Revelation Exposed in Email Correspondence Between Private Intelligence Firm and Mexican Diplomat
By Bill Conroy
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
The Mexican diplomat’s assessment of the US and Mexican strategy in the war on drugs, as revealed by the email trail, paints a picture of a “simulated war” in which the Mexican and US governments are willing to show favor to a dominant narco-trafficking organization in order to minimize the violence and business disruption in the major drug plazas, or markets.
A similar quid-pro-quo arrangement is precisely what indicted narco-trafficker Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, who is slated to stand trial in Chicago this fall, alleges was agreed to by the US government and the leaders of the Sinaloa “Cartel” — the dominate narco-trafficking organization in Mexico. The US government, however, denies that any such arrangement exists.
Mexican soldiers arrested Zambada Niebla in late March 2009 after he met with DEA agents in a posh Mexico City hotel, a meeting arranged by a US government informant who also is a close confident of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia (Zambada Niebla’s father) and Chapo Guzman — both top leaders of the Sinaloa drug organization. The US informant, Mexican attorney Humberto Loya Castro, by the US government’s own admission in court pleadings in the Zambada Niebla criminal case, served as an intermediary between the Sinaloa Cartel leadership and US government agencies seeking to obtain information on rival narco-trafficking organizations.
According to Zambada Niebla, he and the rest of the Sinaloa leadership, through the US informant Loya Castro, negotiated an immunity deal with the US government in which they were guaranteed protection from prosecution in exchange for providing US law enforcers and intelligence agencies with information that could be used to compromise rival Mexican cartels and their operations.
“The United States government considered the arrangements with the Sinaloa Cartel an acceptable price to pay, because the principal objective was the destruction and dismantling of rival cartels by using the assistance of the Sinaloa Cartel — without regard for the fact that tons of illicit drugs continued to be smuggled into Chicago and other parts of the United States and consumption continued virtually unabated,” Zambada Niebla’s attorneys argue in pleadings in his case.
Email TrailThe emails, obtained and made public by WikiLeaks, involve correspondence between a Mexican diplomat codenamed MX1 and an Austin, Texas-based intelligence firm called Stratfor— which describes itself as a privately owned, “subscription-based provider of geopolitical analysis.” Stratfor has been billed in some media reports as a “shadow CIA.”
In a Stratfor email dated April 19, 2010, MX1 lays out the Mexican government’s negotiating, or “signaling,” strategy with respect to the major narco-trafficking organizations as follows:
The Mexican strategy is not to negotiate directly. In any event, “negotiations” would take place as follows:MX1 then goes on to describe what he interprets as the US strategy in negotiating with the major narco-trafficking players in Ciudad Juarez — a major Mexican narco-trafficking “plaza” located across the border from El Paso, Texas: Rest here>>
Assuming a non-disputed plaza [— a major drug market, such as Ciudad Juarez]:
• [If] they [a big narco-trafficking group] bring [in] some drugs, transport some drugs, [and] they are discrete, they don’t bother anyone, [then] no one gets hurt;
• [And the] government turns the other way.
• [If] they [the narco-traffickers] kill someone or do something violent, [then the] government responds by taking down [the] drug network or making arrests.
(Now, assuming a disputed plaza:)
• [A narco-trafficking] group comes [into a plaza], [then the] government waits to see how dominant cartel responds.
• If [the] dominant cartel fights them [the new narco-trafficking group], [then the] government takes them down.
• If [the] dominant cartel is allied [with the new group], no problem.
• If [a new] group comes in and start[s] committing violence, they get taken down: first by the government letting the dominant cartel do their thing, then [by] punishing both cartels.