An article in Business Insider claims that according to leaked emails that is exactly what happened. In the emails, an anonymous Mexican Diplomat identifying himself as MX-1 said the U.S. pretty much invited the Sinaloa Drug Cartel into the U.S. The leaked emails date back to 2010 and are correspondence from Stratfor, a private security firm which operates all over the world. The emails were made public by Wikileaks and posted on their website in August.
The Business Insider article points out that the statements made to Stratfor by MX-1, which Bill Conroy of Nacro News says sounds just like statements by Fernando de la Mora Salcedo, a Mexican foreign service officer, support the theory that Sinlaloa Cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is an informant for the U.S., and that Operation Fast and Furious was a deal to exchange arms for information between the cartel and the U.S.
FILE – In this June 10, 1993 file photo, Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias “El Chapo Guzman” is shown to the press after his arrest at the high security prison of Almoloya de Juarez, outskirts of Mexico City. In the 10 years since he escaped from a high security federal prison in a laundry truck, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has transformed himself from a middling Mexican capo into arguably the most powerful drug trafficker in the world. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file)
The Stratfor emails point to concerns about cartel violence in Ciudad Juarez, and along the border, where the U.S has a free-trade zone with Mexico, and where U.S. maquiladora factories and assembly plants sprawl out along the Mexican side of the border. Violence is bad for business. In some of the emails, Stratfor staffers show concern that wealthy, large business owners are making deals with the drug cartels in order to continue operating without violence or problems.
In some of the emails MX-1 talks of how the cartels and both the Mexican and U.S. government speak through “signals,” and not through meetings. In one of the emails MX-1 tells Stratfor staffers how the Mexican government signals the cartels, allowing them to operate as long as there is no violence.
Here is MX-1′s explanation:
In any event, “negotiations” would take place (assuming a non-disputed plaza) as follows:
- They bring some drugs, they transport some drugs, they are discrete, they don’t bother anyone, no one gets hurt.
- Government turns the other way
- They kill someone or do something violent
- Government responds by taking down drug network or making arrests.
And if it is a disputed plaza, this is how it works:
- Group comes in, government waits to see how dominant cartel responds
- If dominant cartel fights them, government takes them down
- If dominant cartel is allied, no problem.
- If group comes in and starts committing violence, they get taken down: first by the government letting the dominant cartel do their
thing, then punishing both cartels.
“As you can see, this is not a good strategy, but this is how ‘negotiations’ take place with cartels, through signals. There are no meetings, etc…”
The U.S. and the Mexican government want the inter-narco violence to stop. To do so, they would allow drugs to move north to the U.S. as long as there is little or no violence. In the signals the U.S. government gave the cartels, the U.S. took the side of the Sinaloa Cartel, telling Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, who heads the Juarez Cartel, that the Sinaloa Cartel is stronger. Here is what MX-1 wrote in the email:
So, the MX strategy is not to negotiate. However, I think the US sent a signal that could be construed as follows:
“To the VCF and Sinaloa cartels: Thank you for providing our market with drugs over the years. We are now concerned about your perpetration of violence, and would like to see you stop that. In this regard, please know that Sinaloa is bigger and better than VCF. Also note that CDJ is very important to us, as is the whole border. In this light, please talk amongst yourselves and lets all get back to business. Again, we recognize that Sinaloa is bigger and better, so either VCF gets in line or we will mess you up.”
MX-1 also adds at the end of the email, “In sum, I have a gut feeling that the US agencies tried to send a signal telling the cartels to negotiate themselves. They unilaterally declared a winner, and this is unprecedented, and deserves analysis.”
Did the strategy by the U.S. and Mexican governments work? According to the report “Drug Violence in Mexico; Data and Analysis Through 2011″ by the Trans-Border Institute, organized crime violence along the border actually decreased in 2011. The report says, “Mexican border cities accounted for 29.5 percent of such homicides in 2010, but only 17 percent in 2011.”
So is the U.S. aiding Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán and the Sinaloa Cartel? According to a July 2012 report in Al Jazeera, this is exactly what is going on. The article claims Mexican officials have said the U.S. government does not fight drug trafficking as much as manage it. And while this sounds like a conspiracy theory to many, one need only look back at Dark Alliance, where the CIA covered up Contra drug trafficking into the U.S. Now we also have Operation Fast and Furious where the U.S. government purposely smuggled weapons into Mexico and then lost track of them.