Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 2497 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YE YM YI

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 09MEXICO3195, MEXICO: MORE INTERAGENCY COOPERATION NEEDED ON

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09MEXICO3195.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MEXICO3195 2009-11-10 00:12 2010-12-02 21:09 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Mexico
VZCZCXRO3884
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #3195/01 3140013
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 100013Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8962
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 05 MEXICO 003195 

NOFORN 
SIPDIS 

NSC FOR DAN RESTREPO; DEPT FOR WHA DAS JACOBSON, MEX 
DIRECTOR LEE, D STAFF CUE, AND INR HOHMAN. 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/24/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR MX
SUBJECT: MEXICO: MORE INTERAGENCY COOPERATION NEEDED ON 
INTELLIGENCE ISSUES 

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Gustavo Delgado. 
Reason: 1.4 (b),(d). 

1. (S/NF) Summary. President Calderon's security strategy 
lacks an effective intelligence apparatus to produce high 
quality information and targeted operations. Embassy 
officers working with the GOM report that Mexico's use of 
strategic and tactical intelligence is fractured, ad hoc, and 
reliant on U.S. support. Despite their myriad inefficiencies 
and deficiencies, Mexican security services broadly recognize 
the need for improvement. Sustained U.S. assistance can help 
shape and fortify the technical capacity of institutions and 
can also create a more reliable, collegial inter-agency 
environment. End Summary. 

GOM Intel Strategy Criticized 
----------------------------- 

2. (C) Recent criticism of President Calderon's security 
strategy cites a poorly utilized and underdeveloped 
intelligence apparatus as a key obstacle to greater 
improvements in the country's security environment. 
Calderon's political opponents from both the Institutional 
Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Revolutionary Democratic 
Party (PRD) have told Poloff that large-scale joint 
military-police counterdrug deployments, notably Joint 
Operation Chihuahua, have failed to make real gains in the 
war against organized crime due to a reliance on overwhelming 
numerical superiority of troops absent the strategic and 
operational use of intelligence. Critics argue that the more 
effective use of intelligence would help the security 
services better cooperate on counterdrug issues, wrap-up more 
high-level traffickers, and, eventually, curb the country's 
escalating rates of narco-related violence. Emboffs working 
with the GOM in counter-narcotics and intelligence matters 
similarly note that Mexico's use of strategic and tactical 
intelligence is often fractured, ad hoc, and heavily reliant 
on the United States for leads and operations. 

The Players 
----------- 

3. (S/NF) A myriad of GOM agencies have a stake in 
counternarcotics intel issues, including the Secretariats of 
Defense (SEDENA) and Marines (SEMAR), the Mexican National 
Intelligence Center (CISEN), the Public Security Secretariat 
(SSP), which includes the federal police, and the Attorney 
General's Office (PGR). Each has a different intelligence 
mission and varying levels of development and 
professionalism. As Mexico's primary intelligence agency, 
CISEN is the natural choice to be the GOM's coordinator of 
intelligence and analytic efforts. Indeed, it technically 
has the lead on encouraging interagency coordination and is 
developing mechanisms to facilitate such endeavors. For the 
most part, however, CISEN lacks the capacity to effectively 
direct the inter-agency process, particularly when it 
includes such institutional giants as SSP, which 
bureaucratically overshadows CISEN in budget, personnel, and 
other resource issues. CISEN's inability thus far to serve 
as a real leader on intelligence operations and analysis has 
effectively left Mexico without an effective interagency 
coordinator. 

4. (S/NF) SSP is increasingly becoming a major player on the 
intel block. It is exploring ways to take advantage of new 
authorities granted under the Federal Police reform 
legislation passed last year to develop its intelligence 
capabilities. SSP can now directly solicit telephonic 
information from phone companies with a judicial order, 
bypassing the PGR entirely. It is also interested in 
building its own complete telecommunications intercept 
capability, the implementation of which has stalled over the 
past two years because of turf disputes between SSP and the 
Attorney General's Office. Moreover, as the keeper of 
Plataforma Mexico -- the massive new criminal database -- the 
SSP oversees one of the GOM's cornerstone and resource-heavy 
information-sharing projects. 


MEXICO 00003195 002 OF 005 


The Challenges 
-------------- 

5. (S/NF) The GOM faces a number of institutional challenges 
to more effectively develop, analyze, and use information for 
intelligence-based operations. One of the most critical of 
these is the lack of trust between and within GOM 
institutions. Emboffs report that SEDENA, for example, has 
well-established intel units that develop targeting packages 
on cartel kingpins. In general, they do not share 
information or analysis with forces on the ground deployed to 
fight counternarcotics, like in Ciudad Juarez. These units 
will share threat information against military components, 
but also see local military commands as often penetrated by 
organized crime. Locally deployed SEDENA forces rarely 
develop or utilize tactical intelligence. In fact, they have 
no true intel units that collect information, nor do they 
have professional intel corps. Military units deployed to 
hotspots operate virtually blind except for anonymous tips. 
Particularly given the fallout from the high-level corruption 
cases uncovered last year, PGR and SSP suffer from similar 
internal suspicions as SEDENA. 

