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Universidad de Monterrey Divisin de Educacin Media Superior Academia de Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales Unidad San Pedro

Research Proposal: How has insecurity affected bicultural students from 4th semester at USP (Unidad San Pedro-UdeMs San Pedro Campus) in the last 5 years?

Jessica Gonzalez Research Abilities

Gerardo Alanis 284597 Benny Reyes 295438 Mario Garcia 301026 Raul Saldaa 284253 Marcelo Trevio 291793 1106 3th Semester

San Pedro Garza Garca, N.L. November 24, 2011

Index Page 1. Introduction 1.1 Statement of the problem 1.1.1 Justification 1.1.2 Research Question 1.1.3 Hypothesis 1.1.4 Objectives 2. Theoretical Framework 2.1 Background 2.2 Contents 2.2.1 Society and Insecurity 2.2.2 Government and Insecurity 2.2.3 Why the rush? 2.2.4 Experts Opinion 2.2.5 Conclusion 3. Design of the Experiment 3.1 Methodology 3.1.1 Population and Sample 3.1.2 Sampling Technique 3.1.3 Research Instruments 3.1.4 Research Agenda 4. Discussion 4.1 Expected Results 5. Reference List Pg. 3 Pg. 4 Pg. 4 Pg. 5 Pg. 5 Pg. 5 Pg. 6 Pg. 6 Pg. 6 Pg. 6 Pg. 6 Pg. 7 Pg. 7 Pg. 7 Pg. 8 Pg. 8 Pg. 8 Pg. 8 Pg. 8 Pg. 9 Pg.10 Pg. 10 Pg. 11

6. Appendix


List of Tables Page 1. Research Agenda


Monterrey is being very affected in economic and social means due to insecurity. Kidnapping, shootings, illegal fees to big companies, this a everyday issue the people is suffering. This research has the objective to sell the campaign of how insecurity is affecting all kind of people in Monterrey. The purpose of this project is to give an impact in people of how this is really affecting and give every solution that the society is capable of. (Los Angeles Times, 2010) 1.1 Statement of the problem Population of Monterrey is being affected by insecurity because killings and insecurity issues like kidnappings, shootings, and terrorist attacks in Monterrey, this problem is being watch since two years from now. This researchs purpose is to see how has the population has been affected. Insecurity. According to the the definition of insecurity is subject to fears, doubts, etc.; not self-confident or assured. Insecurity has been taking over the country in a way Mexico didnt noticed it. It is something so serious that is taking over lifes of several innocent persons. Insecurity can also be considered Inadequately guarded or protected; unsafe. This definition comes from The second definition is the one that can be more compared to the situation that Mexico is currently living in. Monterreys population is feeling unprotected and unsafe. People are afraid of going over the state without feeling scared, and this has to change quickly. (The Free Dictionary, 2010)

1.1.1 Justification The reasons are several, but foremost among these are: the weakening of Mexican police forces due to their political misuse and corruption; the development of non- traditional threats such as drug trafficking and terrorism; and the process of globalization. (Chabat, J., 2006) The reasons are too many, so this problem needs to be reduced right now, all the population will be benefited, from kids to adults, to authorities, tourists, etc. Monterrey from being one of the safest city in the country, so safe that even the narcos settled their families in this city, its now on of the most insecure cities in Latinamerica. (Los Angeles Times, 2010)

1.1.2 Research Question How has insecurity affected bicultural students from 4th semester at USP (Unidad San Pedro-UdeMs San Pedro Campus) in the last 5 years? The research is to help people find out how even the innocent teenagers that have done really small harm in the world has been suffering for the Organized Crime fault. Insecurity is getting really strong and giving harm to the ones that barely knows about the topic. The project is trying to prove that insecurity is affecting MORE than half of Monterreys population and in some ways all of it. The investigation would include peoples opinions about this topic and some solutions that can help to fix the problem. How is this affecting teenagers and society in general? (Milenio Noticias, 2011) 1.1.3 Hypotheses This project investigation hypothesis is: If the government provides honest police then, less corruption will decrease insecurity. The null hypothesis would be: If the government provides honest police then, less corruption will not decrease insecurity and the projects alternative hypothesis is: If the government legalize drugs, then the legal trade of these will decrease insecurity. 1.1.4 Objectives The general objective of this research investigation is to reduce significantly the insecurity in Monterrey and some of the specific objetives that this project is planning to do is to find out causes that rise insecurity, to analyze the solutions provided by government and society, to determine the factors that worsens insecurity, and to measure the effectiveness of the programs provided by the government.

2. Theoretical Framework

2.1 Background There is no doubt that Mexico has become the central hub of drug trafficking.. (Boyer, 2011). This quote completely explain the situation that Mexico is suffering now a days; Mexico deliberatley became the main frame of narcos and drug traffickers. The main idea of the quote is to stay focus in the situation living now a days in Mexico, and the extreme precautions that we need to take. The following framework presents information regarding Mexico and its insecurity situation. The aspects to be analyzed include: Society and Insecurity, Goverment and Insecurity, Why the rush?, and Experts Opinion. 2.2 Contents The following section includes relevant information regarding the situation living now a days in Mexico. This problem exists in Mexico and affects directly the whole society in this country. It is of the researchers interest to learn more about the topic in order to carry out a future experiment to prove the hypothesis, that is: If Mexico continue carry in on this problem, the society living in the country will deliberately start living the place, to search security in another country, for example United States of America. Then, with the data collected it will be possible to prove the hypothesis. 2.2.1 Society and Insecurity To live in Mexico is to be permanently on alert. (Aguayo, 2009) Living in Mexico, and not being aware of the situation happening now a days, and not taking the precausions necesary to persist, may end in fatal consequences. People can underestimate the precautions stated by the goverment, and live their life feerly without any preocupation, this constantly ends with, a stolen car, kidnapts, and even, death. To live in Mexico is to cease to be a citizen. (Aguayo, 2009) The events happening in Mexico, mostly tend to end in a crisis, wether is familiar or guvermental, but one thing is for sure, insecurty has taken whats best of the society, and the society cant let it have it, the people need to get it back, society need to get back our role in this country. 2.2.2 Goverment and Insecurty Believe it or not, the goverment is well informed about this, sometimes they do their best trying to stop it, but many times they just let it slip, and this is called corruption. Four years ago, Mexicos government, led by Felipe Calderon; declared war against organized crime.. (Alvarado, 2011) One year after Mexicos exchange of presidential power, a war was declared to the drug trafickers and organized crime, a war that was supposed to have a near end, a

near excape to this terrible situation. But four years after, we can see, that this situation, has not get any better, infact it got worse. 2.2.3 Why the rush? Society and Goverment need to start making a difference. Our police institutions have been overruled by narcos.. (Padgett, 2009) No one but the mexican people. The police insitutions are now being controlled by the organized crime, and without police we cant make a change in society, there is no way of changing the future of the country. No one, but the govermnet should be manipluating the police. The safest way for gaining the freedom in Mexico is to clean the police, make it stronger, and safetier, so that they can fight the insecurity as one, not as many. Very few government institutions are either committed to represent the public interest or even work with a minimum degree of efficiency. (Aguayo, 2009) 2.2.4 Experts Opinion Here, opinions of experts on the topic will be presented. Mexico, like the rest of Latin America, has been hit hard since the mid-1990s by a rise in crime and violence. (Bailey, 2006) Despite worries in the mid-1990s, now a days Mexico suffers with more bigger and severe problems; the average in killings and shootings has increased siginficantly. Kidnapts and car robberies are happening more and more each time. Young adults are being affected the most, this is because they have a great hunger to go out at night, and at night is when most crime and shootings occur. I've been in Monterrey less than a week, and I've already been dangerously close to two shootings (Alvarado 2011) 2.2.5 Conclusion After fully reading this framework, a clearer image can be made about Mexico Insecurity situation that people live now a days. Starting with peoples irresponsability not following the rules stated by the goverment, and breaking them, creating a great leap in the kidnapts, car robberies, and death rates. Deliberately the goverment gets involved more and more with the narcos, this makes it harder for the military and the navy to end this nightmare. Military and navy, not including the police insitutions, because now a days, these insitututions are being overruled by drug trafickers. Experts say Mexico needs a change now, and society is in favor. Mexico needs a change.

