|06HERMOSILLO55||2006-02-11 06:31:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Consulate Hermosillo|
VZCZCXRO3519 PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM DE RUEHHO #0055 0420631 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 110631Z FEB 06 FM AMCONSUL HERMOSILLO TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1275 INFO RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 0373 RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE RUEHHO/AMCONSUL HERMOSILLO 1636
UNCLAS HERMOSILLO 000055
1. (SBU) The Consulate Hermosillo Emergency Action Committee
(EAC) met February 10 to discuss a surge during the last week of
drug-related violence and developments in the city and the state
of Sonora. Some of the events that drew post's attention were:
-- On February 7, beginning at 0830 hrs, UMAN police, a mixed
unit that focuses on drug trafficking, engaged in a 90 minute
pursuit of a van belonging to a local business (papeleria)
through the streets of south Hermosillo. The chase took place
in the area near the city zoo and the Ford assembly plant and,
at times, reportedly reached speeds of 140 km/hr (over 90 MPH)
before ending when two tires on the van were punctured. Police
found a ton of marijuana in the van and detained two suspects.
-- On February 8, soldiers at the Benjamin Hill inspection point
(PRECOS) on Highway 15 North discovered more than two tons of
marijuana hidden in a truckload of furniture. The driver said
he had picked up his trailer in Hermosillo but denied any
knowledge that he was transporting drugs.
-- Also on February 8, people in two cars, apparently members of
rival drug gangs, engaged in a shootout in north Hermosillo
around 1930 hrs. Police intervened and detained one of the
vehicles containing two suspects, both of whom are believed to
be former Sonora State policemen, near a gated community where
the Consulate houses one family and close to the homes of two
FSNs. Police confiscated two AK 47 automatic weapons and a 38
caliber semi-automatic pistol. The second vehicle escaped. No
one is known to have been killed or wounded in the exchange of
-- In the city of Navajoa on February 9, unknown gunman fired
shots at a business and home belonging to a family named
Enriquez, two members of which were murdered last year in
organized crime violence. Reportedly, nobody was at home during
this attack. No one was injured.
2. (SBU) The EAC considered whether these separate incidents
could be characterized as a permanent change in the public
security situation in the Sonora area of Consulate Hermosillo's
consular district that would require changes in our local
security posture. While drug and other crime-related street
violence are common in parts of Sinaloa, such events have been
relatively rare in Hermosillo.
3. (SBU) The EAC concluded that the situation requires careful
vigilance but could not yet be described as a new trend or
permanent condition of public insecurity. This is also the
public posture of Roberto Ruibal Astiazaran, Secretary of
Government for Sonora State.
4. (SBU) DEA is continuing its contacts with Mexican authorities
to gain more information about these developments, but at this
time the EAC does not recommend specific changes in procedures
for Consulate personnel, or special warnings to the American
community, in the aftermath of this higher level of public
violence in Hermosillo over the last few days.
5. (SBU) The EAC did discuss in general terms what "tripwires"
(specific credible threat, continuing higher levels of public
violence, etc) might trigger revised security procedures. We
will return to this question in future meetings.
6. (SBU) Participants in the EAC were PO Clarke, DEA RAC
Martinez, Consular Section Chief Bendsen, ICE Agent Trevino, and
Post Security Officer Fisk-Telchi.