Chapo and Mourino

Proceso magazine has a piece this week by journalist Anabel Hernandez, the author of a new drug book, “Los Senores del Narco.”

Hernandez has done several years of reporting on this, and done a fair amount of document investigation pertaining to Chapo. I’m excited to read her book, although my guess is that it will contain much that many of us already know. (Full disclosure, my book does the same.)

But a few bits of the excerpt in Proceso are enlightening (link in title of post). For instance, Hernandez recounts a meeting in early 2008, in which an unnamed general over the age of 65 met with Chapo on orders of Los Pinos, to discuss a pact. The general allegedly had been a close confidant of the late Juan Camilo Mourino since 2007.

There have been reports of a meeting between Chapo and local officials before. These reports also had it taking place in 2008, but I’ve never read about a Los Pinos/military link. The meeting allegedly took place in the hills of Durango, according to previous reports.

The revelations about Mourino are bound to cause a stir in Mexico. First off, he’s dead – no way to issue an impassioned denial. Second, Mourino was one of Calderon’s top aides and friends. If he ordered any pact, then Calderon would most likely have been complicit.

I don’t buy any of it, personally. First off, I genuinely believe Calderon is trying to fight this war, and that includes taking down the Sinaloa cartel. Second, to send a high-ranking general to meet face-to-face with Chapo would be akin to the White House sending Gen. Petraeus to have a fireside chat with Osama bin Laden.

I know that generals have been linked to the narcos in the past, and I know they’ve met with them before. But for Los Pinos to send their man to meet with the enemy to discuss a pact? I just can’t see it happening, sorry.