3. Design of the Experiment

This experiment will take place in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon at Prepa UDEM USP, during Spring 2012. The next section presents the methodology, research instrument, Population and Sample, Sampling Technique, Research Instruments and Research Instruments and Research Agenda. 3.1 Methodology The following experiment is a quantitative in the field of insecurity and psychology due to the questions that will be asked to the random persons. The tools that will be used are surveys, photo shoots and questionnaires and researching of interviews with experts in the topic. A general view, examination, or description of someone or something. This will help us in our hypothesis to prove that in the survey we can se how the person is telling us his anecdote, how do they seem to talk (preoccupied, sad, depressed) and how do they look physically while they share their experience. (Dr. Johnson, 2010) 3.1.1 Population and Sample: The population of this study is students from 4th semester from USP undertaking the bicultural program between the ages of 16-18. The size of the sample is of 100 persons, which represents approximately the 25% of the total population. 3.1.2 Sampling Techniques: The sampling technique proposed is a quota sampling, since this sample is about making surveys to the persons that usually go to Prepa UDEM. It is quota primarily due to the fact that we will be making questions to the people of the UDEM using quotes and similar things for the investigation.

3.1.3 Research Instruments: To research instrument chosen to test the hypothesis is surveys. They are the best suited to carry out the experiment because surveys could give us information about a group of person and specific information to what we need. (Hill, C., 2008)

3.1.4 Research Agenda:

The research will take place from January to May 2012. The next Gantt chart provides the set of tasks and deadlines. Fig. 1

4. Discussion 4.1 Expected Results:

The expected results are that most of the people will answer that they have suffered, witnessed or heard of some kind of insecurity, or at least know someone that did. Just a few trust on police or authority to denounce, since most of them believe that governmental institutions are corrupted. There are some expectations to find researches or interviews of experts in the topic. These expectations include trying to find photo shoots in newspaper or WebPages.


1. Reference List

Aguayo, S (2009) Mexico Living with Insecurity.

Aguayo, S. (May 2009) Mexico: living with Insecurity. Retrieved from:

Aguilar R., Castaeda J. (2009) El narco: la guerra fallida. Mxico: Santillana Ediciones Generales, 2009.

Alvarado, E. (2011)Living in Mexico: a tale of insecurity and paranoia BCPolitics. Retrieved from: Alvarado, E (2011) Living in Mexico: A tale of Insecurity and Paranoia.

Archibold R. (2011), Americas. After fatal casino attack, Mexican Officials focus on organized crimes link. Retrieved from:

Bailey, J (2006) Public Security and police reform in the Americas o+like+ the+rest+of+latin+america+has+been+hit+hard+since+the+mid+1990s+by +a+ris ein+crime+and+violence&hl=en&ei=7j67ToC6GoWEsgK1qdWzCA&sa=X &oi=bo ok_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v

Chabat J., 2010 La Respuesta del Gobierno de Felipe Calderon al desafio del narcotrafico: Entre lo malo y lo peor. Del Bosque M. (2011) If Monterrey falls will Mexico follow? The Texas Observer. Retrieved from: mexico-city-follow


Del Bosque, M (2010), If Monterrey falls will Mexico follow? Texas Observer, retrieved from: follow Dwanez1, (2011) Dozens killed in Mexico grenade attack. Video retrieved from: Gonzalez M. (2011) kidnapping in Mexico. Retrieved from: Hainen, N. (August, 2010) Living in Mexico: a Tale of Insecurity and Paranoia. Retrieved from: Hernandez, D (2011) La Plaza, Los Angeles Times, retrieved from: Lozano, F. (2010 December 9th) Como se duplico la violencia en el pais?(spanish) Poder 14B p.17 MacCormack J. (2011). Monterrey: A city robbed of its security. Retrieved from: ts-security-970421.php Padgett, T (2009) On the bloody Border: Mexico Drug Wars.,9171,1893512,00.html Page P. (2011). Mexicos insecurity. The journal of commerce. Retrieved from: Starr, P (2010) Monterrey, Mexico Now Off Limits to Children of U.S.Government Employees, CNSnews, retrieved from: USA TODAY (2011, Moron) Mexicos drug violence. Mass Ultra.-School Edition Aguayo, S (2009) Mexico Living with Insecurity. Retreived from:


6. Appendix

1. Information Sources 2. Summary Files


Mexico has since mid-April 2009 been the unaccustomed centre of global attention. The sourcing of the H1N1 flu virus to the country triggered a national and international health emergency that has led Mexico and its people to be regarded with a new kind of alarm and suspicion in its neighbourhood and far beyond. This experience has brought an unexpected dose of discomfort and unpleasantness to a people who are already living through a collective emergency of a different kind: one that goes to the very heart of the state, and its ability - or rather inability - to ensure a minimum degree of safety to its citizens. When the "swine flu" emergency passes - and the current signs are cautiously hopeful in this regard - this deeper, endemic, structural crisis will remain (see "Mexico: a state of failure", 17 February 2009). This crisis is consuming far more lives - and for every life it takes, its tentacles spread fear into the private spaces and hearts of many other citizens. It affects the poor and the marginal, but it also touches those who by profession might wish to think themselves inoculated against it. What follows is one such example of Mexico's trauma of insecurity. The dust of life The noise surrounding the "swine flu" crisis has been deafening, but even at its loudest it never silenced the drumbeat of the "other" danger. On the very day that theWorld Health Organisation raised the status of the global health alert, 27 April 2009, news came through that eight policemen had been "executed" by gangsters in the northern city of Tijuana. As the health story subsides, the killings continue. To understand what is happening in Mexico, one fact must be recognised at the outset: very few government institutions are either are committed to representing the public interest or even work with a minimum degree of efficiency. In particular, the security apparatus is a disaster; only the armed forces, stretched beyond their limits, can be partially exempted from this judgment. This is a situation created by the errors, the incapacities and the outright corruptions of all Mexico's political forces - including President Felipe Caldern, his administration and his party. To live in Mexico is to suffer the uncertainty of insecurity. In most cities around the world, 21st-century modernity means having twenty-four-hour access to ATMs to get cash. In Mexico, it is dangerous to do so. The capital city is divided into boroughs, amongst which is Benito Jurez, headed by the rightwing Partido Accin Nacional (National Action Party). One of its officials, Jaime Slomianski Aguilar, made the following recommendation: "To safeguard the citizen's security it would be convenient not to make withdrawals at banks. It is best to pay the commission [that banks charge to make online payments] than take risks by making withdrawals". This flagrant confession of the state's obligation to ensure


