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I am a consultant and analyst with eight years of military law enforcement experience, six years of analytical experience covering Latin America, and over seven years of analytical experience covering Mexican TCOs and border violence issues. This blog is designed to inform readers about current border violence issues and provide analysis on those issues, as well as detailed focus on specific border topics. By applying my knowledge and experience through this blog, I hope to separate the wheat from the chaff...that is, dispel rumors propagated by sensationalist media reporting, explain in layman's terms what is going on with Mexican TCOs, and most importantly, WHY violence is happening along the US-Mexico border.

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With over a dozen years of combined experience in military law enforcement, force protection analysis, and writing a variety of professional products for the US Air Force, state government in California, and the general public, Ms. Longmire has the expertise to create a superior product for you or your agency to further your understanding of Mexico’s drug war. Longmire Consulting is dedicated to being on the cusp of the latest developments in Mexico in order to bring you the best possible analysis of threats posed by the drug violence south of the border.

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May 08, 2011

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You are right. What is quite interesting is that we live in a world where we would prefer not to know what went into the construction of those Nike shoes (sweat shops) or how the meat in the Grocery store got to be in it's sealed little packet (if we all went to the abitoir half of the world would turn vegetarian) or walking past the homeless man and pretending they arent there. We kind of live in this bubble that we would prefer to stay in. And the rich don't care regardless where their white powder comes from. There's a wide wall we can't see over now. I'm an optimist though and I think if there is enough determination from the Mexican people at least there may be some changes that would be domestically beneficial. Surely it just couldn't be all for nothing can it?

@Liam - I really hope it's not all for nothing. I do believe they can make a difference in Mexico if they're unified, focused, and persistent. The movement is pushing for changes that are desperately needed internally in Mexico. Even if you eliminate drug use in the US, the Mexican government still needs to significantly reduce corruption (you'll never eliminate it completely) so that the people can have faith in their politicians and police again.

Sylvia,

There are many people who support the war and then there are many other people who don't. The "movement" that has been organizing these protests tend to point fingers at the federal authorities. In their meeting for example these people, led by Sicilia, demanded Calderon to fire Garcia Luna, Mexico's Security Secretay.
It was really interesting to how they didn't demand the governors of Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Coahuila and other heavily infested states to also step down, they didn't demand the corrupted municipal authorities of Tampico, Matamoros, Saltillo, Cd. Juarez and many other cities to resign too.

It saddens me quite a bit that this and other "movements' seem to take a political-ideological position in their demands. When Garcia Luna's forces were persecuting Julio César Godoy, a PRD Congressmen with ties to the Michoacan Family mafia, whose telephone conversations with drug lord of that organization were made public, the PRD Congressmen hid and protected him in congress until it was clear for everyone that the prd congressmen had strong ties with the narco mafia, Where were all these people then? Why don't they mention him a single time in their demands? The man in on the run now.

Last weekend something extraordinary occurred in my hometown Monterrey, the Municipal Police forces of Guadalupe, a suburbian area next to Monterrey, fought against zeta criminals, after the shooting, they were able to arrest several of them, six municipal policen were wounded, but thanks god none died. This would have been impossible a few years ago, the Calderon administration has sent the army all over the country cleaning many local police authorities from corrupted policemen and providing them support to help get their communities back.
Everyday we read of criminals killed or arrested by our federal authorities all over the country. This fight is good for Mexico, this is our fight and no ideologically-predisposed movement will take it away from us.

Jose--Very interesting to hear your reports on Monterrey. I also thought most Mexicans were pretty cynical when it comes to their police. It sounds as if you (and the nation?) are gaining confidence in them little by little.

As a friend of mine once liked to say "Anything worth having is worth working for."

We wish you there in Monterrey and Mexico all the best in your fight.

I surprised the that this peace movement has not been coopted by the cartels. If you read the banners the cartels post next to decapitated bodies, all they want is peace and to protect innocent citizens and fight against the the "bad" cartels (usually their competitors) who are vitimizing poor innocent people.

The Taliban in Afgh are a tough adversary not because they go into a village to rape and pillage, but because they go into a village offering weapons, security and justice. It is only time before the peace loving cartels tap into this movement and make it their own. Pretty soon you will have a nation of accidental guerillas fighting for the cartels.

It is an insurgency down south. It it nice to see the people stand up but it is going to take more than "peace" movements to stop this problem. A Just Peace does not mean the absence of war.

