The war on the Mexican cartels is getting more help from the US,
U.S. to embed agents in Mexican law enforcement units battling cartels in Juarez
For the first time, U.S. officials plan to embed American intelligence agents in Mexican law enforcement units to help pursue drug cartel leaders and their hit men operating in the most violent city in Mexico, according to U.S. and Mexican officials.
The increasingly close partnership between the two countries, born of frustration over the exploding death toll in Ciudad Juarez, would place U.S. agents and analysts in a Mexican command center in this border city to share drug intelligence gathered from informants and intercepted communications.
There were two big issues before the decision was made:
Until recently, U.S. law enforcement agencies have been reluctant to share sensitive intelligence with their Mexican counterparts for fear they were either corrupt or incompetent. And U.S. agents have been wary of operating inside Mexican command centers for fear they would be targeted for execution in the sensational violence and lawlessness in Ciudad Juarez that left more than 2,600 people dead last year.
This is a hugely risky operation:
Under the new arrangement, U.S. law enforcement officers, most likely from an agency such as the Drug Enforcement Administration, would work alongside recent graduates of the new Mexican federal police academy who were trained by FBI and DEA advisers as part of the U.S. aid package.
In another departure from past practice, vetted federal police agents from Mexico might gain greater access to drug intelligence centers in the United States.
The operation aims to replace the Mexican army with federal police,
U.S. officials in Mexico say the new Calderón plan, dubbed “We Are All Juarez,” will pull the military away from its controversial patrols through the city, replacing troops with federal police supported by several hundred of the newly U.S.-trained investigators from the police academy.
But it is still uncertain what new strategy — if any — will be employed. Calderón has promised to keep the military in the fight in Juarez, and the spokesman for the operation, Enrique Torres, said in an interview that 1,200 troops will continue to patrol the city with municipal police.
Calderón has promised results in 100 days.
Ciudad Juarez is a frontline in the battle. It’ll be interesting to see how effective the US help will turn out to be.