security to citizens is but one index of how serious - yet how "normalised" Mexico's crisis has become. But neither does a retreat to the seclusion of home guarantee tranquillity. In early April, I received a telephone call from a person who - in the characteristic tones of northern Mexico - introduced himself as my cousin Victor, son of my deceased uncle Pancho, who had migrated to and ended his life in the United States. My cousin, with every evidence of joyful enthusiasm, announced that he would arrive at my home the next day; he was carrying a lot of money from his own sojourn in the US, wanted to set up a business, and needed my advice. He expressed a wish to stay at my place ("I already have the address, cousin, see you there tomorrow.") The sacredness of family in Mexico caused me to hesitate, but a sense of self-preservation (along with a sliver of guilt) led me to respond that it was impossible for me to house my cousin; but I compensated by arranging a time to meet. To live in Mexico is to be permanently on alert. After the call, I rang my Aunt Lola, who half a century ago had married an American war veteran and gone with him to live in California. My aunt is the family's walking encyclopedia: the one who knows the comings and goings, the ups and downs, of the hundreds of relatives who make a living on the other side of the border. Among the obligatory recounting of the latest tragedies and illnesses, she delivered a sad piece of news: my cousin Victor had passed away from diabetes a couple of years earlier. The poor man "never took care of himself." There were two possibilities: either cousin Victor was communicating from the world beyond or we were facing an impostor who was preparing a robbery, a scam or a kidnapping. On balance, we decided that the latter was more likely. A long, worried discussion with my Catalan wife followed. She instantly remembered a call received a few months earlier informing us - amid insults and threats - that our son had been kidnapped. The fact that our progeny lives in Madrid meant that we could afford (routine alarm at the invasion of our privacy and the threatening experience aside) to ignore this effort. But "Victor" worried us more, because we could not be sure what information he possessed. What could we do? We dismissed the idea of notifying the police, even though the federal (conservative) government advertises a special programme against telephone extortions. When security is at stake, Mexicans do not call the police their inefficiency is beyond belief, and there is a chance that they are complicit with the delinquents (see Sam Quinones, "State of War", Foreign Policy, MarchApril 2009). Every Mexican has a story in this regard. Here is mine. In late 2008, burglars ransacked our flat (in a capital governed, since 1997, by Mexico's main leftwing party). They tore down a bullet-proof door, covered the floor with the scattered contents of drawers and closets, and took everything they wanted. The city's


attorney-general paid personal attention to the matter, and my house was filled with waves of detectives and policemen. They took fingerprints of the suspects, but the case went no further because the city police lacks coordination with the federal government and has no access to the national databases. To live in Mexico is to cease to be a citizen. Such experiences are not extraordinary. They are a part of the everyday existence of this wonderful country filled with contrasts and extremes. After the robbery, we shared once more in the routine defence strategy of millions of others who substitute themselves for the state by reinforcing doors and windows, setting up alarms, and exchanging anecdotes of impotence and fear. The elite of pals The collapse of Mexico's security institutions has many sources. An unavoidable one is the sheer ineptitude of a good portion of the high bureaucracy. A research study by the civil-society organisation Gestin Social y Cooperacin (Gesoc) finds that - generous salaries and privileges notwithstanding - around 40% of the senior ranks of the federal bureaucracy are unqualified for the position they occupy. No wonder: those in place simply hand out jobs to their friends or accomplices. Felipe Caldern has participated, consciously and deliberately, in this game. The Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Publica (SNSP) has the responsibility of coordinating actions by the federal, state and municipal government. Hence, it occupies a central role in the war against insecurity and its narco agents. If thesystem worked, the capital's police would (at a minimum) be able to learn the identity of those who robbed my flat, and more broadly pursue the war against organised crime in a more effective way. But it can't work as long as Felipe Caldern names one Roberto Campa as the SNSP's head - for no other reason than this political-bureaucratic functionary is a protg of the teachers'union leader, Elba Esther Gordillo (who in turn granted the president huge favours during the controversial 2006 election). Mexico's president, in short, plays with Mexicans' security to pay off his political debt. Roberto Campa spent two years (2006-08) and huge sums of money without improving security. The lack of results forced Caldern to remove him from office in September 2008; it took six months, until March 2009, for the president to nameJorge Tello Pen (the president's national-security advisor since October 2008) as his successor. At last, a professional had arrived in the office. Could Mexico's federal agencies finally be able to coordinate with the country's state and municipal police forces? Maybe, possibly, perhaps. To live in Mexico is to exist in doubt. The law of one


Felipe Caldern is not a statesman but a weak ruler incapable of freeing himself from the shackles imposed by the powers that helped him become president. The health emergency is a spasm by comparison with the institutional failures of the governing class. Amid the corrosion of the polity and civic order, Mexicans desperately need a strong democratic state to defend us. At present their daily survival is in their own hands. A postscript: the threat caused by "cousin Victor" was resolved the Mexican way. Instead of confronting and facing the issue we decided to avoid it. We stopped answering the phone for a couple of days and he got the message. Or at least that's what we wish to think... This article was translated by Alfonsina Pealoza

After Fatal Casino Attack, Mexican Officials Focus on Organized Crimes Link

MEXICO CITY An arson attack on a casino in northern Mexico on Thursday that left 52 people dead has thrown a spotlight on the growth of gambling houses throughout the country and their role in organized crime. In what President Felipe Caldern called an act of true terrorists, armed men in four vehicles a Mini Cooper leading sport utility vehicles and a pickup truck calmly drove up to the Casino Royale in Monterrey at midafternoon, dashed inside, ordered people to get out and set it ablaze with a flammable liquid. The flash fire engulfed the gaming hall, trapping patrons scrambling for the few exits and hiding in bathrooms. The toll was among the highest for a single attack since a government crackdown on organized crime began in 2006 and infighting among gangs unleashed an explosion of violence that has left more than 35,000 dead. Although no motive has been determined, it bore the hallmarks of an organized crime assault, and government officials and security analysts said the brutality suggested the work of the Zetas, one of the largest and most feared gangs in the area. On Friday, Mr. Caldern and, in a statement, President Obama cast the disaster as related to the drug war. Mr. Caldern, in a departure from past mass killings, labeled the attack terrorism. It is evident we are not facing common criminals, we are facing true terrorists who have surpassed not only the limits of the law but basic common sense and respect for life, Mr. Caldern said, his voice tinged with anger. He went on to scold the Mexican Congress for not enacting security reforms he has proposed, and the United States, which he called an ally, but one whose drug consumption and gun sales have exacerbated the problem in Mexico.


