Mexico's chief security spokesman Alejandro Poiré.
Latin America: Week in Review, Mexico

Mexico’s La Familia Cartel Offers To Dissolve If Mexico Protects Its Citizens

November 11, 2010 By Staff

Mexico's chief security spokesman Alejandro Poiré.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — A letter allegedly sent by one of Mexico’s major drug cartels, which offers to dissolve the group if the government promises to protect citizens, was dropped in the streets of some mountain towns in the western state of Michoacán, authorities said Wednesday.

The one-page letter, allegedly signed by “La Familia Michoacana” drug cartel, said that if the government protects the residents of the western state where the cartel is based, the group will cease activities. The letter was also sent to reporters and displayed on a banner above an overpass

Prosecutors in Mexico couldn’t immediately verify the letter’s authenticity, or the purported intentions of the cartel, but said that the Mexican government will not negotiate with the cartels.

“If the government accepts this pledge publicly and carries it out, the Michoacán Family will disband so that it can no longer serve as the motive for federal authorities in abusing the human rights of Michoacan residents,” the letter said, according to The Miami Herald.

The letter says that La Familia wants to protect its home and promises to disband if federal police act honestly and fight to defend the state of Michoacán.

If the letter is authentic, this would be the first time any of Mexico’s drug cartels has made such an offer to authorities. But the letter has been met with skepticism due to La Familia’s reputation for religious zeal, gruesome beheadings and its reach as far as California’s Central Valley.

In other news related in Mexico’s ongoing drug war, a new report stated that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) does not sufficiently share intelligence information with its counterpart in Mexico and is undermining Project Gunrunner, which seeks to stem the US-Mexican cross-border arms traffic.

“We found that ATF does not systematically and consistently exchange intelligence with its Mexican and some U.S. partner agencies,” said the internal Justice Department report on Project Gunrunner, according to AFP.

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