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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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With over a dozen years of combined experience in military law enforcement, force protection analysis, and writing a variety of professional products for the US Air Force, state government in California, and the general public, Ms. Longmire has the expertise to create a superior product for you or your agency to further your understanding of Mexico’s drug war. Longmire Consulting is dedicated to being on the cusp of the latest developments in Mexico in order to bring you the best possible analysis of threats posed by the drug violence south of the border.

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August 01, 2011

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A BIG win for Calderon, the DEA, and all of Mexico.
What a fearsome individual Hernandez must be. For all the horrors he has committed - he belongs in the depths of hell. If he talks, his testimony should completely unravel La Linea.

Looks like a big win also for El Chappo. Wonder if Sinaloa played a part in helping the authorities to find Hernandez?? Seems as if omething hidden is going on - that is allowing Mexican & US agents to track down these guys.

P.

@P - I don't like to start conspiracy theories in my posts, but I have no problem doing so on Twitter or my comments :). Funny how only a couple of weeks after narcomantas are hung and graffiti is sprayed threatening DEA agents (signed by "El Diego"), Acosta is taken into custody. Coincidence? I think the DEA said, "No way he's getting away with this s**t" and dropped the hammer. Just my $.02, in a professional capacity, of course :).

Sylvia,

Calderon's strategy is working. He is dismantling the big cartels, decapitating them, causing internal divisions and eventually their weakening.

This is a necessary step if we want the local governments to be able to join in the fight against the cartels. People like "el diego" were more powerful than the local authorities. But the balance of power is changing. Now in Monterrey for example, local governments like Guadalupe, Garcia o San Pedro can now collaborate with federal forces in the fight against the cartels. It is incredible to see the municipal forces fighting the narcos, they used to collaborate with them for a long time. But most policemen were fired and there is a new generation of policemen, with military background and more tactical knowledge and capacity fighting the criminals.

The cartels are now losing power, they had infiltrated local governments for decades but now the army is dismantling those crime structures all over the country. The cartels are running out of territories to control and their leaders are falling one by one.

@ Jose,

I'm surprised by your assessment--not because I doubt the accuracy, but because most Mexicans I know are pretty cynical about law enforcement.

If most Mexicans share your attitude, then the politicians and police MUST (and will!) serve the people and not their own interests.

Beltonwall,

For generations, Mexicans were cynical about their police forces, but then again, for generations, none of those police forces fought the narcos.

Now many policemen are getting killed in the fight against the criminals, our soldiers are getting killed too, and they are liberating hundreds of people kidnapped by criminals, every single day our federal and state police and army are fighting criminals and many getting wounded and some of them are also getting killed.

They are earning the respect that now many of us are beginning to feel about them, they are paying a high price to defend our country. They are indeed true heroes of our time.

Mexico has always been a changing country, we had revolutions and wars and suffered social changes all of the time.

This is indeed a great time of changes for Mexico, we finally have some democracy, our supreme courts are independent, our central bank is now independent as well, our society is modeling its institutions after those of the american society in many ways. There are multiple reforms in our congress being negotiated as we speak, big reforms to try to change our country into another one we dream of.

And the police forces is something our society is trying to change rapidly. Increasing their salaries three-fold and more, getting them better training and equipment and more certifications, benefits, requirements, filters, etc.

So I think Mexico is responding to the new challenges in a more institutional way, if the police is to become an institution, we must also learn to begin to respect them as well.

Jose,

I didn't understand Mexican's cynicism vis a vis their police force until I read "Drug Lord" by Terrance Poppa. It was very eye-opening.

I do see that police and soldiers are dying all over Mexico in the fight with the narcos. I'm sure there is a lot of 'dead wood' that needs to be cleared out in police forces, but still, I think, these men and women know the danger of their job and they still put on a uniform every day.

How widespread is your viewpoint in Mexico? By this I mean, do many other people share your point of view?

Beltonwall,

Most mexicans see the federal police, army and marines in a positive light, but do not trust local and state police forces, normally very corrupted and badly paid, though this is changing, as I said in an earlier comment.

I think the great majority of Mexicans share my point of view, everywhere I find people speaking in those terms, poor and middle class the same.

Some people in the left have tried to make an issue of the war on drugs, they are behind many of these so called "social movements" that populate the country.

There will be elections next year, a lot of people are getting ready to start trying to rock the boat, they are not trying to scapegoat our president and federal forces for the evils affecting Mexico, just like they did last time, but just like the last time, they will lose in the end, because the great majority of Mexicans want democracy and strong institutions and do not believe in messianic politicians and chosen ones anymore. I think most mexicans want progress and continuity and not regression.
Soon, socialists and populist continent-wide forces will try to influence Mexico again, they are coming from venezuela, ecuador, cuba already trying to spread the seed of their collectivist and populist ideals. It is going to get hot again.

Jose,

Very interesting to read your comments.

I wish Mexico the best in this difficult time. I read a commentary once about Columbia and their drug war. It said that the best thing to come of the drug war in Columbia in the 1990's was stronger institutions; law enforcement at all levels, judiciary (courts, lawyers, judges,laws) and political parties.

If most Mexicans share your thoughts on those fighting the narcos then this will result in a virtuous cycle. Better recruits, better training, better results, etc. But it's a really slow process, of course.

Have you read the book by Mark Bowden "Killing Pablo"? I can highly recommend it.

Beltonwall,

Thank you so much. I will take a look at Mark Bowden.

A lot of people compare what happened in Colombia vs what is happening in Mexico. I agree that both countries had very weak institutions, as most latinamerican countries, and the drug cartels took advantage of that weakness.

I have to add that Colombia does not share a long border with the US, that in Mexico the drug cartels do not represent a big part of the economy either, Mexico is an industrialized country and it is one of the largest economies in the planet with many and diverse industries. So while I think Mexico has far more resources to fight the cartels we also need to learn from the lessons of Colombia.

I agree that both countries had very weak institutions, as most Americanization countries, and the drug cartels took advantage of that weakness...I think the great majority of Mexicans share my point of view, everywhere I find people speaking in those terms, poor and middle class the same.

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