We are neighbors, we are allies, we are friends, but you, too, share responsibility, he said. Mr. Obama released a brief statement condemning the barbaric and reprehensible attack, adding, We share with Mexico responsibility for meeting this challenge, and we are committed to continuing our unprecedented cooperation in confronting these criminal organizations. Mexico does not have Las Vegas-style gambling, or more accurately, such gaming houses are technically prohibited by law. But sports betting, bingo and electronic games are permitted, and many entertainment businesses fashion themselves as casinos, lit garishly outside and dimly inside, while illegal betting parlors operate in the shadows, according to security analysts. A lot of money flows through such casinos, making tempting targets for organized crime groups, which extort them or launder money through them, the analysts said. The national magazine Proceso reported in June that both legal and illegal gambling businesses had grown to nearly 800 this year, from just over 100 in 2000. In Nuevo Leon State, where Monterrey is, the number of businesses climbed to 57 this year from 5 a decade ago. Ral Benitez-Manaut, a researcher at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City who studies criminal groups, said such gambling halls were typically small, sometimes informal places but had become a magnet for extortionists and money launderers. George Grayson, a professor at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., who has written extensively about organized crime in Mexico, said payments to the gangs could run up to $10,000 a week. One theory investigators were exploring, Mr. Benitez-Manaut said, was that the Casino Royales owners were paying one group and another group wanted a tax. Stratfor, a security consultant company based in Austin, Tex., that studies the cartels, issued a report that said there had been a rash of robberies and violence at casinos in Nuevo Leon in the past few months. Four, including the Casino Royale, were robbed on May 25 by heavily armed gunmen. In January, gunmen opened fire in the Casino Royale apparently in an effort to eliminate two rivals gambling there. Its report suggested the robberies and attacks pointed to an effort by the gangs to undermine rivals finances and enrich their own. The Zetas are waging a bloody battle against the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels for control of northeast Mexico, turning Monterrey, a once peaceful business hub, into a battleground with spectacular crimes like mass shootings with the bodies of victims hung from overpasses. The tit-for-tat operations in which Gulf and Zetas elements target each others vital support networks appear to have been elevated to a higher level with bigger stakes, the


Stratfor report said. The casinos operate under a tangle of local and federal permits, including those issued by the federal Interior Ministry, but local authorities complain regulation is lax, courts have overruled their efforts to close them and they are left with the burden of dealing with the crime that comes with them. One of the countrys most prominent gaming tycoons, Jorge Hank Rhon, a former mayor of Tijuana, was arrested on weapons charges in June and held briefly before the charges were dropped. Jos Francisco Blake Mora, the interior minister, said at a news conference on Friday that it appeared that the Casino Royale, which was owned by Vallarta Attractions and Amusements in association with the Cysma Corporation, had a permit, but that the government would crack down on betting halls operating outside of the law. The ministry said investigators had not been able to locate the owners. The Interior Ministry will be very attentive so that these types of establishments that have authorization to operate strictly according to the law, Mr. Mora said, and for those that dont, of course, we will take the pertinent measures that we have to be able to close them down.

Alvarado, E (2011) Living in Mexico: A tale of Insecurity and Paranoia.

The journey had finally come to its end, after spending more than a year studying in Austria, it was time to go back. Many things were left behind, and even more were awaiting all the way over the other side of the Atlantic. The final destination: Mexico; more precisely, Monterrey. Four years ago, Mexico's government, led by Felipe Caldern; declared war against organized crime. This resulted in an increase in shootings, kidnappings, robberies and a general feeling of insecurity for the Mexican people. Monterrey is one of the cities that has been affected the most by this war, specially over the course of this past year.

My flight landed at McAllen, Texas; a city in the United States across the border from Reynosa, Mexico, known by many as Little Monterrey because of the many shopping tourists coming from there. After that, the trip back home was to continue by car. The insecure atmosphere everyone had been talking about became tangible as soon as I crossed the border; military trenches and police cars appeared every once in a while during the 2 hour car trip. The first impression one has of Monterrey in daylight is that of an active city. The lanes of Constitucin, one of the city's busiest avenues, were as cluttered as they were a year ago, and yet they were not the same. The street had to be reconstructed


after hurricane Alex, arguably the most destructive hurricane ever to pass through the city, and now is only a one-way road.
Monterrey is known in Mexico for its wealth, hard-working citizens and important industries; this is very apparent if you take a look at the streets: people are always going somewhere, and despite all the constant warnings from the local TV news to not go out unless it's absolutely necessary; shops are crowded and life is seemingly normal business as usual. The page turns at night though. The streets look emptier and emptier after the sun starts to set. We don't want to take the risk anymore, says a school bus driver after I ask him why the last bus goes now at 19:15, instead of 21:00. The police emergency lights seem blinding at times when driving on the street at night. It was not uncommon for me to yield to a police car, speeding, trying to get somewhere; a shooting perhaps. Portable police forts were installed all over the city in a government attempt to enable quicker response to shootings and other violent crimes; police emergency lights have become a part of the city landscape.

The scars of the drug war are visible all over the city. The first day in Monterrey, driving to one of my favorite restaurants on Gonzalitos road, I notice an old pedestrian bridge. On this same bridge a woman known as La Pelirroja (The Redhead) less than a month ago was found, disturbingly, hung a kidnapper who was ironically kidnapped and then murdered by a paramilitary commando while being transferred from prison to the hospital. The first day of school, I take a walk outside the main campus, an old friend shows me the bullet marks embedded on a building almost a year ago, when the army accidentally killed two students who were on their way to classes, and who now are part of the toll of nearly 30,000 people murdered since 2006 in this war against organized crime. Last year, as a far away spectator living in one of the safest places in Europe, I never realized the full extent of how much life had changed in my home town of Monterrey.
Having lunch with some friends near my school, we begin to hear sirens and a helicopter, I start to get worried and begin to panic, my friends calm me down saying its probably something far away or just a false alarm; I find out later it was a police chase that began a few kilometers away, and ended some hundred meters from where we were, it was yet another shooting, and I, like many other Monterrey citizens, was nearby; the risk was there. That night, I go back home with undoubtedly the worst culture shock I've ever experienced, and I have no option but to embrace change as I always do; or at least as I'm supposed to do. Before going to sleep, I hear a lot of chaos outside, again. I get worried, this time I think someone broke into my house, I go downstairs to figure out what's happening, and I realize it's a shooting, right outside my house. The next day, the newspapers report that there was a confrontation between the army and drug cartel members which ended with the death of one of the drug hitmen. Hundreds of bullets were fired and two grenades were thrown, as a result some caps were still lying there on the ground. And to make all this even more tragic, some 14 year-old neighbor kids found


a grenade in the park (the main site of the confrontation), started to take pictures of it and when they attempted to move it, the grenade exploded. As I write this now, one of them, a grandson of a well known university dean, fights for his life in the local hospital. As much as I'd like to think I've been part of a tragedy, I can't help but to think this is what millions of Mexicans have to face, even if it's just indirectly. And the more this happens, the more trivial these events become; people talk about shootings here as if they were the weather; it's just something you can't change, it's something that's there, something you deal with every day.

Read more:

Alvarado, E. (2011)Living in Mexico: a tale of insecurity and paranoia BCPolitics. Retrieved from:

The journey had finally come to its end, after spending more than a year studying in Austria, it was time to go back. Many things were left behind, and even more were awaiting all the way over the other side of the Atlantic. The final destination: Mexico; more precisely, Monterrey.

Four years ago, Mexico's government, led by Felipe Caldern; declared war against organized crime. This resulted in an increase in shootings, kidnappings, robberies and a general feeling of insecurity for the Mexican people. Monterrey is one of the cities that has been affected the most by this war, specially over the course of this past year. My flight landed at McAllen, Texas; a city in the United States across the border from Reynosa, Mexico, known by many as Little Monterrey because of the many shopping tourists coming from there. After that, the trip back home was to continue by car. The insecure atmosphere everyone had been talking about became tangible as soon as I crossed the border; military trenches and police cars appeared every once in a while during the 2 hour car trip.

