160,000 businesses in Mexico closed due to drug war violence in 2011

April 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Americas


MEXICO CITY — Insecurity created by organized crime in Mexico forced the closure of more than 160,000 companies in 2011 alone, according to the country’s employers confederation Coparmex.

The warning, late Tuesday, came amid raging gangland-style violence across swaths of the country which is blamed for some 50,000 deaths since 2006.

“Organized crime is deteriorating competitiveness… discouraging national and foreign investment, (and) causing the closure of formal businesses. In 2011 alone more than 160,000 companies stopped operating in the country,” according to an online statement from Coparmex President Alberto Espinosa.

Companies were also being forced to pay higher insurance premiums, of up to 30 percent in badly-hit northern areas near the US border, Espinosa said.

“Insecurity in Mexico is reaching levels not seen in decades,” he added, lamenting that business leaders and families were leaving the country to seek security elsewhere.

Espinosa called for a revision of the anti-crime strategy of the government of President Felipe Calderon, which includes the deployment of tens of thousands of soldiers and been accompanied by a striking rise in violence in some areas.

He also criticized impunity seen in “98 percent” of crimes.

Just three months before general elections, the employers’ leader called for a new strategy and “clear promises” from the main presidential candidates. Calderon is constitutionally barred from standing for a second term.


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U.S. Special Ops Commander and Navy SEAL to Oversee Mexican Military Training

March 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Americas, Featured

Mexican special operations team conducts field training exercise in the Yucatan Peninsula. Photo published by the newspaper El Universal.

By Mario Andrade
March 20, 2012

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has a new member who’s now responsible for the training of Mexican troops, according to KGBT news. Rear Admiral Colin Kilrain, a U.S. Navy SEAL will oversee the training that Mexican troops need to fight the drug cartels.

One of the proponents of the idea to send the Rear Admiral and Navy SEAL to Mexico is Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar. In an interview with KGBT, Cuellar said:

“Just using brute force doesn’t work anymore. You need to have intelligence, technology, training and operations to make sure that they do win. We’ve always had military attaches. This just meets a higher level.”

The Admiral’s arrival follows a recent secret meeting between the U.S. and Mexican military forces in Matamoros, Mexico, as well as the failed capture of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman two weeks ago in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Last year, DeadlineLive.info reported that a joint U.S.-Mexico training base was being built in Puebla, Mexico. The 54-acre facility will cost tax payers $22 million. It will have barracks for about 500 personnel, two conference auditoriums, two chow halls, a helicopter landing area, four watch towers, a gun range, a forensic lab, a training court room, as well as smoke and fire simulation buildings.

Although the base is supposed to be a police academy, local residents and public officials claim that the base will be used for special forces training -both law enforcement and military.

Opponents of President Felipe Calderon are accusing him of ‘bin-ladenizing’ the attempts to capture Joaquin Guzman –the most wanted drug lord in the world. Now that a Navy SEAL will be training Mexican troops, critics are now bracing for a spectacular capture of Guzman, which will boost the National Action Party presidential candidate and Calderon’s would-be successor, Josefina Vazquez Mota to power.

Rear Admiral Colin Kilrain currently serves in the National Security Council. Before retiring from active duty, Admiral Kilrain was commander of Naval Special Warfare Group Two in Norfolk, Va. He was responsible for coordinating Navy SEAL deployments and operations in Europe and the Americas.

Both U.S. and Mexican governments have admitted that American special operations teams are currently deployed in Mexico, serving in ‘advisory roles.’