6. (S/NF) Institutions are fiercely protective of their own 
information and equities and are reluctant to share 
information with outsiders, in part because of corruption 
fears, but also because they would rather hoard intelligence 
than allow a rival agency to succeed. They are under 
enormous pressure to produce results. Moreover, bureaucratic 
culture in Mexico is generally risk averse, so intelligence 
entities would rather do nothing than do something wrong. 
Corruption fears are well-founded given the number of 
operations that have been compromised or foiled because of 
leaks. Emboffs note that constructing an effective 
intelligence structure in Mexico's northern border area is 
particularly difficult, as many of the region's security 
forces are compromised. The rivalry between Attorney General 
Medina Mora -- recently replaced by Arturo Chavez Chavez -- 
and SSP,s Genaro Garcia Luna dramatically diminished 
cooperation and information-sharing between the two services. 
Leadership and personality conflicts may, in fact, be one of 
the most significant drivers of whether or not agencies set 
themselves up as rivals or allies in sharing important 
information. Some observers see the new federal police and 
PGR reforms as unlikely to resolve the zero sum competition, 
and it is too early to know whether the Chavez appointment 
will mitigate the specific PGR-SSP problem. 

7. (S/NF) There are also some legal and institutional 
unknowns: SSP, which receives the bulk of the GOM's security 
budget, now has the legal backing it needs to allow Garcia 
Luna to move ahead in building a large new intelligence and 
investigative program. With such indigenous capabilities, 
SSP probably would have even less incentive to cooperate with 
PGR. SEDENA, meanwhile, tends to work better with PGR than 
with SSP, but the Army's efforts are still highly limited and 
compartmentalized and it remains to be seen how better 
vetting practices and a stronger SSP will impact those 
relations. Secretary of Defense Galvan Galvan in a recent 
meeting with U.S. officials expressed little interest in 
bolstering cooperation with other agencies. Because of 
internal strife and mistrust in GOM institutions, Mission law 
enforcement agencies say that USG elements tend to work with 
GOM counterparts separately, which may end up indirectly 
contributing to stovepiping. 

Taking Steps to Get Smart 
------------------------- 

8. (S/NF) There is broad recognition among Mexican security 
and intelligence agencies, as well as political leadership, 
that they must do better in developing sources, analyzing 
information, and using it operationally. They also know that 
the effective use of intelligence requires more complete 
collaboration between involved bureaucracies. Despite its 
deficiencies, the GOM does have some intelligence 
capabilities, and Emboffs note that when they are deployed in 
full force, as in Michoacan, they can do good work. 

MEXICO 00003195 003 OF 005 



9. (S/NF) The GOM is working hard to improve communication 
among agencies with a stake in intelligence. CISEN is trying 
to develop mechanisms to facilitate coordination. For 
example, CISEN has established at its Mexico City 
headquarters a fusion center that has representatives from 
every involved agency, including the Finance Secretariat, 
SSP, PGR, SEMAR, SEDENA, and state and local investigators 
when they can be trusted. Mexico is also in the process of 
establishing a series of Tactical Operations Intelligence 
Units (UNITOS) at military bases in each state throughout the 
country. The GOM has established a number of units (reports 
range from 9 to 27) with participation from the Army, Navy, 
SSP, PGR, and CISEN, comprising a command section, tactical 
analysis group, investigations group, operations sector, and 
a cadre of judicial experts. When properly functioning, the 
UNITOs provides a centralizing platform for federal forces to 
work together, share information, and plan operations. It is 
still unclear as to whether these would be short or long term 
units, but if implemented correctly, they might serve as a 
key piece of a revamped GOM intel and operational 
architecture. So far, the UNITOs are plagued by the same 
interagency rivals and mistrust that characterize the broader 
institutional relationships and have not yet reached the 
point of being effective. 

10. (C) The state-level C-4 centers (command, control, 
communications, and coordination) are, at the low end, 
glorified emergency call centers. At the high end, they 
include more professional analytic cells that produce useful 
analysis and planning documents and also have a quick 
response time. The more complete C-4s include 
representatives from national and regional entities, and are 
the nerve centers for day-to-day information flow, 
intelligence, and directing operations in the state. They 
are often also the link to national databases, such as 
Plataforma Mexico. Huge disparities between state C-4s 
exist, but many states are working to move their units from 
merely housing emergency dispatchers to being functional hubs 
of operations and intelligence. The UNITOs often rely on 
information fed from good C-4s, in addition to federal 
databases and platforms. 