The first impression one has of Monterrey in daylight is that of an active city. The lanes


of Constitucin, one of the city's busiest avenues, were as cluttered as they were a year ago, and yet they were not the same. The street had to be reconstructed after hurricane Alex, arguably the most destructive hurricane ever to pass through the city, and now is only a one-way road. Monterrey is known in Mexico for its wealth, hard-working citizens and important industries; this is very apparent if you take a look at the streets: people are always going somewhere, and despite all the constant warnings from the local TV news to not go out unless it's absolutely necessary; shops are crowded and life is seemingly normal business as usual. The page turns at night though. The streets look emptier and emptier after the sun starts to set. We don't want to take the risk anymore, says a school bus driver after I ask him why the last bus goes now at 19:15, instead of 21:00. The police emergency lights seem blinding at times when driving on the street at night. It was not uncommon for me to yield to a police car, speeding, trying to get somewhere; a shooting perhaps. Portable police forts were installed all over the city in a government attempt to enable quicker response to shootings and other violent crimes; police emergency lights have become a part of the city landscape. Bailey, J (2006) Public Security and police reform in the Americas t+of+latin+america+has+been+hit+hard+since+the+mid+1990s+by+a+risein+crime+and +violence&hl=en&ei=7j67ToC6GoWEsgK1qdWzCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&re snum=1&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

If Monterrey Falls Will Mexico Follow? A recent editorial in a Mexican newspaper stated it simply Mexico in Flames. The word I see used most commonly these days by the Mexican media with regards to the terrorism being waged by the drug cartels and organized crime is unprecedented. In the past two weeks things have gone from bad to worse for Mexican President Felipe Calderon in his war against the drug cartels. Calderon has already lost control of his northern border. This was clear to me after recently spending two weeks in Matamoros and Reynosa. Now the cartels have set their sights on Monterrey, the economic heart of Mexico. Grenade attacks, narco-blockades, kidnappings: in short an unprecedented terror campaign is being wrought by drug cartels and organized crime on the more than 2 million residents of the city. Monterrey is the industrial heart of Mexico and one of its wealthiest cities. Its home to powerful Mexican corporations such as CEMEX and the national oil company PEMEX. 22

And its the Latin American headquarters for many international companies such as Whirlpool and General Electric. The city of Monterrey has always prided itself on its wealth and its relative security. Just five years ago it was ranked as the most secure city in Latin America by American Economia, a Latin American business magazine. And it was rated in 1999 by Fortune magazine as the best city in Latin America to do business. Its prosperity also attracted Mexicos drug kingpins who settled their families in Monterreys most affluent neighborhoods. For many years an agreement among the cartels that family were off limits kept these neighborhoods free of revenge killings and kidnappings. With the rupture of the cartels by government forces and a fractious civil war among the remaining drug capos Monterrey is rapidly becoming a war zone. But this time its not the working class and the poor of Juarez or Reynosa who are taking the bullets, its the very top echelons of society and Mexicos elite who are feeling the terror firsthand. The recent kidnapping and killing of the mayor from the affluent neighboring town of Santiago with the help of his own police force sent a chill through Mexicos political elite. His kidnapping came on the heels of an assassination of the leading gubernatorial candidate for the state of Tamaulipas in June. The kidnapping in May of the powerful political kingmaker Jefe Diego from Calderons own National Action Party also shook Calderon and his cabinet to the core. Mayors, Senators and other powerful politicians across Mexico are realizing that they cannot even trust their own security forces because they have already been bought out through intimidation or money by the drug cartels. And Calderon seems to have no one he can trust to restore any form of law and order in the country. The rampant insecurity has led Mexicos most prominent businessmen to place ads in newspapers across the country asking President Calderon to send more federal troops to Monterrey and surrounding areas to fight the cartels and organized crime. The problem with sending the army, however, is that they are not trained to be a police force among civilians. They cant replace the lack of a judicial system. They can only engage the cartels in gun battle, killing many innocent bystanders in the process. A political analyst told Reuters this week that the violence is unraveling Monterreys civic society. Wealthy Mexicans are fleeing Monterrey and its economy is flagging. "Insecurity in Monterrey is now spinning out of control and is a clear threat to investment. The city is losing its leadership," said political analyst Jose Luis Garcia at the University of Monterrey. "Politicians ... aren't prepared to pay the price and confront the problems." In the past four years, Calderon has gone after the drug cartels with an unrelenting force, but his administrations lack of strategy has destroyed the fragile framework holding Mexican society together and left nothing to replace it. Poverty, impunity and


corruption have plagued the country for decades. Organized crime is filling the vacuum and it will take more than the Mexican army to root them out. Dwanez1, (2011) Dozens killed in Mexico grenade attack. Video retrieved from: Kidnapping in Mexico The bad news is that kidnappings in Mexico are on the rise. Both Mexicans and foreigners are victims, because in Mexico there are 3 common types of kidnappings. Unfortunately, children are the most targeted group. Second, tourists and middle- or upper-class Mexicans are at risk for "Kidnapping Express," and lastly wealthy Mexican businessmen are also snatched and held for large ransoms. Kidnapping Children Children of middle-class or upper-class Mexicans, yet the problem does span all socioeconomic levels, are too often stolen away from their families and homes. Kidnappers can work in sophisticated groups, following family members to learn routines or working with the help of hired domestic employees. This is why it is important to carefully screen all residential employees and to avoid flashy displays of wealth in public places. The Kidnap Express Kidnapping express is a rapidly growing crime. People are at most risk for this trap when hailing a taxi cab from the street. Once you are inside one of these unauthorized or "pirate" taxi cabs, anything can happen, because no one knows where you are or is held accountable for your whereabouts.

The most likely outcome of the kidnapping express is your credit card or banking account will be emptied. What criminals are most after are your credit cards, cash, jewelry, cellular phones and valuables, in that order. Once they empty your accounts and physically remove your possessions, they will normally release you. One increasingly disturbing spin is that the criminals may contact your family and not release you until a hefty ransom is paid.

Avoid this situation all together by using the authorized taxis lined up at taxi stands throughout the city. Best yet, request a secure taxi over the phone. This way your whereabouts are known by the taxi company. Also, if taking a taxi at night, call a friend to inform them of your whereabouts; also report to your friend the number of the taxi painted on the doors. Kidnapping for Ransom


Kidnapping for ransom of people believed to be financially affluent (not that many foreigners are targeted) is on the rise. For the most part in Mexico City these gangs are professional and very well-organized. Lately, however, common criminals are also getting into this activity on a large scale.

Kidnapping of the rich and wealthy is a fast-growing crime. It is becoming much more common now in the states of Guerrero and Veracruz, and remains a problem in Mexico City as well. Behind these kidnappings are well-organized criminal gangs. In some cases the culprits are Mexican or international radical groups that obtain obscene amounts of money, in dollars or euros, from this activity.

