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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07MEXICO5395
2007-10-10 22:22:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Mexico
Cable title:  

U.S. AND MEXICAN CONGRESSMEN SEEK COMMON GROUND

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  SNAR  KCRM  MASS  MX 
pdf how-to read a cable
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DE RUEHME #5395/01 2832222
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FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9169
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 005395 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/08/2027
TAGS: PGOV PREL SNAR KCRM MASS MX
SUBJECT: U.S. AND MEXICAN CONGRESSMEN SEEK COMMON GROUND
SECURITY COOPERATION

Classified By: CDA Leslie A. Bassett. Reason: 1.4 (b),(d).



1. (SBU) SUMMARY. CODEL Reyes met with representatives
from Mexico's leading political parties October 8 to exchange
views on enhanced USG/GOM security cooperation. Reyes
understood the security package under consideration could
come before the U.S. Congress within weeks but was ambivalent
about the timetable for reviewing it given competing
priorities. Mexico's Congressional delegation expressed
sensitivity about attendant conditionality and use of the
word "assistance" vice "cooperation" with some of the more
leftist representatives stressing the importance of more
attention to Mexico's development needs. Reyes delivered an
invitation on behalf of U.S. House Speaker Pelosi to the
Mexican Congressmen to visit Washington to continue their
dialogue. Both sides expressed hope that enhanced dialogue
over sensitive issues including security cooperation
represented a new chapter in our relationship. END SUMMARY.

The Players



2. (SBU) U.S. Congressmen Silvester Reyes (D-TX), Ciro
Rodriguez (D-TX), Gene Green (D-TX) and Ed Pastor (D-AZ)
visited Mexico October 8-9 on the invitation of Senator
Ricardo Garcia Cervantes, the President of the Mexican
Senate's Foreign Affairs North American Commission, to
discuss forging greater cooperation in the fight against
narco-trafficking. Garcia Cervantes invited legislators from
the PRI, PAN, PRD, and Mexican Green Party (PVEM)
representing both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate
(with SRE U/S for North American Affairs Carlos Rico sitting
in) to participate in the discussion. Reyes stressed that he
was in Mexico at the request of House Speaker Pelosi who
strongly supported dialogue between the U.S. and Mexican
legislative branches on a range of issues, but most
immediately prospects for enhanced security cooperation.
Reyes advised his Mexican hosts that Speaker Pelosi hoped the
Mexican Congress would send a delegation to Washington to
continue the dialogue and mark a new prospect for cooperation
between the two legislatures.

Next Steps?



3. (C) In responding to Garcia Cervantes' request for his
take on where our countries' security cooperation package
stood, Reyes confirmed that he understood the package could
come forward in the next 2-3 weeks, and that President Bush
and Calderon would make some kind of joint announcement.
Without details regarding the package or the funding
mechanism, Reyes said he could not really describe the next
steps, especially as much would depend on Speaker Pelosi's
decisions (in conjunction with Senate Majority leader Harry
Reid). Rep. Pastor (who is now head of the
Inter-Parliamentary Group -IPG) interjected that the U.S.
Congress already faced a backlog of work pending between

budget bills as well as a battle with the Administration over
budget amounts that could prompt a veto. Even if some kind
of package was delivered to Congress in the next several
weeks, it wasn't clear when the House would get to it.
Should Mexican Congress members travel to Washington, it
would be important to stress the urgency to Mexico of this
initiative to help give it a higher priority on the calendar.
Pastor warned that any enhanced cooperation with Mexico
could also bring out strong reactions from the same voices
which spoke against Mexico in the migration debate and that
Mexico should be prepared for that.

Mexico's Concerns



4. (C) Mexico's delegation was generally supportive of
enhanced cooperation for law enforcement/CT purposes,
conveying concerns on the following points:

-- conditionalities: It was noted that Mexico could not
accept conditionalities which are extraneous to the package
or which in any way imply a violation of Mexico's
sovereignty. When NAFTA was negotiated it was made clear no
extraneous issues like migration could be attached to it.
The same should apply in this instance. Pastor replied that
the security cooperation package under consideration
represented an important effort and that our two legislatures
needed to maintain close contact as the package came before
the U.S. House for consideration.

-- assistance: The security cooperation package should not
be presented as a unilateral assistance package as Mexicans
do not/not see this as a resource issue. Instead our
enhanced cooperation should be cast as a mutual effort with
each side contributing what it is best able to offer in a
common struggle. Reyes noted that it was important that both
congresses be seen as part of the process leading to an

MEXICO 00005395 002 OF 002


agreement as it represented an historic opportunity for both
sides.

-- prosperity: The three representatives from the leftist
PRD stressed that there would be no security without
prosperity and called on the USG to consider carefully
balancing the security component of the package with dialogue
on development issues signaling a desire to see a development
component folded into the security package.

-- migration: The three PRD representatives also raised the
need for a "permanent working group" to discuss migration and
human rights, perhaps in a North American context (with
Canada).

-- supplemental: At least one Mexican Senator expressed
reservations about the security package being included in a
supplemental with Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Pastor sought to
allay this concern remarking that this was just on vehicle
possibility and that in any case it would not imply we equate
our cooperation with Mexico with our policies in Iraq and
Afghanistan.

A Common Front Before the Public



5. (SBU) Reyes and Garcia Cervantes echoed each other's
commitment to enhanced security cooperation in response to
common challenges in speaking to the press October 9. Reyes
remarked that he had undertaken dialogue with his Mexican
counterparts as early as January of this year at House
Speaker Pelosi's request. He publicly extended an invitation
to Mexico's Congressional leaders to visit Washington to
continue their dialogue on security cooperation. He allowed
for the U.S. Congress' role in amending and approving of any
security package. Garcia Cervantes accepted Speaker Pelosi's
invitation and announced that he was planned to participate
in a high-level Congressional visit to Washington within 15
days. He remarked that discussions the day prior had touched
on the Calderon government's achievements in the fight
against narco-trafficking. Both sides conveyed optimism
about forging support within their respective institutions
for enhanced security cooperation.



6. (C) COMMENT. Mexico's Congressional delegation stressed
its desire to forge a new relationship with the U.S. Congress
based on mutual respect and called on the U.S. Congress to
define whether it was ready to enter into a genuine
partnership with Mexico that would allow the two sides to
forge constructive approaches on immigration, trade, and
security. The U.S. Congress members assured their Mexican
counterparts that House Speaker Pelosi was committed to
building a stronger relationship with Mexico's Congress.
While some members of Mexican delegation conveyed some
sensitivities about elements attending enhanced security
cooperation between our countries, the meeting effectively
contributed to support in principle by all parties for
greater cooperation in fighting common challenges. A
follow-on Mexican visit to Washington properly timed to
assure good meetings with senior U.S. congressional officials
sensitive to the importance of relationship with Mexico
should contribute to support within the Mexican Congress for
enhanced security cooperation. END COMMENT.



7. (SBU) Codel Reyes did not clear this cable.





Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /
BASSETT