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Viewing cable 09MONTERREY251, COAHUILA STATE GOVERNOR SPONSORS SECURITY OUTREACH: FORWARD

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MONTERREY251 2009-06-26 17:05 2011-02-10 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Consulate Monterrey
Appears in these articles:
http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2011/02/10/index.php?section=politica&article=006n1pol
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DE RUEHMC #0251/01 1771752
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FM AMCONSUL MONTERREY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3805
INFO RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 4877
RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM
RUEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
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2009-06-26 17:52:00
09MONTERREY251
Consulate Monterrey
CONFIDENTIAL
09MONTERREY218
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FM AMCONSUL MONTERREY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3805
INFO RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 4877
RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM
RUEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC
RUEHMC/AMCONSUL MONTERREY 9397

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MONTERREY 000251 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DS FOR IP/ITA AND IP/WHA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  6/26/2019 
TAGS: KCRM CASC PINS SNAR ASEC PGOV MX
SUBJECT: COAHUILA STATE GOVERNOR SPONSORS SECURITY OUTREACH:  FORWARD 
MOVEMENT ON THE BATISTA KIDNAPPING CASE 
 
REF: MONTERREY 218 
 
MONTERREY 00000251  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Bruce Williamson, Principal Officeer, Consulate 
Monterrey, Department of State. 
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 
1.  (C)   Summary.  On June 23 Consulate Monterrey officials 
traveled to Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila state, to meet 
with Governor Humberto Moreira and his new law enforcement team. 
 Per reftel, the latter now consists of Mexican Army flag 
officers seconded to various posts within the state and local 
public security apparatus.  While the session was principally 
intended to allow post's law enforcement agency reps to meet 
their Coahuila counterparts, the two sides did engage in 
valuable information exchanges on arms trafficking, training and 
emergency response issues.  In a side meeting afterwards, the 
Governor and the State Attorney General updated us on their 
inquiry into the December 2008 kidnapping of Amcit Felix 
Batista.  They stated that their intel information indicated 
that Mr. Batista had been killed shortly after his abduction; 
they expected to arrest individuals identified as the 
perpetrators shortly (strictly protect).  End Summary. 
 
2.  (SBU)   The impetus for the June 23 meeting came from 
Governor Moreira, see reftel, who in earlier conversations had 
stated that he wanted to establish direct contacts between 
Consulate law enforcement agencies and the 7 Army generals and 2 
Army colonels that were in the process of being assigned to key 
state/local public security posts.  In addition to the seconded 
Army personnel, Moreira brought General Gonzalez Barrera, the 
3-star head of the Coahuila/Chihuahua military region, General 
Serrano, head of the Saltillo military zone, State Procurador 
Jesus Torres Charles, and Moreira's Chief of Staff.  The U.S. 
side consisted of the Consul General, RSO, DEA, ICE, FBI, and 
ATF. 
 
3.   (C)   Moreira and Torres led off the meeting by describing 
the security situation in Coahuila.  They stated that reported 
kidnappings were on the decline, although, they noted, these 
figures did not reflect the cases (in reality, the vast 
majority) that were not reported to law enforcement authorities. 
 Both detailed ongoing efforts to convert the current penal 
facility in Monclova into a maximum security prison capable of 
holding organized crime figures.  In response to Consulate 
inquiries, they admitted that the Laguna region of the state -- 
along the southwest border with Durango -- was problematic. 
Armed gangs roamed the city of Torreon and its suburbs, with the 
situation even worse across the river in Gomez Palacios, 
Durango.   The state/local police forces in the Laguna region 
were of little use as organized crime had either corrupted or 
intimidated officers there.  Note:   Moreira is the Governor of 
a decidedly PRI state;  Torreon is the one major municipality 
governed by the PAN and its leaders continually complain that 
the state government starves them in terms of security resources. 
 