The wealthy Mexican worried about his protection is normally escorted by private security guards and plans his moves carefully. However, the kidnapping problem is perpetuated because drivers, guards and security personnel are very poorly paid in Mexico. The lack of a living wage for these employees only makes the temptation to be lured in as an accomplish all the more irresistible. In case of a kidnapping, these are useful numbers:

Mexico City Police (PGJDF): 5346-8669, 5345-5505 (PFP): 5481-4300, 01800-440-3690

Federal Preventative Police

All calls are traced. It is against the law to report false alarms. A Tragic History Due to a lack of quality police investigations or a trusted police presence, the number of kidnappings taking place in Mexico is showing no sign of decreasing. On the contrary, kidnappings are more frequently ending in tragic circumstances. In one instance a kidnapped girl was murdered, even after her father paid the negotiated ransom. The father alone engaged in a private investigation that led to the arrest of the criminals, as police officials only demonstrated ineptness in this specific case. In another case two kidnapped brothers were also murdered after ransom demands had been met. Private security negotiators collected their fees, despite the horrific circumstances. This case has outraged many people in Mexico. Drugs and the Increase in Violence Drugs destined for the United States are no longer making it across the border as successfully as in the past, especially after 9/11. Now, the drugs are remaining in border


cities (i.e. Tijuana, Ciudad Jurez, Matamoros) on a scale never previously seen. As a result narcomenudeo (street drug pushing) is now common in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Monterrey, and other large cities. The use of drugs by kidnappers is believed to be behind the increasingly violent kidnappings.

Another important factor in this problem is the lack of control of firearms, most of these coming into Mexico illegally from the United States. The combination of drugs and firearms make the kidnapping problem particularly volatile. If we add to this unemployment, economic problems, rivalries among drug cartels and corruption, it becomes apparent that Mexico has a public safety problem growing at an alarming rate. Hernandez, D (2011) La Plaza, Los Angeles Times, retrieved from:

Four days after the deadly casino attack in Monterrey in northern Mexico, the owner of the burned-out Casino Royale has not emerged in public or spoken with authorities. In fact, little is known about the owners and operators of the casino, despite initial reports (later contradicted) that said emergency exits in the establishment were blocked, contributing to the high death toll of 52. The dead included one pregnant woman, and over the weekend, as families buried their loved ones, another large demonstration against violence and insecurity took place in Monterrey (link in Spanish). The demonstration ended in scuffles for some as activists made competing calls for the resignations of the Monterrey mayor, the Nuevo Leon state government, and President Felipe Calderon (video link in Spanish). Nuevo Leon authorities said the investigation into the arson blaze is ongoing. On Monday, Gov. Rodrigo Medina announced the arrest of five men suspected of being involved in the attack. The suspects were identified as Zetas, the drug gang that is seeking control over Monterrey in a campaign that has spread fear and violence in the affluent industrial city. Authorities said they were eager to speak with Raul Rocha Cantu, a Monterrey businessman identified as one of the owners of the casino. One newspaper said the casino owners had not complied with an extortion demand of 130,000 pesos a week, or about $10,000 -- common deals that often lead to brutal attacks against bars and other businesses in Monterrey. Another report said Rocha has lived in the United States for at least the last two months, but no location was specified (link in Spanish). In a series of interviews since Friday, the casino owners' lawyer, Juan Gomez Jayme,


said attorney-client privilege would not permit him to divulge where Rocha was or whether he would present himself to Nuevo Leon authorities as they have requested (link in Spanish). Gomez defended the establishment, saying the casino operated lawfully under municipal, state, and federal regulations. Yet questions were raised almost immediately about word of blocked emergency exits, which were reported by the chief of civil protection in Monterrey after firefighters put down the arson blaze. Most of the victims, the majority of whom were middle-aged women, died of smoke inhalation after being trapped in the rear of the casino when gunmen burst in and set a fire. Gomez, the lawyer, said on Saturday that his client was not responsible for the deaths because the attack was out of the establishment's control (link in Spanish). The Casino Royale had been targeted by gunmen twice this year, and was briefly shut down in May over code violations, reports said. Tensions have also reemerged in recent days between local and federal officials over the authorization of casinos. Gambling houses have proliferated in Mexico in more than 10 years of governments led by the conservative, business-friendly National Action Party, or PAN. The news magazine Proceso reported that in 2000, at the start of the first of two consecutive PAN presidential terms, Mexico had 123 casinos and now has 790, both legal and illegal. Casinos in Mexico are seen as magnets for organized crime, extortion and money laundering. Proceso reported in July that the number of illegal casinos has actually dropped in the last year because illegal gambling houses are increasingly aligning themselves with those that have proper paperwork. The federal Interior Ministry grants permits for casinos, but the businesses must also comply with local and state codes. In the political chatter since Thursday, the name of Santiago Creel has emerged as one of the authorities some argue are "responsible" for the rise of casinos in Mexico. As interior secretary under former PAN President Vicente Fox, Creel oversaw the authorization of gambling centers through his office. Creel, most recently a senator, is a leading contender for the PAN presidential nomination for the 2012 election. Usually active on Twitter, Creel has been silent on the micro-blogging since Thursday, making no public statement so far on the incident. Late Monday, in another sign of conflict between different levels of government, federal civil protection officials contradicted their local counterparts and said the casino's exits were not blocked.


In any case, even as the outrage rises and officials promise to tackle the factors that led to last week's tragedy, the Casino Royale episode may ultimately reaffirm that the basic structures of corruption and impunity in Mexico remain intact and largely unchallenged.

Monterrey: A city robbed of its security MONTERREY, Mexico - In the darkly satirical movie "El Infierno," now playing in theaters here, a humble Mexican migrant worker named Benny finally returns to his rural hometown after 20 years in the United States. But, as the title suggests, instead of finding a warm welcome and comforting memories, he enters a living hell of desolation, bloodthirsty narcos, corrupt police and even a crooked priest. In the real-life version, now playing in and around Mexico's richest and proudest city, the volatile mix includes narco blockades, kidnappings, political killings and hand grenades tossed in the streets. While the mayhem here pales beside that of Ciudad Jurez, where thousands have died, for the long-privileged and insulated "regiomontanos," as locals call themselves, the psychological effect has been catastrophic. "This is the same shock as New York City got when the World Trade Center towers were hit by the airplanes, but that was acute and this is prolonged," said Dr. Victor Pieyro, 78, a psychiatrist. "We are suffering what is called generalized anxiety, and one of the terrible consequences is to not be astonished by what happens. We are viewing it as a television show, the killing of many people. We are numb," he said. So far this year, through September, there have been 643 violent deaths in the state of Nuevo Len, more than double the total for all of 2009. On Tuesday, rival gangsters exchanged shots for 30 minutes near Monterrey Technological Institute. On Wednesday, gunmen opened up with automatic weapons in a downtown pedestrian plaza, killing a young woman and wounding four more. The violence, which extends to random gangster checkpoints on highways entering Monterrey, has made driving from the U.S. a roll of the dice. No one thought this could ever happen in Greater Monterrey, a cluster of municipalities comprising more than 4 million people that boast a per capita income twice the national average and the most millionaires of any Mexican city. This is not Nuevo Laredo or Ciudad Jurez, seedy border towns seeped in smuggling, violence and corruption. This is Mexico's industrial and financial titan, home to the world's third-largest cement company and other giants in steel, beer and glass. More than 1,000 American companies do business here, in a modern, cosmopolitan place of crisp, white high-rises, excellent universities and impressive public artworks.


