Pentagon Helps Train Mexican Military

January 18, 2013

m16 gun closeupAnimal Politio, 1/18/2013

El Pentágono aumentará la ayuda que presta a México en la sangrienta lucha contra el narcotráfico, mediante el establecimiento de un nuevo cuartel de operaciones especiales en Estados Unidos, en el cual podrán entrenarse los efectivos mexicanos para enfrentar a los cárteles de la droga de la misma forma en que las fuerzas estadounidenses combaten a Al-Qaeda, dijeron funcionarios en Washington.

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Organized Crime Sparks Military Industrial Complex

December 17, 2012

Guns by Flickr user barjackReforma, 12/17/2012

The military’s participation in the fight against organized crime in Mexico during the last 6 years mobilized an average of 59 thousand soldiers on a permanent basis and required increased production of ammunition, arms, and explosives in order to maintain military superiority and train personnel.
To view the iconographic from REFORMA, click here.

Mexican Military Seen as Best Option Against Cartels

October 17, 2012

The Texas Tribune, 10/11/2012

Despite uncertainty south of the Rio Grande in the aftermath of the killing of one of Mexico’s most brutal warlords, recent successes against organized crime suggest military intervention remains the best option there, according to the former deputy director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement….Eric Olson, a senior associate at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., said Peña Nieto has acknowledged that there is no “magic wand” solution, but that the president-elect continues to search for alternatives.

“He has said all along that, in the short run, the military will continue to play a role but they seemed to be engaged in an search for an alternative,” he said.  “One of the alternatives that they have floated is the creation of this militarized civilian force, this police militia force that would combine military [personnel] into a civilian police force.”

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Mexico arrests 2 over border shooting that left U.S. Agent Nicholas Ivie dead, 1 wounded

October 4, 2012

CBS News, 10/4/12

Mexico arrested two people Wednesday over the fatal shooting of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie earlier in the week, a Mexican military official confirmed to CBS News.

The arrests were made in an operation involving Mexican military personnel in the Agua Prieta municipality, also along the U.S. border, just east of where the shooting occurred. No further details were given.

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TBI Releases New Report on Military Human Rights Abuses in Mexico

July 31, 2012

Trans-Border Institute Justice in Mexico Project, 7/30/12

On Monday, July 30, the Justice in Mexico Project at the Trans-Border Institute released a new report titled Armed with Impunity: Curbing Military Human Rights Abuses in Mexico, which was authored by Catherine Daly, Kimberly Heinle, and David A. Shirk. The report provides documentation and analysis of the pattern of human rights complaints that have been formally registered against the military since Mexican President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006 and through mid-2012.

The massive deployment of the Mexican military has increased civilian exposure and vulnerability to military personnel. In this context, there has been a surge of formal complaints (quejas) of military abuses submitted to National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), the ombudsman that generates formal reports or “recommendations” (recomendaciones) for the government agency against which a complaint has been levied. A growing number of complaints against the Mexican army (SEDENA) were recorded since the deployment of troops after Calderón took office: 367 in 2007; 1,230 in 2008; 1,800 in 2009; 1,415 in 2010; 1,626 in 2011. As for the current year, SEDENA reported that there were 479 reports as of May 3, 2012.

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Adapting, Transforming, and Modernizing Under Fire: The Mexican Military 2006-11

September 13, 2011

Strategic Studies Institute, 9/13/11

Since December 2006, when Felipe Calderon assumed the office of the President, Mexico has embarked upon the implementation of a culture of law and security that has triggered a war with organized crime involving all sectors of society. This implementation has activated a series of renovations in its armed forces, which remain the most trusted institutions in Mexican society. This Letort Paper contributes to an understanding of the structure, culture, motivators, and the challenges that the Mexican military faces in the 21st century.

Given Mexico’s importance to the United States as a neighbor, an ally, and as its third largest trading partner, understanding the transformation that the Mexican armed forces are undergoing to foster a culture of law should be of prime concern to all actors—government, private sector, and academia—involved in the decisionmaking process.

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Mexico Sends in 3,000 Feds After Casino Arson Attack

August 29, 2011

InSight Crime, 8/29/11

Some 1,500 army and air force troops and 1,500 Federal Police have been deployed in the state of Nuevo Leon, north Mexico, after an arson attack on a casino which killed 52 people.

The police and army arrived in the beleagured state on Saturday and Sunday, and are being supported by armored vehicles and Black Force helicopters, according to the government security ministry. They join some 2,500 extra troops sent to the state in June, reports CNN.

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Uptick in Mexico ‘Confrontation’ Deaths Strikes Disturbing Pattern

August 25, 2011

InSight Crime, 8/24/11

Deaths in what the Mexican government calls “confrontations and aggressions” rose from 231 in 2007 to 2,099 in 2010 (see statistics here). Figures for 2011 are not yet available but one government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to comment publicly on this matter, said there have been over 950 deaths in “confrontations” through early June 2011, suggesting that they will equal or surpass last year’s totals.

“Confrontations” and “aggressions” are two of three descriptions the Mexican government uses to categorize deaths related to organized crime. Unfortunately, the government groups these two categories together in its statistics, but they are decidedly different.

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Andrew Selee, AL DÍA: Analysis from the Mexico Institute


This analysis of the data on organized crime-related killings in Mexico by Steven Dudley of Insight presents a very useful picture of how violence is evolving.  One possible interpretation for the rise in confrontations between the military and organized crime groups (and between the Federal Police and these groups) is that the government has developed a degree of capacity it didn’t have a few years ago.

The lack of these confrontations until 2008 suggests that the government was largely a bystander to the violence taking place in the country and is now more engaged in confronting the organized crime groups for the first time over the past two to three years.  Whether this new level of engagement (which, most likely, reflects better intelligence and capacity to engage) will be successful in lowering violence and degrading the organized crime groups, of course, depends on many other factors, including a broader strategy to tackle the finances and logistical flows of these organizations and to build credible police, prosecutorial, and judicial institutions.

Universities and military are the institutions with the best public image, according to UNAM survey (in Spanish)

August 23, 2011

CNN México, 8/23/11

Seis de cada diez mexicanos creen que el uso del ejército en el combate al narcotráfico en México es facultad exclusiva del presidente. Y un 57% cree que los diputados deberían autorizar al primer mandatario el uso de las fuerzas armadas para garantizar la seguridad en el país, de acuerdo con la más reciente encuesta nacional de cultura y legalidad realizada por el Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas de la UNAM.

Definido como uno de los temas a discutir en el proyecto de Ley de Seguridad Nacional (LSN), solo el 19.1% dijo que la decisión de emplear o no al ejército en actividades contra el narcotráfico deben tomarla el ejecutivo y el Senado en conjunto, mientras que un 16.9% consideró que solo el Senado debería poseer esa decisión.

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Rights Groups Contend Mexican Military Has Heavy Hand in Drug Cases

August 2, 2011

The New York Times, 8/2/11

MONTERREY, Mexico — The marines barged in at dawn and grabbed her 27-year-old son, dragging him away with a look of fear frozen on his face, Maria del Socorro Maldonado said. He was rushed out clad only in orange shorts.

“I asked if I could give him some clothes, flip-flops, a shirt, and they just took him,” she said, still in shock as she recounted the June 28 raid at her home near here.

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