Interview with Former Mexican Intelligence Agency, CISEN, Leader; Denounces EPN's CENAPI; Spied on Zapatistas

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Interview with Former Mexican Intelligence Agency, CISEN, Leader; Denounces EPN's CENAPI; Spied on Zapatistas

This isn't strictly about narcotics or cartels, but I thought at least some of you would find this interesting ...

Proceso: "Absolute chaos" in intelligence: Carrillo Olea

By Jenaro Villamil, July 22, 2017

In the opinion of the former governor of Morelos and creator of the Center for Research and National Security (CISEN), Jorge Carrillo Olea, the federal government has made great mistakes by underestimating this institution and by dismantling the Mexican intelligence system. In particular, he points out that the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto tried to restructure this delicate area, and the results were disastrous ...

MEXICO CITY (Proceso) .- Since the presidential campaign, "someone" convinced Enrique Peña Nieto to create another intelligence agency to combat drug trafficking, abandon Plataforma México, reorient the Center for Research and National Security (CISEN) and give the functions of directing espionage to the National Center of Planning, Analysis and Information in the Fight Against Delinquency (CENAPI).

The result of this decision, says Jorge Carrillo Olea, exdirector and creator of CISEN, is "total dispersion, absolute chaos, uncontrolled organs" that have access to the technologies of the field. In addition, the intelligence policy specialist says that the interception of communications by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) sent by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights represents "a violation of diplomatic immunity, of the Geneva Convention".

"There is nothing else in the world of this importance and magnitude that places the Mexican government in a situation of crisis and international scandal," he said.

To the former governor of Morelos, the key to this crisis lies in the reorientation of intelligence policy by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto. This implied ignorance of two things: "They despised a preliminary project of something called the Criminal Intelligence Center, which was not intended to persecute drug traffickers but to warn about crime trends, about the great strategic scenario regarding crime, and they dismantled CISEN, Which had internal and external controls."

The CENAPI depends on the Criminal Investigation Agency of the PGR, which has had among its headlines two controversial figures noted for their role in the case of the 43 normalistas who were disappeared in September 2014 in Iguala: first Tomás Zerón de Lucio, who left the unit after signs of having "seeded" or planted evidence on the Cocula River site, and Omar Hamid García Harfuch, who was appointed in November 2016 by the current Attorney General.

The name of this last individual appeared in one of the "libretas" by the leader of Guerreros Unidos, Sidronio Casarrubias, and the parents of the youths of Ayotzinapa requested that this document be investigated.

In an interview with Proceso, Carrillo Olea emphasizes that CISEN's "internal controls" were based on "recruitment, training and permanence". These controls were abandoned and it "began to receive the people, people of Hidalgo, who did not pass tests of confidence and who deprofesionalized the intelligence service that, even before this government, worked through its ups and downs."

-"If they dismantled the Cisen, what did they create?"

-"The national intelligence system that Peña Nieto promised in his government plan never came to existence. It did not. And what existed was dismantled. They arrived without a project, without a specific goal."

"They created, in theory, command and control centers or fusion centers, the famous C4 centers in which the Secretaries of Defense, Navy, police and the PGR participated. They were improvisations that nullified each other. They pretend that they participate and that they coordinate, but nothing results because there is no authorized leadership: nobody controls them, there is no authority, nobody who can place goals and the sanctions. "

-"How would you describe the architecture of Mexican intelligence building in light of the scandal that has occurred regardingespionage?"

-"There was a project of architecture building that was developing reasonably; with deficiencies, but there it was. However, they put the magic wand in the hands of the sorcerer's apprentice and affected everything, they created something that is of no use."

-"Is everything dismantled?"

-"I would rescue something: there is a certain institutionality, a certain spirit of body and a certain love of the uniform between some middle and lower commanders of the intelligence system. They do their thing, in quotes, but everything stays in the power of an individual without direction or career."

-"Is there still a element of professionalization?"

-"Only in the medium and lower ranks; not in the high places."

-"You consulted him to reorient this entire system?"


-"Did they have no memory of what had been done before or was their logic different?"

-"Someone sold this idea to Peña Nieto: to create a new structure to combat drug trafficking, but they are misusing it."

Neglect of intelligence

Carrillo Olea held strategic positions in the Mexican intelligence system as head of the Second Section of the Presidential General Staff during the era of Echeverria, as Yndersecretary of the Interior in the six years of the Presidency of Miguel de la Madrid, as director of CISEN in the first two years of the administration of Carlos Salinas de Gortari and as general coordinator for the attention and fight against drug trafficking, also during the Salinas era.

His position brought him to confrontation with Salinista Interior Secretary Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios, who directed the Federal Security Directorate (DFS) for decades and did not see with good eyes the creation of the CISEN.