The upper class shops in Houston, owns condos on South Padre Island and sends its children abroad to study. Only a decade ago, Forbes magazine rated Monterrey as the best city in Latin America for business. And for years, it offered investors a hard-working and educated labor force, a low crime rate and a stable business environment. To the visitor, little of the current crisis is readily obvious. During daylight hours, the only signs of increased security are occasional patrols of federal police in blue Ford pickups. At rush hour, downtown boulevards are jammed with traffic. On weekends, the classy malls still are packed. And the kitschy neon crown of "El Rey del Cabrito," where kid goat is served, still flashes nightly. But an ongoing battle between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel and a wave of common crime have bloodied the streets and rocked the confidence of the close-knit, self-reliant and hard-working "regios." "In Mexico, when they talk about Monterrey, it's like they are talking about another country, and we identify more with the U.S. than with Mexico," said an engineer who asked not to be named. "So when suddenly this image collapses, it is very demoralizing. We felt nothing could happen to us, but suddenly, we have the same problems as Ciudad Jurez," he said. Resented throughout Mexico for their success and arrogance, some "regios" suspect their countrymen are enjoying their plight.

Padgett, T (2009) On the bloody Border: Mexico Drug Wars.,9171,1893512,00.html

Pedro Rojas is the sort of wealthy Mexican who's usually in control of his world. "I don't panic or scare easily," says Rojas, a business owner and rancher from the Mexican border city of Jurez. But last year narcos, or drug traffickers, moved into his upscale neighborhood--punks in cowboy attire and sparkling pickup trucks buying expensive homes. Rojas and his neighbors were awakened at night or horrified in broad daylight by assault-rifle fire and the screaming of tires as cars raced away after kidnappings. One afternoon, local children watched as a pickup rammed down the door of a house, sparking a gun battle that left four people dead in the street. Out at Rojas' ranch, the situation was worse. The drug gangs, whose trafficking route for marijuana, cocaine and heroin passes near a cluster of haciendas that includes Rojas', demanded protection money from the ranchers. When they balked, the gangs burned down the ranch houses, then abducted and executed one of Rojas' best friends.


Since then, the gangs have dumped the severed heads of other victims in front of suburban town halls. So Rojas (not his real name, which he asked to be changed for security reasons) took his family across the Rio Grande to live in an apartment in El Paso, Texas. "I feel fearful, impotent," he says. Worse, he adds, is the realization that the police in Jurez not only are incapable of stopping gangs but are "working with them. Our police institutions have been overrun by narcos. Changing that will take many years and some very big cojones." (See pictures from the streets of Juarez.) It has taken many years for Mexico to finally make that admission, decades in which the country's powerful and violent drug cartels have been allowed to terrorize far too many neighborhoods in too many cities like Jurez. Summoning his army to fill in for unreliable cops, Mexican President Felipe Caldern has brought the fight to the gangs, but their furious backlash has left more than 7,000 Mexicans murdered since the start of last year almost 2,000 in Jurez alone. Still, through the fog of the drug war, especially on the bloodied border, it has become clearer to see what needs to be done to rein in the drugrelated crime that, as President Barack Obama said in a visit to Mexico this month, is "sowing chaos in our communities" both American and Mexican. For starters, Jurez Mayor Jos Reyes Ferriz, who has received death threats from the gangs, is trying to purge the city's corrupt, 1,600-member police force and hopes to build a more professional department twice the size. "We have no choice left," he tells TIME. Mexico's recognition that it has to reform its law-enforcement system coincides with a belated U.S. confession. An insatiable demand for drugs north of the border, the Obama Administration concedes, together with rampant smuggling of guns and laundered drug profits into Mexico, is just as responsible for the crisis. Obama is sending 500 new federal agents to the border this year to snare more weapons and money moving south, and last week he appointed a border-policy czar, former federal prosecutor Alan Bersin. The U.S. Administration also intends to put more emphasis on reducing demand by expanding programs like drug courts that mandate rehab. Solutions on the Front Line In El Paso, which is receiving a stream of Jurez exiles like Rojas, plenty would like to see an even broader shift in policy. The city council recently voted unanimously to ask Washington to consider legalizing marijuana, whose casual use is widely considered no more harmful than that of alcohol. The move would seriously crimp the drug cartels' cash flow, estimated at more than $25 billion a year. El Paso's mayor vetoed the resolution, but "the discussion is changing," says council member Beto O'Rourke, who insists the U.S. has for too long relied too heavily on military aid to producer and trafficker nations and on stiff sentences for drug possession at home. "If you live on the border, you see that the old drug-policy emperor has no clothes." The border suffers the bulk of the drug war's carnage and perhaps because of that, it's where some of the freshest ideas for fighting the war can be found. A tragic wisdom has emerged at this dusty junction of developed and developing worlds. On one side of the Rio Grande is Jurez, whose maquiladora assembly plants fuel dreams of modernity


but which is now one of the hemisphere's most dangerous cities. On the other side is El Paso, which is one of the U.S.'s safest communities (16 murders last year, compared with Jurez's 1,600) but which nonetheless knows that its future is linked to that of Jurez. "Washington and Mexico City need to know the solutions to this crisis are here on the front line," says Lucinda Vargas, head of the community-development organization Plan Estratgico de Jurez. Jurez civic leaders like Vargas have long called for the kind of Mexican police and judicial reform that both countries are only now starting to make a priority. Meanwhile, Americans like El Paso County sheriff Richard Wiles want the U.S. to renew the assaultweapons ban that George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress allowed to expire in 2004. If it doesn't, they fear, the few Black Hawk helicopters that Washington ships to Mexico's antidrug warriors won't make up for the thousands of AK-47 rifles and even rocketpropelled grenades pouring into the hands of the gangs. "It's a shame," says Wiles, "that it's taken so many killings in Jurez to make Washington consider that." See pictures of Culiacan, the home of Mexico's drug-trafficking industry.

Read more:,9171,1893512,00.html#ixzz1d Gm4FMyb The Council 60 MEC elected to waive this per the contract for the safety of our Flight Attendants. The State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs issued a travel advisory for travel to most of Mexico on April 22, 2011. The level of violence and insecurity in Monterrey remains elevated. Local police and private patrols do not have the capacity to deter criminal elements or respond effectively to security incidents. In 2010, TCOs (Transcontinental Criminal Organizations) kidnapped guests out of reputable hotels in the downtown Monterrey area,blocking off adjoining streets to prevent law enforcement response. TCOs have also regularly attacked local government facilities,prisons and police stations, and engaged in public shootouts with the military and between themselves. Pedestrians and innocent bystanders have been killed in these incidents. The number of kidnappings and disappearances in Monterrey, and increasingly throughout Monterrey's consular district, is ofparticular concern. Both the local and expatriate communities have been victimized and local law enforcement has provided little to no response. In addition, police have been implicated in some of these incidents. Travelers and residents are strongly advised to coger their profile and avoid displaying


any evidence of wealth that might draw attention. Please know that your safety and welfare are of paramount concern to your union officers and we will do everything in our power to ensure that you are all protected. Blood stains and graffiti were left at the scene of one gang killing Mexican officials say 33 people have been killed in the space of 24 hours in Mexico's industrial capital, Monterrey. Security officials in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, where Monterrey is located, said most of those killed had links to the country's drug cartels. But two of the victims were identified as bodyguards of the governor of Nuevo Leon, Rodrigo Medina. Police said a threatening message addressed to Mr Medina had been found next to the bodies. Mr Medina said the threats would not stop his determination to beat organised crime. A spokesman for the Nuevo Leon Security Council, Jorge Domene Zambrano, said the killings were almost all connected to a deadly battle for control of the region between rival drug cartels. "Only five have links to the authorities - the two bodyguards, and three guards from Cadereyta prison," he explained. According to the authorities, five presumed gang members were killed in a battle with the army and 10 people died in a confrontation between rival gangs. The bodies of the remaining victims were found dumped in various parts of the city and, in some cases, hanged from bridges. The state is the stronghold of the Zetas, thought to be one of Mexico's most violent drug cartels. They are engaged in a deadly battle with the Gulf, Sinaloa, and La Familia gangs.

