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Cable sobre la escalada de violencia de La Familia

Después de la matanza de 16 policías en julio de 2009, la representación diplomática de EE UU en México advirtió del recrudecimiento del conflicto en el Estado de Michoacán

ID: 217166
Date: 2009-07-17 19:46:00
Origin: 09MEXICO2093
Source: Embassy Mexico
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno: 09MEXICO2039
Destination: VZCZCXRO0462
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #2093/01 1981946
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 171946Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7475
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM
RHMFISS/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MEXICO 002093

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/15/2019
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, PINR, PREL, KCRM, SNAR, MX
SUBJECT: LA FAMILIA CONTINUES RAMPAGE IN MICHOACAN

REF: MEXICO 2039

Classified By: Acting Political Minister Counselor James P. Merz for re
asons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: The Michoacan-based crime syndicate, "La
Familia", has launched a sustained and deadly reprisal
campaign against Mexican Law enforcement, unprecedented in
its brutality. Per reftel, the attacks commenced in
retaliation for the arrest of high ranking La Familia member
Arnoldo Rueda Medina "La Minsa" on July 11. On July 13,
tortured cadavers of 12 police officers were discovered in a
pile along a main highway in Michoacan. Government officials
insist they remain undeterred in efforts to combat organized
crime. The Governor of Michoacan met with Attorney General
Eduardo Medina-Mora on July 13 to discuss next steps in
responding to these attacks and offer assistance. Shortly
after, government officials announced charges against the
Governor's half-brother and recently elected PRD Congressman,
Julio Godoy Toscano. He is suspected of serving as La
Familia's head of drug operations in the southeast region of
Michoacan. While the cartels attack federal officials
regularly in Mexico, these attacks demonstrate La Familia,s
impressive command and coordination ability, not to mention
its headline grabbing depravity. End of Summary


La Familia Steps Up the Violence

2. (C) La Familia continued its attacks on the Mexican
Federal Police, Secretaria de Seguridad Publica (SSP),
following the arrest of "La Minsa" on July 11. After a
series of hit and run attacks throughout the weekend, La
Familia stepped up its offensive by capturing, torturing and
killing 12 off-duty federal police officers on July 13. La
Familia operatives reportedly stormed the rented house where
the cops were staying and transported them to another
location, where they were tortured and executed. The killers
left a taunting note near the bodies that said, "Come for us
again. We are waiting for you." Ten of the officers were
former Special Investigative Unit (SIU) members and had
attended various U.S. training courses.


Why Now?

3. (SBU) La Familia is currently locked in a war with the
rival cartel Los Zetas. Per reftel, SSP agents apprehended
Rueda Medina during a shoot-out between cartel members at two
safe-houses in Morelia. According to Mexican Attorney
General (PGR) sources, the turf war is a product of La
Familia's recent alliance of convenience with the drug cartel
Pacifico and other drug trafficking organizations (DTO)
headed-up by Nacho Coronel and Nava Valencia. This loose
alliance significantly increased La Familia's domain and
established the group as a major player in the
methamphetamine market. Los Zetas, meanwhile, are trying to
re-gain territory and lost market share.

4. (C) PGR advised that La Familia is a complete organized
crime syndicate, not only involved in drug trafficking but
also extortion, money laundering, kidnapping and corruption.
A semi-religious fervor, akin to a cult, is said to inspire
La Familia's campaign, with some of its adherents referring
to the marijuana and cocaine markets as "God-given" gifts.
Bizarrely, the group routinely professes to support law
enforcement efforts and even President Calderon,s
prosecution of the cartels. La Familia has distribution
outlets in Mexico as well as the U.S. It allows its members
to use marijuana and cocaine but cautions them against
addiction and prohibits the use of methamphetamines. The
group has reportedly established its own rehabilitation
centers for members who become addicted. On the other hand,
the manmade substance of methamphetamines is solely for
distribution to the American "gringo" market in order to
poison U.S. society. Thus far in 2009, 42 of the 62
meth-labs uncovered in Mexico were located in Michoacan.
This shows La Familia's growing influence in the
methamphetamine market, as well as the government's growing
interest in going after them in President Calderon,s home
state. The cult-like allegiance of the group's members to
the principles of La Familia is said to contribute to its
virulent hatred of non-members and drives the violent attacks

MEXICO 00002093 002 OF 003


on the group's rivals or adversaries.