4.   (C)   Our Coahuila interlocutors raised several specific 
issues on which they sought USG cooperation and assistance. 
First, they requested greater action to stem the flow of arms 
from the U.S. into Coahuila.  In response, ATF briefed on its 
ongoing programs and initiatives, including Project GunRunner 
and E-trace.   The state offered to make available for 
inspection the seized weapons that it held in its inventory, 
although both sides recognized that the arms of most interest to 
ATF would be held by either the military or federal PGR . 
 
5.    (C)   Second, Coahuila made a pitch for increased U.S. 
training -- particularly crime scene investigation courses. 
Coahuila officials plan to forward to the Consulate a 
prioritized list of their training and equipment needs, a 
document which, once received, we will send on to the Embassy 
for consideration under the Merida Initiative.  Note: 
Eventually A/Legatt will likely be able to provide 
training/equipment to a vetted state anti-kidnap unit.  End 
Note.  Consul General also urged the Governor to pursue training 
opportunities through the U.S. border states;  Moreira indicated 
that he would approach Texas Governor Rick Perry about this at 
the upcoming U.S.-Mexico Border Governors Meeting in Monterrey 
in September. 
 
6.  (C)   Third, Coahuila requested that the two sides 
facilitate the informal flow of information rather than relying 
on data to slowly wend its way through the respective 
bureaucracies.  RSO recommended that the state afford the 
Consulate a channel to its new C-3 (Command/Control Center) to 
promote better communication. A/Legat briefed on the efforts of 
the Transfrontier International Police, a bi-national 
information exchange group, created under the Border Governor's 
Framework, which has met twice during the past 16 months. 
 
 
MONTERREY 00000251  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
7.   (C)  During the full session, Consul General queried the 
Governor and state AG Torres about the status of the 
investigation into the kidnapping of U.S. anti-kidnap expert 
Felix Batista in Saltillo in December 2008.  Torres, who is 
heading that inquiry, then suggested a smaller, side meeting to 
discuss the issue.   In that side meeting, attended by the 
Governor, Torres, and the Governor's Chief of Staff, and the CG, 
RSO, and A/Legatt, our interlocutors related the following: 
 
--- per intel information they had uncovered, Mr. Batista was 
murdered a few days after his abduction, with the body being 
`cooked' to dispose of the remains. 
 
--- The state had identified the Gulf Cartel Saltillo plaza 
boss, `Tatanka,' as the intellectual author of the crime. 
Tatanka had been previously taken into custody by the Mexican 
military on drug-trafficking charges.  The state would arrest 
two other suspects shortly and planned to offer the FBI access 
to these individuals once they were detained.   (Torres 
requested that we strictly protect this information given 
Coahuila's plans to conduct additional law enforcement actions). 
 
---  State law enforcement authorities had not uncovered 
information as to why Mr. Batista was abducted in the first 
place, although they speculated that he was executed once his 
captors could not figure out what to do with him (no ransom 
demand was ever made). 
 
8.   (C)   Comment.   It's a positive sign that the Governor has 
reached out to the Consulate in an effort to promote closer ties 
with USG law enforcement agencies.  That said, Coahuila made no 
effort at the meeting to provide contact data, although we 
expect this information to provided shortly.   While 
ascertaining which portions of the state/local law enforcement 
apparatus have been penetrated -- or are controlled by -- 
organized crime will be difficult, there are several baby steps 
that can be taken to determine both the reliability of our 
potential interlocutors and their capacity to take action 
against organized crime.  Continued dialogue with Coahuila will 
help to flesh this out. 
 
9.   (C)   Comment continued.   With respect to the Batista 
case, we are encouraged by the information we received and the 
new willingness of state AG to push forward on the case.  The 
real test, however, will be when (or whether) the expected 
arrests take place.  Post's view is that we are seeing the 
results of a chain reaction initiated by the military's 
detention of `Tatanka.'   Now that the Gulf Cartel has installed 
a new plaza boss in Saltillo, there is less for the cartel to 
cover-up - and this more liberal attitude has been conveyed to 
state law enforcement authorities. 
WILLIAMSON