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I am a consultant and analyst with eight years of military law enforcement experience, six years of analytical experience covering Latin America, and over seven years of analytical experience covering Mexican TCOs and border violence issues. This blog is designed to inform readers about current border violence issues and provide analysis on those issues, as well as detailed focus on specific border topics. By applying my knowledge and experience through this blog, I hope to separate the wheat from the chaff...that is, dispel rumors propagated by sensationalist media reporting, explain in layman's terms what is going on with Mexican TCOs, and most importantly, WHY violence is happening along the US-Mexico border.


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« "Officers on Border Team Up to Quell Violence." | Main | "Somalis with terrorist links feared headed to U.S. border." »

March 30, 2010


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(A) (B) and (C)are solid points. However I would allocate resources and set priorities differently to reach those 3 points. First of all my biggest priority and resource allocation would be to assist in a complete overhaul/reorganisation and professionalization of state and local civilian law enforcement(and federal forces to a lesser degree) and the entire judicial establishment. I would concentrate most antidrug efforts, elite training and equipment upgrades here. My second priority would be a broad effort to establish a more professional military (in particular the Army) especially at the officer and nco level. The military should be extracted as quickly as possible from a police roll and be used in a support role to civilian forces. I believe these concepts would better serve the rule of law and advancement of democracy in the long run

Thoughtful analysis, but I would like to correct one thing which seems to be believed by friend and foe alike. The Mexican special forces did NOT train at the School of the Americas. They did get training at Fort Bragg, but don't know the relevance of the mention. As the Public Affairs Officer for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, which replaced the SOA in 2001, I have had the pleasure of dealing with these false associations for almost nine years. Unless one knows what training was given, no conclusions can be drawn about its impact on the individual. If those individuals at the time were considered loyal, honorable members of their own Armed Forces, what is the implied allegation? That U.S. training took these fine moral people and influenced them to turn to crime? That seems absurd to me.

I don't know why the Mexican government and its people are so opposed to intervention by US forces in Mexico, whenever anyone talks about having US soldiers on Mexican ground its like blasphemy, maybe its a mater of pride but US forces did a world of good in the fight against Escobar, IDK why Mexicans wont even consider it, all they think is that the US is invading again.

Blaa! Don't believe the lies, the idea of mexico with a "vetted" "Professional" military or law enforcement force, federal or state, is hog wash. These already are professionals. Now you want to add the terrorism label. By your own defining words you would have to label the US as a terrorist organization. Do you think this narco-terrorist label will help close down the huge opium/weed farms run by the "professional" mexican army. The Mexico economy is the drug trade. You and many choose not to do drugs (free choice), but many do choose for many reasons and treating the problem not with the military but, as a health issue is rarely discussed. This choice (legal or not) to injest drugs by many is what funds the DTO's and "others" on this side of the border. This is a health issue not a military issue. Better vette the professional DEA, ICE also because corruption runs deep in these organizations. What does "vetted" really mean? Define the reality of this action. Silva, you write like the situation is a one sided issue, 'if we could only fix the mexicans, teach them to be professional and not corrupt', everything would be ok. There are two sides of the border, follow the money. Look into WellFargo, or Western Union or CHASE........ I have read your input to the Journal of Strategic Security. Silva, narco-terrorism, really? Follow the money girl. It's the money and greed on both sides of the border that keeps our government from identifying the root cause to the situation. I wonder if coming up with labels like "narco-terrorism" help get funding, pays the bills. Thats fine but it will not help or solve the problem. We need you the be professional and look for the root cause to help find the root solution. Justice knows know borders. Please help.

Mr Rials, you are spot on correct that no conclusions be drawn unless one knows what training was undertaken. However we are responsible for ensuring to the extent we are able that the personnel being trained, Mexican or whatever other nationality, not use these skills to further criminal activities or to oppress. that is not in our national interest.

JC, the reason for the sensitivity of the Mexican nation to our intervention is because of the concept of national sovereignty. Intervention by other forces in our affairs and on our territory would be an act of war. Same with Mexico.

TG, permit me to respond to your rant with my rant. What would you think if your a kid driving down a ranch road with some amigos one night to retrieve some trot lines set earlier on the Rio Grande. You live by the river, this area is your home. When you get to the river you run into a group of armed men carrying bales from the river and loading them into a vehicle. They stop your car, violently pull you out, beat you then put guns to the back of your heads while being interrogated "who are you, who sent you, you were sent to kill us and steal our load, we are going to kill you". Meanwhile your trying to keep your composure, not sob or crap in your pants so you can die with some dignity. Two of the men seem to be Mexican military based on their appearance, bearing and their jargon. It seems the only thing that saves those kids is that the man picking up the load pleads, literally in tears, for their lives. He is also threatened with death. Finally the Mexicans relent and leave with the kid's ID's. What would you call that TG. It happened to me years ago. I call that narco-terrorism

"Plata or Plomo?" That is the question asked to many Mex law enforcement officials when they make the choice to cross into the world of narco corruption. What is the avg salary of a Mex police officer. It makes it alot easier to choose the "plata" if their salary is not even a living wage. As the Mexican gov't reworks the police force at all levels, why don't they institue a living wage requirement?

I alluded to this in the other thread, sorry to be posting again, the Narcosphere blog will mention this, the Zetas were trained at that school just as it would be asserted the Death Squads of the 1980s in El Salvador and guerillas in Nicaragua then were as well when the threat was perceived as being the spread of Communism. They wish to make the same association and this is a black eye detractors of US policy can bring up that I talked about in the gun control post. On the other hand, I do believe President Clinton apologized for acts or assistance the US made back in the days on events that occurred in Guatemala. There are plenty of stories on that on the web.

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