11. (C) Plataforma Mexico is another important piece of the 
intel puzzle and continues to expand its presence throughout 
the country. The mega-criminal database has a wide array of 
information-sharing and analytical tools that 
help to track and share information on individuals and 
organized crime cells, vehicles, air movements, and is linked 
with an increasing number of surveillance and security 
cameras. The database is housed at SSP and is being deployed 
to an increasing number of states, with different tiers of 
access that are controlled through the vetting system. Not 
all states have access, mostly because they have yet to 
comply with federal standards in order to be connected, and 
some states with access have complained that the system is 
too slow to be of any use to them. Additionally, Project 
Constanza is PGR's new case tracking system for the judicial 
system, and will include all data related to individual cases 
of persons apprehended and later charged. Some pieces may be 
made available to Plataforma Mexico, and PGR would like to 
have a system for tracking detentions that can be made 
available to police units when apprehending a suspect. The 
Mission is actively engaged in trying to plug E-Trace, ATF's 
powerful arms tracing software, into both systems. 

12. (S/NF) Despite myriad challengece, cooperation with the 
USG on intelligence and counternarcotics issues has never 
been better. Indeed, Embassy experts say that Mexican 
authorities often rely on tips from U.S. law enforcement and 
intelligence organizations, and that many successful captures 
of important cartel figures are often backed by U.S. 
assistance. Mexico has indicated interest in improving its 
collection and use of intelligence with additional U.S. help. 
For example, in early 2009 the director of the National 
Security Information Center came to Mexico to, among other 
things, meet with CISEN Director Valdez (NSIC runs the Merida 
Culture of Lawfulness project but also works in the field of 

MEXICO 00003195 004 OF 005 


intelligence structures in democratic societies). He pitched 
to Valdez a program developed by NSIC to divide a hostile 
zone into a series of quadrants and assign a team to each 
that contains four specialties - interviewers (Humint), 
signals interceptors (Sigint), analysts, and operators - as 
well as an adequate security contingent to keep the members 
secure in their safe area and during movement. The teams 
take up residence in the area, as clandestinely as possible, 
and begin to develop sources and information that is used to 
make arrests. At 
the same time, the team filters raw and semi-processed 
information to the next level, which has a parallel 
structure, but more robust operations capabilities and higher 
level skill sets, especially for analyzing the information. 
The ideas is to develop strategic, as opposed to tactical, 
information that can be used to take apart whole networks. 
Valdez was impressed by the concept, and directed his deputy, 
Gustavo Mohar, to meet with the Embassy's NAS Director to 
discuss its viability in U.S. programming. NAS Director and 
Legatt met with Mohar and suggested that in the training line 
of Merida it would be possible to pursue such a program. 

COMMENT 
------- 

13. (S/NF) Mexico is a long way from developing a 
self-sufficient and expert intelligence apparatus, but the 
creation of a coherent system is critical for the sustained 
success of its anti-organized crime efforts. USG-GOM 
cooperation, while not flawless, has never been better. 
Close collaboration and assistance in training and improving 
Mexican security agencies' ability to produce and use 
intelligence in key counterdrug operations undoubtedly is 
critical and will pay dividends over time. Perhaps the 
greatest challenge to lasting progress on intelligence 
matters is cultivating an environment of trust -- based on 
high standards of security -- among Mexico's law enforcement, 
military, and intelligence agencies to ensure that 
information is appropriately collected, shared, protected, 
and acted upon. Reducing institutional rivalries and 
encouraging agencies to move past the zero-sum mindset that 
one entity's success in catching a high-value target is 
another's loss is also critical to reducing rivalries and 
distrust on intelligence issues. The growing SSP footprint 
on intelligence matters has the potential to seriously impact 
the information-sharing dynamic, a factor that will have to 
be integrated into our assistance programs to ensure that we 
do not exacerbate existing institutional tensions, 
particularly with the PGR. While our Mexican interlocutors 
recognize the need for greater interagency cooperation, they 
are reluctant to address the problem: the solution will 
require sustained U.S. help in fortifying institutions 
against the corruption, inefficiencies and backbiting that 
have bred distrust amongst GOM partners. 

14. (S/NF) The USG can help Mexico develop inter-agency 
capabilities, and there are a number of line items in the 
Merida Initiative that can be employed in this effort. For 
example: the polygraph program properly pushed out to the 
states and consistently applied to special units could help 
produce the core integrity and trust that all good 
intelligence will depend on; the state-level law enforcement 
C-4 coordination centers, when done right, can bring all 
agencies and information together; Plataforma Mexico, the 
core database for law enforcement information-sharing, is 
rolling out across Mexico with new resources in 2009 that 
will enhance its capabilities and accessibility; through law 
enforcement professionalization, we are training 
investigators who will be a key piece of the intelligence 
puzzle as they serve as front-line collectors; we will be 
supporting vetted units -- among the highest yielding 
entities in the GOM for intelligence -- with USD 5 million of 
FY2009 funding. Perhaps most importantly, these programs can 
serve as effective carrots to resolve the entrenched mistrust 
and parochialism of Mexican institutions by ensuring that 
organizations come to the table together when necessary to 
support the GOM's efforts to combat rife corruption within 
its institutions. 

MEXICO 00003195 005 OF 005 



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