6/17/2017 InSight Crime
Mexico’s Marines will regain control of the country’s 103 ports on June 17, after a hiatus of 41 years. The move is a worrying sign that ports are out of control, but militarization has yet to become a panacea for any of this country’s organized crime issues.
Among other things, the Navy Secretariat (La Secretaría de Marina – SEMAR) will assume all security functions of the ports, while the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes – SCT) will be in charge of all economic aspects.
In addition to maritime and port security, SEMAR will also authorize the arrival and departure of vessels, and inspect and certify Mexican and foreign vessels.
The Marines assumed control of the ports after their creation in 1821 and maintained that control until 1977 when Mexican President José López Portillo reformed the Organic Law of Public Federal Administration (Ley Orgánica de la Administración Pública Federal), which put the SCT in charge of the construction of port infrastructure, its administration, operation and security.