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Cienfuegos, United States and the Navy 2020/10/19

October 19, 2020

By Carlos Matienzo

In the accusatory document presented by the US authorities against General Salvador Cienfuegos there is an alias that appears repeatedly: H-2. It is the nickname of Juan Francisco Patron Sánchez, who inherited control of the organization of the Beltran Leyva and who, according to the Americans, supposedly benefited the general secretary.

Research on the government support network of the H-2 they are not new. This character is also central in another case based in New York: that of Édgar Veytia, a former Nayarit prosecutor. Veytia headed the security apparatus of that state from 2013 to 2017 and established an authentic pax narca which produced the lowest homicide levels in Nayarit’s recent history and which rebounded more than 300% after his arrest.

A month before Veytia was arrested, the H-2 he had been killed in an impressive operation carried out by the Mexican Navy in Tepic. The sailors, from a gunship helicopter, fired towards the place where the criminal was and the shocking images were captured by inhabitants of that city.

Today, in light of the accusations against General Hundred fires, this operation takes on relevance again. Surely by 2017 the DEA already considered that senior Army commanders collaborated with the H-2 and it is probable that they handed over intelligence information to the Navy to be shot down. This is a testament to the long history of mistrust between the United States counter-narcotics authorities and the Mexican Army, contrary to the good relationship they have with our sailors.

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We are talking, then, of one more chapter of American paternalism over our security apparatus. Our war against the drug cartels cannot be understood without the pressures, political ups and downs and interests of our northern neighbor.

That is why you have to read the arrest of Hundred fires —More than as an act of justice of those who have cared little about collaborating with corrupt and criminal organizations in the past — as a slap from the United States to continue ruling in this war. Above all, in front of a Mexican President who decided to empower that corporation they distrust so much like no one else.

Just on the same day they arrested Hundred firesHours earlier, the head of the Sedena had sent a letter to his counterpart from Semar advising him that, on the instructions of the President, he would take operational control of all the sailors assigned to the National Guard. It is a coincidence that both events coincide in date, but, beyond that, with the audacious coup from the United States against the Army, it is inevitable to think that the correlation of forces between both units will change.

If the President of Mexico had tipped the balance toward the soldiers, the others who decide in this war do so toward the sailors. This situation, if not well managed, can generate a storm inside the security cabinet in the middle of one of the most violent periods in our history.

Given this scenario, it would be worth taking advantage of the departure of Alfonso Durazo from the Secretary of Security to put a civilian who can be above military storms; That he correct the imbalance that the President has created and that he order, even rethink, the bilateral security relationship with the United States.

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The arrest of Salvador Cienfuegos It shakes everything up and at the same time reaffirms that nothing has changed: the Americans want us to continue this war on their terms.

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