Government Response

5. (C) During follow-up operations on July 14, the Mexican
federal police detained 18 Michoacan municipal police
officers and transported them to the Attorney General's
office in Mexico City for questioning regarding their
involvement in the attacks on SSP officers. DEA sources also
report that Mexican federal agents arrested Francisco Javier
Frias-Lara (AKA El Chivo) on 13 July. Mexican Authorities
identify Frias-Lara as the head of La Familia's assassination
squad. He is suspected of coordinating the assassination of
the 12 federal police officers.

6. (SBU) President Calderon immediately responded to the
attacks insisting that, "The criminals will not be able to
intimidate the federal government. In this battle, we will
not give-up and we will not hesitate." The PRD released a
press statement saying that "We will not protect anybody in
this political organization who has committed a crime.
Today, more than ever, coordination between federal security
forces and the state government of Michoacan are needed."

7. (SBU) Separately, Technical Secretary of the National
Security Council Monte Alejandro Rubido announced July 14 the
issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Julio Cesar Godoy
Toscano for protecting operations run by La Familia in the
region of Lazaro Cardenas, Arteaga, and Nueva Italia. Godoy
Toscano is the half-brother of the Michoacan Governor, Leonel
Godoy. Additionally, Godoy Toscano is a member of the PRD who
was recently elected as a representative to congress for
Michoacan. Governor Godoy firmly backed the federal
government's operations in his state saying, "Any person from
Michoacan who is responsible for a crime has to face the
consequences and if they are innocent they should also get a
fair process."

8. (C) In a July 14 phone conversation between DEA and PGR,
the PGR seemed reluctant to engage in a full scale offensive
in Michoacan. However just two days later, the mood quickly
shifted as the federal government deployed an additional 1000
SSP officers to the region. And when a principal member of
La Familia, Servando "La Tuta" Gomez, offered a truce to the
government in a phone call to a Mexico radio station,
Secretary of the Interior Gomez-Mont responded by saying,
"The Federal Government does not ever dialogue, does not
negotiate, and does not reach deals with any criminal
organization."

9. (C) Comment. This is the second time in the last two
months that Leonel Godoy has been in the narco hot-seat.
Following the surprise arrest by federal officers of 10
mayors, one judge, and 16 other local officials in his state,
authorities performed extensive checks into the background of
the Governor. According to open source reports, a 2007 FBI
assessment said that the Gulf Cartel financed the Governor's
2007 campaign. The Wall Street Journal repeated the claim on
July 3, 2007. The Governor strongly denied the accusations
and has avoided any further implications. As of now, there
are no indications that he is directly involved in any
organized crime in his state, but speculation continues.
However, with so much attention focused so close to home,
Godoy's political future is certainly under threat.

10. (C) The escalation of violence in Michoacan, coupled
with the execution of highly trained SSP federal officers,
has dealt a severe blow to SSP operations targeting La
Familia members. Of course, the successful arrest of Rueda
Medina will debilitate La Familia, at least temporarily.
Federal officials insist they remain determined to take on
organized crime networks, but morale among the rank and file
varies greatly given the threat of additional brutal
counter-attacks. The Michoacan region is mountainous and
remote in many places, the perfect battlefield for the
guerilla-like tactics employed by La Familia. We have little
reason to believe we have seen the last of the violent
altercations between law enforcement officials and La Familia
in Michoacan.

Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /

MEXICO 00002093 003 OF 003



FEELEY