Oh dear Sylvia
This "drug war" is crazy, a madness that you perpetuate, and your lack of attention to the reality is amazing. I was a small boy when this war on drugs was declared by Richard Nixon. That was a long time ago. So lets look at the progress made over the years. Just look at the reality of the progress made. Today, I and most any citizen have greater access to mexican weed that is of a higher quality and cheaper than when I was in high school (30 years ago). I would never buy it (mexican weed that is) because If I wanted I can choose a better product from a local grower who also happens to be a US citizen. According to the previous Arizona AG Terry Goddard, the product of greatest volume is weed (marijuana), ganja, herb, Call it what you like, this item is a huge economic resource for the mexican economy. After billions of dollars and decades of effort, the product is cheaper and of higher quality. According to Charles Bowden, (tucson writer) the drug trade is the mexican economy. The majority of that illigal trade is the herb. You would have thought that we learned in the 20's and 30's that goverements cannot legislate human behavior regarding what people put into their bodies. Free will or personal choice, regardless of what is legislated people will do as they wish. In 30 years the demand has not waivered, nor has the supply. Is it because of the demand of so many bad people? Violent Criminals? It is true that USA is responsible, but not for the reason of its citizens free will, but due to the decisions from poor leadership and the unleashing of a war against its own citizens that generates huge growing government budgets and the worlds largest prison complex, the problem IS the war. The greed and money laundry activities of major US banks and Wall Street is also a real contributor. This war is failing because it is unjust. The breakdown of justice is what we see in Mexico and here in the US of A, this continues to spread across the region. The lady Justice on both sides of the border is in great distress. It just seems like your piece talks in pandering circles. Thanks for reading.

Writing today from Playa Medano, Cabo San Lucas

On El Dia de la Madre in Mexico, its fitting to discuss this "people's revolution" to stop the drug wars and most importantly the ever increasing violence. The article I read in the US newspapers estimated the turnout for the march for peace on sunday as 100,000 to 200,000. In a country of 112 million I was hoping for greater participation. My friends in CSL, both mothers, say there were no marches in Cabo and didn't even seem well informed about this effort to take back control of their society.

Although we can all sympathize with the goals of the march participants, their message does seem diffuse and more plaintive than specific concrete demands. I'm not sure what more the government of President Calderon can do to stop the violence, unless the government attempts to broker a truce with the drug cartels. The government has already mobilized all the local, state and federal police, the army and marines and the violence still increases in number and severity. The drug cartel leaders are presumably oblivious to the violence or consider it the price of doing business although I don't expect them to be sympathetic to the marchers demands, since the cartels are instigating the violence.

I've often wondered about the possible role of the church, specifically the Roman Catholic Church, as the only major institution of stature in Mexico which does not seem involved in this debate over the drug war and resulting violence. Specifically I've wondered if a leader of the Roman Catholic Church would emerge to lead a nascent people's revolution, similar to Father Hidalgo in the Mexican Independence. Wikipedia says 80% of Mexicans are Catholics and 10 % more are of various Christian denominations. My understanding is that the church in Mexico has much greater influence in the lives and beliefs of Mexican citizens than in the US.

Unfortunately I suspect the violence will continue to increase in tempo and intensity until some tipping point is reached.

What needs to be done is arm the population. In Mexico only the bad guys have the guns, which makes the population helpless in the face of the cartels. If the townspeople could fight back and run the cartels out of their towns the cartels would lose control of large areas. That's one of the reasons you don't see headless bodies here in the US. Our police for one thing shoots anybody that points a gun at them. And the US population is one of the most heavily armed in the world.

Beltonwall,

Some say the best steel is tempered in fire, I think this is Mexico's hour to temper its steel in fire. I think we are indeed regaining our confidence in our police forces, and we owe to them when we see them getting wounded, giving their lives for our communities. There's a lot corruption, there's an uphill battle for our society. But many communities all over Mexico are beginning to understand that they have to pay their police forces better, that they have to have better trained, better prepared policemen. Their salaries have risen two, three fold in the past several years. in Nuevo Leon policemen salary went from 300 USD per month to now more than 900 per month, their benefits packages are also increasing, they are also undergoing training and are better equipped. Many were fired, the old police bosses are gone, the new ones come from the army and the marines, understand military tactics and value loyalty and discipline more than anything.

Many of us are seeing these changes. So there are good reasons to be positive about what is happening to us now.

@barb3000 "What needs to be done is arm the population."
Guns are only a tool. You need to change the culture so the people are willing to use that tool. Mexicans need to realized that their duties come from God not Government. And that their rights are given to them by God, not government, so they are able to fulfill their duties. If they abdicate thier duties to the government they also give up their rights. Unless this changes Mexians will continue to be slaves to socialist governments or to the cartels; both of which are criminal organizations.

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