Carrillo Olea remembers the mistakes made during those years: "For example, Gutiérrez Barrios never wanted to go to CISEN. When he fired me, he had to go. I waited for him in the parking lot. He was impressed when he saw the infrastructure. 'What we could have done with all this,' he told me. He despised the good use of this infrastructure because it was not under his command. "

"It seems that the six-year cycles and the struggle for power in Mexico always operate against the professionalization of intelligence institutions," he says.

"They reinvent everything here. Fox publicly threatened to end the CISEN. He called them criminals. Alejandro Alegre gave him a report and an intelligence bill. Fox did not accept either. He created a commission to dismantle the CISEN. They drafted a nine-page document that said nothing."

"However, for you to see the madness of this country: Fox issued the National Security Law at the end of his term. It is a bad law because it is done within the CISEN mentality. It is a kind of organic law of CISEN that does not incorporate the Secretariat of Defense, the Navy, the PGR, or anyone. By not incorporating others, how do you ask them to be accountable?"

"With all the craziness it has, the CISEN has a legal basis to act, but the other agencies have no responsibilities whatsoever. There is no law that incorporates them and gives them responsibilities."

-"Does this include CENAPI?"

-"Yes of course."

A new law

When questioning Carrillo Olea about the internal security law promoted by the PRI in the Chamber of Deputies, and whether it could mend the disorder in the intelligence system, he replies: "No, definitely not."

And he insists that the recent scandal over the Pegasus software can not remain as the anecdote or as a denunciation. "It is necessary to make a law. It is a difficult law because, first, it must be assumed that there will be interception. Second, they must define whether or not it is accepted that the Ministry of Defense has access to this type of espionage," he says.

-"Do you agree with SEDENA having access to this technology?"

-"SEDENA should not have espionage functions. If there is no declared enemy, military intelligence must be oriented toward something else."

"The national attention can not be concentrated in the indignation by the espionage of Carmen Aristegui, the journalists and the activists. The national attention should demand a richer debate and, above all, of informed of what is happening, of the improvisation and the mistakes made ."

-"Is there any agency or intelligence that works?"

-"No, they're totally disconnected. Do you think Graco Ramirez is looking for criminals in Morelos? No, he's spying on the political class. So do all the governors. Nobody wants to say it because they have all been actors, omissions or accomplices."

-"Does espionage serve the intelligence system?"

-"In the most absolute theory, intelligence is part of the state. I can not conceive of an effective state without intelligence. The problem is to do it well: with a plan , leadership, legislation and internal and external controls."

-"You talk to me about the intelligence system, but does espionage work?"

-"First, I'd say it's necessary to have a real intelligence system." Spying works in two ways: by accumulation and by live intelligence.

"The system of intelligence by accumulation is obtaining all the information that you can compile of a person regarding their movements, their his personal connections, their profession. That you analyze. You need analysts, that's the secret to everything. It is not just about having the information. In today's world, with so much open information, you have to accumulate if you do not analyze. That is intelligence by accumulation."

"The other intelligence is live. You need a very seasoned system that alerts you when someone wants to commit a murder or a state crime. They are two methods: by accumulation and in vivo".

-For example, did the intelligence system of Salinismo know about the Zapatista uprising before January 1994?

-"Yes. It was known since May 1993. We had, indeed, monitored Bishop Samuel Ruiz and his network of nuns."

-"Why did not you act?"

-"Because of the Free Trade Agreement. It was decided to do nothing while negotiating."

This interview was published in the edition 2124 of the magazine Process of 16 of July of 2017.
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Re: Interview with Former Mexican Intelligence Agency, CISEN, Leader; Denounces EPN's CENAPI; Spied on Zapatistas

Carrillo Olea was involved in a lot of things over the years, including the creation of CISEN.  His comments are accurate in many ways; however, he is being more than a little disingenuous. He notes that the current governors are using electronic assets to spy on political opponents.  This has been a common practice since cell phone intercept technology was first acquired by the Mexican government thirty or so years ago and he was certainly part of that. The intelligence service comments are spot on, in that there has never been a sound, well-organized intelligence service in Mexico and that it has always been used for political ends. As they say "takes one to know one"
As governor of Morelos from 94-98, he was there when Arizmendi (Mochaorejas) had bought off the entire anti-kidnapping unit and was operating freely in the state with their active support.
Interesting that he would take shots at EPN, but then again, he was from the Echevarria and De la Madrid crew more than from EPN's Godfather CSG's bunch
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Re: Interview with Former Mexican Intelligence Agency, CISEN, Leader; Denounces EPN's CENAPI; Spied on Zapatistas

huero minuto
This might seem strange to some but it seems to me that alot of Mexicos problems are family problems.  Different families have allied with and are enemies of, other families.   From the villages to the towns and cities the family in Mexico is everything.
  The U.S. being settled by  northern europeans is much more individualistic, nuclear, ie. put granma in an old folks home, move to where your job takes you, rarely see your cousins etc.
    I guess what i'm getting at is the US is looking at Mexico through their(USA) value systems and projecting solutions that do not work because they don't come out of Mexicos' actual culture.
     Just a thought.