November 5, 2007:
Both Mexican and American politicians and security personnel familiar
with the emerging Mexico-US program want to avoid the term "Plan
Mexico." Mexican political leaders are said to be particularly sensitive,
Mexico made it clear several months ago that there would be no US military
personnel or private security personnel involved in the cooperation agreement.
US military personnel have been involved in Colombia, where "Plan
Colombia" has put lots of hurt on drug gangs and leftist rebels.
November 3, 2007: The Popular Revolutionary Army
(EPR) has chosen an interesting political tactic it is seeking to present
itself as an "umbrella resistance organization." The EPR has recently sought to
associate itself with the "teachers' rebellion" in Oaxaca City. Attacking
economic targets (like PEMEX) is also designed to appeal to "old line"
October 31, 2007: The Mexican military is acquiring
a new rifle. At the moment the weapon, the FX-05, is being used by Mexico's
elite Special Forces Airmobile Group (GAFE). The rifle, named the Fire Serpent
(after an Aztec Indian mythological serpent), is manufactured in Mexico.
It is a 5.56 mm automatic rifle.
Eventually (over a period of years), it will replace the Belgian-designed G-3
automatic rifle (a 7.62 mm weapon) which is used throughout the Mexican Army.
October 27, 2007: How will the $500 million the US
has budgeted for the new US-Mexico "cooperative counter-drug proposal" be spent?
According to US sources, at least $60 million will go to train Mexican police
and support Mexican prosecutors and prison operations. Some $300 million will
go for "security" equipment and operations. Mexico wants aircraft, especially
helicopters. The Bell 412 is on Mexico's shopping list and some of that money
may go to purchase this helicopter. However, that remains speculation. Mexico
also needs short-range transport aircraft. On October 26 Mexico's foreign
ministry said that the Mexican government intends to buy transport planes. A
portion of the $500 million will also be used to buy scanning equipment (for
searches of vehicles along Mexico's borders) and new communications equipment.