Catch/Kill Capos Strategy Isn't Working Says Leaked Gov Memo

Previous Topic Next Topic
 
classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
3 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Catch/Kill Capos Strategy Isn't Working Says Leaked Gov Memo

Chivis
Administrator
This post was updated on .
A TWO PART RELATED POST;
FIRST THE GOV MEMO....
SECOND IS FROM THE LATIN AM MOMENT FORIEGN AFFAIRS COUNCIL, REPORT A CONTRAST OF COLOMBIA'S CATCH THE CAPO STRATEGY APPLIED WITHOUT SUCESS IN MX.....PAZ  BUELA



Arresting or killing “key” cartel players “does not significantly impact drug trafficking flow” into the United States, according to a newly leaked government memo.
 
What does affect the flow of drugs into the U.S.? Crop cycles and religious holidays.

Since 2006, the United States and Mexico have been operating under the assumption that capturing or killing the heads of the cartels would cripple their organizations. The drug-related murder count (as many as 43,000 people in five years) and the fact that two-thirds of Mexico’s most wanted are either dead or in jail appear to be the only discernible results of that strategy.

And now it seems even the Department of Justice is willing to admit — at least internally — that its strategy is not working. The full conclusion of the Customs and Border Protection memo reads: “The removal of key personnel does not have a discernable impact on drug flows as determined by seizure rates. [Drug trafficking organizations] appear to have built in redundancy and personnel that perform specific duties to limit the damage incurred by the removal of any one person. By sheer volume alone, drug operations would require more than one individual to coordinate and control the process. While the continued arrest or death of key DTO leadership may have long-term implications as to the control and viability of a specific DTO, there is no indication it will impact overall drug flows into the United States.”
 
The National Drug Threat Assessment released Thursday by the Department of Justice makes equally significant concessions:

“The Mexican-based organizations’ preeminence derives from a competitive advantage based on several factors, including access to and control of smuggling routes across the U.S. southwest border and the capacity to produce (or obtain), transport, and distribute nearly every major illicit drug of abuse in the United States. These advantages are unlikely to change significantly in the short term.”
 

Mexican-based drug traffickers, the memo continues, were operating in more than a thousand U.S. cities during 2009 and 2010.
 
So, at the same time the U.S. and Mexico have put more pressure on the cartels (instigating the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent people in the process), the cartels have been trafficking more drugs into the U.S., and claiming more turf in U.S. markets.
 
This strategy isn’t working.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

DRUG CARTEL FRAGMENTAION AND VIOLENCE:  COLOMBIA'S TACTICS FAIL IN MEXICO

One of the heralded lessons of Colombia’s fight against drug cartels is that fragmentation reduces violence.

 The vertical command structures of the famed Medellín and Cali cartels were legendary. Their pseudo-celebrity leaders lived extravagantly, socialized widely, and often died violently. They spent billions to buy off politicians, judges, and business leaders, and they spent more to assassinate adversaries they couldn’t buy, chasing their targets not just all over Colombia but the world. The country became, for a time, the most violent place on earth, the nationwide homicide rate topping 80 per 100,000 in 1991.
 
But a couple of decades later, the drastic levels of violence have fallen, the motorcycle assassins disappeared, the car bombs ended. The conventional story goes something like this: the killing first of Pablo Escobar and then the arrest and conviction of the Rodríguez Orejuela brothers fragmented the cartels and their command structures.

From the ruins of the once centralized cartels sprang smaller – and less vicious – criminal organizations. While cocaine production and distribution (which hasn’t changed much) continued, violence fell.
 
A U.S. law enforcement official once told me that their antidrug strategy in Mexico was first to go after the wolves (the highest level cartel leaders), then go after the snakes (the next level down), and then clean up the remaining rats. The odd animal analogy aside, this strategy seems straight out of Colombia’s playbook.
 
Mexico has, in fact, done this fairly successfully. Of the 37 thugs on its Most Wanted list, 21 are either behind bars or six feet underground. Where once U.S. and Mexican officials cited four main criminal organizations, today the number has at least doubled, complemented by the rise of many smaller operations and local gangs. But as the Mexican cartels multiplied, violence escalated to all time highs.
 
Why the difference? Obviously Mexico and Colombia have different histories, and different security problems, so the reasons for divergent outcomes are multiple and complex. Perhaps one issue — seemingly forgotten in the transfer of “lessons learned” —is the direct targeting of the Colombian government by its cartels.

 In the early 1990s, at the peak of the violence, one of the biggest points of contention was Colombia’s extradition law. The drug cartels wrote open letters offering to stop the car bombs and assassinations, to retire from the drug business, to even pay off the national debt if extradition to the United States was taken off the table. Denied, the cartels tried to lay down their own version of the law on the nation. Fighting back, Colombian law enforcement slowly gained the advantage, and as these groups fragmented, violence declined.
 
In Mexico, by contrast, the cartels are not openly and directly confronting the state. Sure, they threaten, co-opt and even increasingly kill local and state police and elected representatives. But their open letters –narcomantas hung over important intersections– are primarily directed to their drug trafficking rivals, or to local political alignments.

They don’t often explicitly challenge the national government, much less launch violent “campaigns” against it. Even the most high-profile recent killings – for instance DEA officer Jaime Zapata in San Luis Potosi, the brother of former Chihuahua Attorney General Mario Gonzalez or PRI gubernatorial candidate in Tamaulipas Rodolfo Torre Cantú— the assassinations don’t seem to have come from the top.

If the violence isn’t ordered from on high (as it was in Colombia), then taking out the top echelons of the cartels won’t end it. Furthermore, if most of the bloodshed is between the criminals themselves, going after the heads will just escalate the cycle, as more and more mid-level criminals fight it out for control of the remaining business (catching innocent civilians and law enforcement officials in their wake).
 
This suggests Mexico should rethink its kingpin strategy — or at least complement it with other approaches.

There are many other models out there to consider – the “broken windows” approach (perhaps the other extreme, as it focuses instead on smaller quality of life crimes before building up to the big organized crime rings); community policing models, used to good effect in U.S. cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, New Haven, and elsewhere; or a territorial approach, which integrates neighborhood level policing with other public services, and is already being used in the historic center of Mexico City.

These methods may work to raise the social, in addition to the material costs of violence for the criminals.
 
As Mexico debates the right policy mix in the coming year under Calderón and beyond next July’s presidential elections, the big missing question is how to get Mexican society– the one weapon the cartels can’t match – involved. So far, citizens have been relegated to the status of “clients” or victims. Opening up the security policy to analysis and debate is an important first step.
 


Foto on left is the extradiction (landing in Fla) of Colombian Capo Fabio Ochoa

Published in conjunction with Latin America’s Moment

other sources;
Chicago Sun Times
ALA
Council of Foreign Relations Latin Am Moment
 
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Catch/Kill Capos Strategy Isn't Working Says Leaked Gov Memo

†.©ĤİVǾ.†
Banned User
This post was updated on .
CONTENTS DELETED
The author has deleted this message.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Catch/Kill Capos Strategy Isn't Working Says Leaked Gov Memo

Chivis
Administrator
works for chivo but not to gain sucess in the "drug war" ...Mx is a developing country with limitations on resources most is spent on catch the capo...so is Mx better off?  less violence?  less drug?  the bulk of the resources spent capos and perp walks clearly does not work for Mx or me.

a dead "smuggler" can no longer traffic drugs, but the drugs are moved by those left behind.  If one reads the articles you can see why that is so.  One dead guy means nothing and at times created greater problems.  a cartel is not one person they are structured to absorb losses, the loss of anyone.
 
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please