Mexico's Insecurity Paul Page | Mar 14, 2011 2:48PM GMT


The Transported Assets Protection Association's two-day meeting in San Diego this month looking at U.S.-Mexico cross-border security couldn't have been more timely. The rising violence driven by warring drug cartels has turned some areas of Mexico into something resembling war zones, putting a grim cloud over the country and its efforts to reawaken the manufacturing that turned the region near the border with the United States into a hotbed of factory activity in the 1990s. A story on the front page of The Washington Post the same week as the TAPA meeting underscored the questions surrounding security in Mexico, portraying the city of Monterrey as bordering on lawlessness. Once the unofficial capital of the maquiladoras manufacturing plants a short drive from the U.S.-Mexico border, Monterrey now is the scene of a bloody battle between the Zetas and Gulf cartels for control of the state's drug networks. Security executives and planners from major American manufacturers heard a similar story at the TAPA meeting, yet the picture they portrayed was far more complicated and did not necessarily provide the easy answer companies may want when trying to decide whether the lower direct manufacturing costs come at too high a price for safety and security. Sam Logan, an author and expert in Mexico's drug wars and a consultant on corporate risk intelligence in Latin America, showed images and detailed statistics that gave a gruesome view of the growing violence as cartels battled for supremacy in parts of Mexico. But Logan also showed a map with very clear borders delineating where rival cartels are spreading violence and where there is relative peace. Mexico, he said, "is a sea of tranquility with pockets of violence." One of those pockets is Ciudad Juarez, the sprawling Mexican industrial city across the border from El Paso, Texas, and a stop on the way from Monterrey into the United States. The border area near Tijuana, too, has grown extremely rough, Logan said. It's unclear whether Mexico has lost business because of the cartel violence. The Post story notes Eurocopter recently backed away from a plan to build a $500 million plant in Monterrey. The plant will go to Mexico, only it will be built in the central Mexican state of Queretaro. An official with the State Department's Overseas Security Advisory Council presented a similarly divided view of the country. This official, who asked that he not be identified, noted cartel soldiers who do not care about bystanders had spread fear in various part of the country with brazen assassinations and shootouts in populated areas.


The OSAC office said a survey of foreign companies doing business in Mexico showed 45 percent said they had seen some impact from cartel violence, but 55 percent had seen no impact. The impact, the OSAC official said, was largely indirect - the violence discourages private sector investment and discourages business travelers from traveling to Mexican cities. And OSAC said its unofficial survey of homicide rates across Latin America showed Mexico far behind other countries, even with the drug violence. The rate of 18 deaths per 100,000 residents in Mexico was less than half the rate in Belize (44) and the rate was four times higher in Venezuela (75) and Honduras (77). And a security official at a major electronics manufacturer told the TAPA meeting about the very aggressive security actions the company takes to guard goods that move from Los Angeles to Mexico, where it stages goods at its main Latin American hub and employs contract manufacturers. This electronics company certainly is aware of the violence around Monterrey, where some of its components are made, but sees a line between the cartel violence and the theft the company guards against. "We have not seen an uptick of cargo theft in Mexico, or at least we don't believe we are seeing anything tied to the cartel activity," said this official, who asked not to be identified. The company is continually assessing its risks. "But at least at this time, and certainly this can change, we don't feel that the cartel activity, the violence, is having an impact on our transiting activity in Juarez," this official said. Still, this company believes it might be cheaper to locate a distribution center on the Mexico side of the border, but they are not moving that operation from the U.S. Starr, P (2010) Monterrey, Mexico Now Off Limits to Children of U.S.-Government Employees, CNSnews, retrieved from:

The U.S. State Department has declared that Monterrey, Mexico is now off limits to the minor children of U.S. government workers because of a recent shooting near an American school in that city and the high incidence of kidnapping there. Monterrey is Mexicos second largest city and is located about 150 miles south of the Texas-Mexico border in the state of Nuevo Leon.


This is the first time the State Department has ever prohibited U.S. government workers from having their dependent children with them when they serve in an official capacity in a Mexican city, Brian Quigley, a spokesman for the U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey, Mexico, told "That's correct, it is," he said. "The official term as of Sept. 10, the U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey has become a partially unaccompanied post. That's the official term for it. What that means is that no minor family member of a U.S. government worker is allowed to be here at post." The travel warning, posted on the State Departments Web site on Sept. 10, cites as one reason for the ban on allowing U.S. government employees to bring their minor children to the city an Aug. 20 incident that took place in front of the American Foundation School there. In this incident, according to the office of the attorney general of Nuevo Leon, members of the Los Zetas criminal gang attacked security personnel from the Mexican bottling company FEMSA. Two of the security personnel were shot to death and four others were kidnapped. A statement from FEMSA, released in Spanish, said its four kidnapped security officers were later released after the kidnappers realized they were not members of a rival gang. The FEMSA security officers routinely patrolled the American Foundation School because it is attended by the children of FEMSA employees and shareholders. The U.S. Consulate in Monterrey responded to the shooting by saying Americans were not targets of the attack.

An investigation is continuing into the details, but at this point it appears that it was an attempted kidnapping targeting the relatives of a local business executive, the Aug. 22 U.S. Consulate statement said. While it does not appear that U.S. families were targeted, the sharp increase in kidnapping incidents in the Monterrey area, and this event in particular, present a very high risk to the families of U.S. citizens who might become incidental victims, the statement said. It is incumbent on all of us to take measures to reduce exposure to risk and enhance personal security. The U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, urged in the statement that U.S. personnel should keep their children at home while the security situation was assessed. On Aug. 27, the State Department announced it was advising U.S. government personnel working at the Consulate in the city to remove their children from lMonterrey because of security concerns and as of Sept. 10 minor dependents of U.S.-government employees would not be permitted in the city.


Based upon a security review in Monterrey following the shooting on August 20, 2010, in front of the American Foundation School in Monterrey and the high incidence of kidnappings in the Monterrey area, U.S. government personnel from the Consulate General have been advised that the immediate, practical and reliable way to reduce the security risks for all children is to remove them from Monterrey, reads the warning from the State Department. As of September 10, 2010, the Consulate General in Monterrey is a partially unaccompanied post, meaning no minor dependents of U.S. government employees are permitted to remain in the city, the warning states. FEMSA, however, downplayed the kidnapping theory and attributed the violence to the general insecurity in Monterrey. The Aug. 24 statement issued by the office of the Nuevo Leon attorney general said it was a matter of mistaken identity and that the gang members apologized when they realized the men were not members of a rival gang. A criminal group that is clearly identified as Los Zetas thought the guards who were there were their enemy, and confronted them unfortunately, this took place outside a school that had nothing to do with the event, the statement, issued in Spanish, said.