  Particularly troubling is the attempted 
assassination of Congressman Garza Garza two days after the 
increased military presence in the region, and the reported lack 
of military action immediately following his assassination. 
Nonetheless, we remain encouraged by the commitment of the 
Mexican federal government to fight organized crime, as 
exemplified by this increased military presence in Northern 
Mexico.  While Governor Gonzalez previously rejected the Mexican 
military's presence for fear of damaging Nuevo Leon's reputation 
as a safe and prosperous state, the Governor now publicly touts 
the military checkpoints as part of his larger plan to combat 
drug-related violence in the state.  Post privately believes 
that the military's intervention in state security matters was 
forced upon Governor Gonzalez and that, to save face, he must 
appear to support the campaign.  In a February 19 interview with 
a leading Monterrey newspaper, Milenio-Diario, the Consul 
General was asked about the military campaign in Nuevo Leon. 
The CG responded that he believed it was a good decision 
undertaken jointly by the state and federal governments.  Post 
will continue to monitor the situation closely and report on 
significant events.  END COMMENT. 
MORENO