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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.


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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September 13, 2012


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Great analysis, Sylvia.

I think that the arrest of Costilla will force the Sinaloa Cartel to have greater presence in Tamaulipas. They cannot allow Los Zetas to erase the Gulf Cartel off the map, since they are the only access El Chapo has in northeastern Mexico. It could really go both sides: if Los Zetas hit a powerful blow before El Chapo can do anything, the CDG will be done. But if El Chapo makes a smart moves to muscle-up the CDG, everything will be fine.

Remember that Los Zetas are living an infighting too, so making an incursion to the turfs of the CDG will probably not be that easy (and especially if El Chapo goes all in to help the Gulf Cartel).

Let me present a Mexican "man on the street" point of view on the arrests of the Gulf cartel hierarchy. I've spoken with several Mexican citizens, middle class to lower middle class, both here and in Mexico, about these arrests and the almost universal take is that "ya empezaron los arreglos del PRI". In other words, PRI President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto is already exerting influence in national affairs and the traditional PRI arrangements with drug cartels has already begun. As they see it, these arrests of the Gulf cartel leadership point to an accommodation by the government with Los Zetas, and the dismantlement of the lesser Gulf cartel in order to end the war between both criminal organizations that have brought so much grief and violence to northeastern Mexico. It is a return to a time when the government dictated terms to the drug cartels.

Maybe this view is true, maybe not, but it is entirely believable to these men in light of of the behavior of the Mexican state in its collusion with drug cartels under past PRI presidential administrations.


If this narrative turns out to be correct I wonder if it will in fact increase the violence as the other groups fight for survival? And is it possible that violence will shift more and more from cartel versus cartel to cartel versus the state?

Ms. Longmire,

I saw your analysis suggesting arresting the cartel King Pins will do little to reduce the violence, which I suspect is true, but you didn't offer an alternative strategy? I suspect this focus on group leadership is based on our historic misunderstanding of insurgencies, crime, and terrorism. Occassionally some groups are personality based, not many, yet we (globally) tend to default to focusing on the leadership.

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