March 16, 2012
While the presidential candidates of both major American political parties are spending far less time on the troubled relationship between the United States and Mexico in this year’s election cycle than they did in 2008, a report from Proceso magazine indicates that the descent of America’s southern neighbor into utter chaos cannot be ignored forever. The Proceso exposé details the success of the “Los Zetas” cartel in infiltrating various levels of Mexico’s military, law enforcement, and other elements of the nation’s government, and it casts the future of that nation as a struggle between various cartels.
News of the Proceso exposé was offered in translation for an English-speaking audience byBorderlandBeat.com, and the details of the report are, if accurate, a chilling indication of the degree to which “Los Zetas” has infiltrated the various levels of the state in Mexico. In the fifth year of Mexican President Calderon’s "war on drugs," more than 50,000 lives have been lost, yet the government can offer little to demonstrate it is making significant inroads against the cartels. According to the Proceso article:
According to the preliminary investigation ... made just last February 8, soldiers of the Sixth Military Zone killed citizens who were denouncing criminals and their bodies disappeared, in addition they would hide from PGR [the Attorney General's Office], shipments of drugs.
The investigation adds that so did the PF [federal police] agents, who also identified, confronted adversaries of "Los Zetas", they placed checkpoints where they guarded shipments. Also, they implemented the payroll of the Federal Support Forces (FFA) that sends the government temporarily to fight the narco.
Meanwhile, other members of the PGR and AFI, with bribes at all levels, were responsible for fining the members of "Los Zetas" with very weak penalties, freeing those who were detained, and reporting to the Zeta leaders all types of denunciations, including anonymous complaints.
As reported by The New American in April 2011, even the Calderon government admits that any victory over the cartels is many years in the future. At that time, Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna praised the “substantial” progress that had been made in the war against the cartels since December 2006, but he also admitted, “In about seven years we will begin a downward trend in violence.” In a world in which relatively simple matters such as fuel prices and weather trends are hard to forecast even a few days out with any accuracy, the Secretary’s profound powers of prognostication regarding events near the end of this decade strained credulity at the time. Since that time, the Mexican government has witnessed the arrest of an entire police department — the 32 officers and commanders of the department in the municipality of Ahome — for their connection to the cartels. Now, however, the Proceso exposé would appear to indicate that the alleged corruption in Ahome was far from an isolated circumstance. According to the article, knowledge of the cartel-associated corruption reaches to the highest levels of the Calderon government:
In Coahuila, Lieutenant Colonel Manuel de Jesús Cicero Salazar, who served as head of the Operational State Police and protected "Los Zetas" was recommended by the Secretary of Defense, Guillermo Galván Galván.
The Corruption in the States Attorney General (FGE), which accounts for the previous Attorney General's Office and the Ministry of Public Security Coahuila was known for years by Felipe Calderon, whose government did not act until the second half of February.
The morning of the 15th of that month, on the premises of the FGE feds arrested the commander ministerial Sergio Tobias Salas Tobogán, and the state police Julio César Ruiz Esquivel, "Chicho", who were also responsible for executions and disappearing people.
Hours later, Claudia González López, the sub-delegate of the PGR fell in Saltillo, and was taken to Mexico City. All three, like Cicero, are accused of collaborating with "Los Zetas" and Thursday, [February] 23 were issued formal arrests.