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Cable sobre las consecuencias del ataque con granadas contra población civil en Morelia

En septiembre de 2008, la representación diplomática de EE UU describe la brutalidad del ataque "sin precedentes" durante una celebración popular por la Independencia de México.

ID: 170274
Date: 2008-09-17 19:57:00
Origin: 08MEXICO2808
Source: Embassy Mexico
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno:
Destination: VZCZCXRO5127
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DE RUEHME #2808/01 2611957
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 171957Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3288
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RHMFISS/CDR USNORTHCOM
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 002808

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/12/2027
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PHUM, SNAR, KCRM, MX
SUBJECT: CALLS FOR ACTION, BUT NO LEADS IN MORELIA GRENADE
ATTACKS

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Charles V. Barclay. Reason:
1.4 (b), (d).

1. (C) Summary. In the aftermath of the September 15 grenade
attacks which claimed at least seven lives and injured
scores, the Calderon government deployed an additional 1200
federal troops, plus more than 300 elements of the federal
police to Morelia. The center of Michoacan's state capital
is in virtual lockdown, report media. The grenade attacks
represent the most random and spectacular attack on innocents
to occur in the context of escalating violence in Mexico, but
no clear theory has yet emerged to explain the carnage.
Embassy law enforcement elements report that several
individuals arrested in the immediate aftermath of the
attacks already have been released and that police contacts
report no solid leads. While political leaders from around
the country have closed ranks for the moment, condemning the
attacks and calling for swift action against the
perpetrators, finger-pointing is likely to ensue in coming
days. End Summary.
2. (SBU) Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) Governor Godoy,
who has publicly supported Calderon's federal troop
deployments and worked closely with federal officials in
combating crime in his state, had just started to ring a bell
at 11pm to honor Mexico's independence when the first grenade
exploded in the main square. A second, seemingly coordinated
explosion occurred minutes later five blocks away. By varying
accounts, the blasts killed seven or eight people and injured
up to 128 more. At least 24 of those hospitalized are
children.

3.(C) There is one unconfirmed report of a brief gun-battle
between police arriving at the scene and armed men in a
truck. Witnesses also report that a heavy set man in his
late 20s or early 30s hurled the first grenade, and then
disappeared into the crowd. A contact in the state attorney
general's office told us that eyewitnesses had helped
investigators produce an image of at least one of the
attackers. State attorney general Miguel Garcia Hurtado told
press that cameras may have identified one or more of the
perpetrators.

4. (C) A day after the attacks, authorities remain uncertain
of their source and motive. Governor Godoy initially told
the public that the attacks were most likely perpetrated
organized crime. Michoacan has become a battleground between
contending cartels, most notably the Sinaloan and Millenium
factions on the one hand, and "The Family" and Zetas on the
other. A PRD Federal Deputy from Michoacan told poloff that
the attack was contrary to the tactics of Michoacan's
dominant "La Familia," which has attempted to cultivate
popular support, but could have been carried out by a rival
cartel. Nevertheless, while cartel bloodletting has often
claimed innocent lives throughout the country, the deliberate
mass targeting of civilian celebrants would be unprecedented
and a significant departure from organized crime's normal
mode of operations.

5. (SBU) Some commentators thought that an element of
Mexico's radical underground might be responsible. However,
Michoacan is not a typical locus of operations for radical
underground groups, such as the EPR, which in the recent past
has mainly targeted economic infrastructure and occasionally
members of security forces.

6. (U) These and other theories, such as a "lone nut"
hypothesis advanced by a few, need more facts to
substantiate. Even the sequence and exact timing of events
in downtown Morelia remain unclear; the two explosions
occurred five blocks and either minutes or seconds apart,
according to varying reports, and authorities are so far
unable to determine whether one or more perpetrator was
responsible for both.

7. (SBU) Regardless of who was responsible, the attacks are
likely to greatly heighten public concern here -- and
occasion political grandstanding by parties positioning
themselves as tough on crime in the run up to legislative
elections next year. For the time being, all political
elements are standing together. President Calderon met with
Governor Godoy, called for national unity and made good on
his promise of an immediate federal response to the attacks
by deploying additional forces to the state and its capital.
Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) President Beatrice

MEXICO 00002808 002 OF 002


Paredes condemned the attacks on behalf of her party and said
it would support any necessary action to maintain the rule of
law in Mexico. The leaders of both the Chamber of Deputies
and Senate demanded swift punishment for the perpetrators.
Each party has put national security at the top of its
political agenda for the coming months. With the independence
day attacks fueling public concern, we can expect them to
highlight them to further distinguish themselves from each
other -- even though their respective approaches to violent
crime in Mexico do not differ fundamentally.
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 /
GARZA