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Viewing cable 09MEXICO3061, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DENNIS BLAIR'S

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MEXICO3061 2009-10-23 20:08 2010-12-02 21:09 SECRET Embassy Mexico
VZCZCXRO8732
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #3061/01 2962057
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 232057Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8718
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/HQS USNORTHCOM
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 003061 

NOFORN 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/24/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR MX
SUBJECT: DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DENNIS BLAIR'S 
MEETING WITH PRESIDENT CALDERON, OCTOBER 19 

Classified By: Ambassador Carlos Pascual. 
Reason: 1.4 (b),(d). 

1. (S/NF) Summary. DNI Dennis Blair met with President 
Calderon for about forty minutes at the Presidential Palace 
on October 19. The bulk of the discussion focused on 
cooperation on intelligence sharing and the integration of 
operations by Mexican intelligence and law enforcement 
authorities. Calderon also commented extensively on 
political developments in Latin American and the role of the 
United States. While he said the United States had regained 
significant stature in Latin America, he also urged greater 
U.S. involvement in the politics of the region. Several 
upcoming elections will be critical in shaping the region's 
political course. The U.S., he said, needs to be seen as a 
critical player. End Summary. 

2. (S/NF) The issue at the heart of the discussion was that 
Mexico must continue to improve its coordination and response 
capacity among its own security forces to act effectively on 
intelligence leads regardless of the source, including 
Mexico's own internal intelligence channels. Mexico's 
Federal Police still largely bases its operational capacity 
in Mexico City. The Secretary of Defense (SEDENA) is more 
decentralized, but has yet to define a cooperative platform 
to work with the Federal Police. When operations are 
undertaken in rural areas with difficult terrain, the 
complexity of moving large security operations in a short 
time frame may often result in targeted individuals escaping 
from these operations. Calderon said this situation made him 
"very sad," and that it was a "great mistake" on their part. 
Further, Calderon indicated that he would assess the 
possibility of creating a joint strike force capability. 
(Note: In separate subsequent meetings, a discussion was 
launched with GOM officials on the possibility of undertaking 
a simulated exercise that would begin to test how multiple 
agencies could cooperate together (septel). End note.) 

3. (S/NF) Blair underscored that the fight against crime has 
to move beyond high-value targets. "Cut the head off this 
snake and new heads will grow." Blair said the key 
ingredient to success is generating community confidence to 
call in tips against drug traffickers. To get that, people 
need to feel secure -- they have to believe that the police 
can maintain public safety. And it also means that 
intelligence has to be used quickly, effectively, and 
responsibly. Intelligence, operations, and institutional 
capacity have to be interwoven. Calderon agreed. He 
responded, "You made it very clear. Without attacking the 
body as well, we can't win. And we have to create the 
capacity to take on the body." 

4. (S/NF) DNI Blair asked Calderon for his perspective on 
political developments in the region and how the United 
States could continue to increase its diplomatic 
effectiveness. Calderon emphasized that Venezuelan President 
Hugo Chavez is active everywhere, including Mexico. He went 
out of his way to highlight that he believes Chavez funded 
the PRD opposition during the Presidential campaign nearly 
four years ago. Chavez uses social programs, including 
sending doctors, to curry political influence, and there are 
governors in Mexico who may be friendly to him. Calderon 
said that Mexico is trying to isolate Venezuela through the 
Rio Group. Calderon also commented that he is particularly 
concerned about Venezuela's relations with Iran, and that the 
Iranian Embassy in Mexico is very active. Calderon 
underscored that Iran's growing influence in Latin American 
should be of considerable concern to the United States, and 
Chavez is doing all he can to aid and abet it. 

5. (S/NF) Calderon exhorted the U.S. to watch Guatemala and 
Belize, since their internal weaknesses make them vulnerable. 
He is concerned about Mexico's southern border, and said the 
GOM is starting a strategic planning process to better treat 
the topic. (Note: Calderon is scheduled to visit Guatemala 
next week. End note.) Calderon later in the meeting raised 
the southern border again as an area for U.S.-Mexico 
cooperation. Ambassador Pascual noted that the U.S. and 
Mexico were to hold the next day a joint conference on the 
Guatemala border to combat arms trafficking from the south. 

MEXICO 00003061 002 OF 002 



6. (S/NF) Circling back to Venezuela, Calderon said that 
Chavez has no qualms about involving himself in Latin 
American elections, and that he tried to do so in Mexico's 
own 2006 presidential contest. The region needs a visible 
U.S. presence, he noted. Chavez, said Calderon, will also 
have the opportunity to do so in a number of upcoming votes, 
especially Honduras. Most importantly, said Calderon, the 
United States must be ready to engage the next Brazilian 
president. Brazil, he said, is key to restraining Chavez, 
but he lamented that President Lula has been reluctant to do 
so. The U.S. needs to engage Brazil more and influence its 
outlook. In closing, Calderon said that there is a link 
among Iran, Venezuela, drugs, narcotics trafficking, and rule 
of law issues. The U.S. should look at Latin America from an 
interconnected perspective. 

Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American 
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap / 
PASCUAL