Mexico’s Plan to Create a Paramilitary Force–Stratfor

Based on what I know about Mexico and other Latin American countries that
have used paramilitary forces, if this plan gets enacted, we will see even
more extra-judicial killings and the level of impunity will increase (if
that is possible?)… A paramilitary force will have carte blanche to carry
out social cleansing and will be even less accountable than the current
federal police and military forces, in my opinion.  It is interesting to
see this proposal from the PRI candidate since what most people seem to
think he will do is reestablish arreglos (arrangements) with criminal
organizations as a way to lessen the levels of violence.  It is hard to
imagine that these new forces would not be even more easily corruptible.
The term fascist also comes to mind.  molly

Stratfor Wikileaked

I have been critical of Stratfor for several years, not because of
their corporate customers, supporters or “shadow CIA” reputation.
Rather, I have criticized Stratfor reports for being insipid and dull
at best and full of errors at worst. I remember the first time I read
a Stratfor intelligence report on the situation of extreme violence in
Mexico. It reminded me of the Weekly Readers we got back in junior
high school in the days before Channel 1 took over the lucrative
school media markets. I could honestly see nothing in a Stratfor
report that could not be gleaned from reading ordinary newspaper
stories and a few government think tank reports… These things have
now taken on the fancy name of “OPEN SOURCE INTELLIGENCE.” Librarians
and historians and investigative journalists have always used
government documents as sources. The internet has made these resources
much more accessible than they used to be. It takes a lot of patience
to ferret out the good stuff in GAO and CRS reports, and even more to
search through miles of National Archives microfilm or microcard
versions of the US Congressional Serial Set and other congressional
committee reports and testimonies from thousands of hearings (open and
closed) often stored in the basements of university libraries. All
this stuff is online now and most of it “open source” that is, free of
charge to the reader (investigator, reporter, journalist, or any other
end-user). Basically, what it seemed to me that Stratfor was doing
was employing graduate students or offshore workers with language
skills to read a lot of news sources on the web and then digest them
into the “weekly reader” style reports that they then sold to
corporate clients who were too busy making lots of money to read and
think for themselves… Of course, I never bought any of the stuff
the corporate clients paid for. I wonder how different or better it

Expensive corporate newsletters providing business intelligence have
been around forever, long before the internet. These are often priced
beyond the budget of public university libraries, or in some cases,
the publishers will sell one version to government and another pricier
version to corporate clients. Kind of like airline tickets. If
anybody buys their own airline ticket, they will most often look for
the best price. If a corporation or other organization with money buys
a plane ticket, they may default to first class (or business class)
and pay 6 times what the ordinary person pays. Even a ticket bought at
the last minute can often be had for a reasonable price, but the old
corporate travel office model helps keep airlines in business when
they buy a ticket from El Paso to Los Angeles (a real example I know
of) that costs $2,500. In this example, I bought a ticket for the same
route and schedule and paid less than $400.

It seems that Stratfor and other commercial firms claiming to sell
“intelligence” are in the same racket. I think Mr. Friedman is correct
in that the trove of emails will not yield much that is terribly
interesting or damaging to Stratfor or their clients. Actually, the
release of these private communications will probably do more to
reveal the “banality of intelligence” rather than anything
terrifically evil… I don’t agree with hacking and stealing. That
seems to go beyond civil disobedience. But, if it helps people to
think more critically about the real value of what is being sold as
intelligence, well, maybe in the long run it will do some good…
Maybe people will think a little more carefully about what kind of
information they get for their money. Just my two cents… or two
thousand dollars. whatever I can get… molly molloy

REFILE-UPDATE 2-WikiLeaks publishes security think tank emails
Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:14am EST

The Global Intelligence Files

STRATFOR: Meth in Mexico: A Turning Point in the Drug War?

Mexican authorities announced Feb. 8 the largest seizure of methamphetamine in Mexican history — and possibly the largest ever anywhere — on a ranch outside of Guadalajara. The total haul was 15 tons of pure methamphetamine along with a laboratory capable of producing all the methamphetamine seized. While authorities are not linking the methamphetamine to any specific criminal group, Guadalajara is a known stronghold of the Sinaloa Federation, and previous seizures there have been connected to the group.

Methamphetamine, a synthetic drug manufactured in personal labs for decades, is nothing new in Mexico or the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has led numerous crusades against the drug, increasing regulations on its ingredients to try to keep it from gaining a foothold in the United States. While the DEA’s efforts have succeeded in limiting production of the drug in the United States, consumption has risen steadily over the past two decades. The increasing DEA pressure on U.S. suppliers and the growing demand for methamphetamine have driven large-scale production of the drug outside the borders of the United States. Given Mexico’s proximity and the pervasiveness of organized criminal elements seeking new markets, it makes sense that methamphetamine would be produced on an industrial scale there. Indeed, Mexico has provided an environment for a scale of production far greater than anything ever seen in the United States.

Stratfor MYTH debunked by Mexican reporters…

Check out the translation of this article in Hilo Directo by José Pérez Espino, commenting on a report in LETRAS LIBRES by Juan Carlos Romero
Puga. Both Mexican journalists note that the portrayal of the ZETAS that appears over and over again in US media and reports from “intelligence analysts” like STRATFOR (and I would add by US government agencies also) are simply repeating the Mexican government’s own pronouncements that have little basis on the ground in Mexico… Here’s the quote from Perez Espino:

“The security consultants Statfor practically reproduced the official
version and assumed that the Zetas are a drug trafficking cartel, and
the most powerful criminal group in the country.”

Thanks to UPSIDEDOWN WORLD for the translation and to Dawn Paley for
sending to the list. Below the translation are the original articles
from Hilo Directo and Letras Libres. molly

Stratfor’s Myth in Mexico
Written by José Pérez-Espino, Translation by Laura Cann
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 18:37

Editor’s note: We republish the translation of this blog entry to
share with our readers an important, critical perspective on Austin,
Texas based “intelligence” firm Stratfor, whose reports are often
cited and repeated without question in the U.S. media.

Source: hilo directo

Original en español:

El mito de Stratfor
José Pérez-Espino
Periodista. Es autor del ensayo Homicidios de mujeres: la invención de