Armed Forces of Peru and Mexico Cooperate to Fight Organized Crime

Armed Forces of Peru and Mexico Cooperate to Fight Organized Crime

By Dialogo
April 17, 2015




The Armed Forces of Peru and Mexico are strengthening their cooperation in the fight against the international drug trade, cybercrimes, and other transnational criminal enterprises through the exchange of information.

During his official visit to Mexico from March 23-25, the then-Peruvian Minister of Defense Pedro Cateriano – who currently chairs the seventh Cabinet of Peruvian President Ollanta Humala – announced bilateral cooperation with Mexico in the realm of security, defense, and military health issues.

“Drug trafficking is a common enemy for democracies. We’ve spoken about the progress towards signing a memorandum that provides for a legal framework for guiding bilateral exchange in the sector,” Cateriano told El Universal
. This exchange is the first of its type for both countries.

Under the agreement, the Armed Forces of Peru and Mexico will cooperate to fight drug trafficking, conduct security operations at sea, and exchange information. The two countries will also work together on cyber defense, natural disaster search-and-rescue missions, and cooperation in military education, Cateriano said.

Once the details have been reviewed, it is likely that the cooperation agreement will soon be signed in Peru by Defense Minister Jakke Valakivi Álvarez, an economist who took office on April 2.

Cooperation vital in the fight against organized crime


The type of cooperation outlined in the agreement is crucial in the fight against transnational criminal organizations which cross borders to conduct their illicit enterprises. This type of cooperation will allow strategic intelligence to be used in neutralizing criminal organizations, said Jaime Raúl Castro Contreras, security analyst and member of the Latin American Security and Defense Network (RESDAL) in Peru.

“Peru and Mexico have an excellent relationship and a willingness to enhance cooperation to halt the progress of drug cartels and other transnational criminal enterprises," said Castro Contreras. "There has been an approximation between the two governments over the last four or five years."

That positive relationship was evident during Cateriano's visit to Mexico accompanied by the commanders of the Army and Navy of Peru, General Ronald Hurtado and Admiral Edmundo Deville, respectively. Mexico's Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA), General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, and the Secretary of the Navy (SEMAR), Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz, welcomed the official Peruvian delegation.

The presence of Peru's Military command “will strengthen cooperation and the exchange of experiences between the armies and navies of both countries,” Cienfuegos said.

Achieved successes


During the visit, Cateriano invited the Commanders of the Mexican Armed Forces to conduct an official visit to Peru this year, to learn more about the country's Military industry and Joint Armed Forces Command.

If the officials engage in such a visit, they are likely to learn about the significant progress the Peruvian government has made in recent months in the fight against illegal coca cultivation.

For example, the Peruvian government's goal is to eradicate 35,000 hectares of illegal coca crops in 2015, an increase over the 31,000 hectares of such crops that security forces dismantled in 2014. The Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM) is the country’s main area of coca production.

Eradicating coca crops was not the only success Peruvian Armed Forces have registered in recent years. In 2014, the Armed Forces reduced the areas where terrorist groups -- including the Shining Path -- operated from 120,000 square kilometers to 5,000 square kilometers.

As a consequence of the efforts of Peruvian security forces, the Shining Path is now almost nonexistent; the Armed Forces have captured its main leaders. What remains of the group are cells that have led to other criminal activities, such as the production of cocaine paste for the manufacture of cocaine, Castro Contreras said.

While the Shining Path has been greatly weakened, the Armed Forces must remain vigilant in the fight against international drug trafficking.

“Peru has become the largest producer of cocaine, within a context of violence. The drug cartels, such as the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel, are seeking to ensure that this production is guaranteed at any price,” Castro Contreras explained.







The Armed Forces of Peru and Mexico are strengthening their cooperation in the fight against the international drug trade, cybercrimes, and other transnational criminal enterprises through the exchange of information.

During his official visit to Mexico from March 23-25, the then-Peruvian Minister of Defense Pedro Cateriano – who currently chairs the seventh Cabinet of Peruvian President Ollanta Humala – announced bilateral cooperation with Mexico in the realm of security, defense, and military health issues.

“Drug trafficking is a common enemy for democracies. We’ve spoken about the progress towards signing a memorandum that provides for a legal framework for guiding bilateral exchange in the sector,” Cateriano told El Universal
. This exchange is the first of its type for both countries.

Under the agreement, the Armed Forces of Peru and Mexico will cooperate to fight drug trafficking, conduct security operations at sea, and exchange information. The two countries will also work together on cyber defense, natural disaster search-and-rescue missions, and cooperation in military education, Cateriano said.

Once the details have been reviewed, it is likely that the cooperation agreement will soon be signed in Peru by Defense Minister Jakke Valakivi Álvarez, an economist who took office on April 2.

Cooperation vital in the fight against organized crime


The type of cooperation outlined in the agreement is crucial in the fight against transnational criminal organizations which cross borders to conduct their illicit enterprises. This type of cooperation will allow strategic intelligence to be used in neutralizing criminal organizations, said Jaime Raúl Castro Contreras, security analyst and member of the Latin American Security and Defense Network (RESDAL) in Peru.

“Peru and Mexico have an excellent relationship and a willingness to enhance cooperation to halt the progress of drug cartels and other transnational criminal enterprises," said Castro Contreras. "There has been an approximation between the two governments over the last four or five years."

That positive relationship was evident during Cateriano's visit to Mexico accompanied by the commanders of the Army and Navy of Peru, General Ronald Hurtado and Admiral Edmundo Deville, respectively. Mexico's Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA), General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, and the Secretary of the Navy (SEMAR), Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz, welcomed the official Peruvian delegation.

The presence of Peru's Military command “will strengthen cooperation and the exchange of experiences between the armies and navies of both countries,” Cienfuegos said.

Achieved successes


During the visit, Cateriano invited the Commanders of the Mexican Armed Forces to conduct an official visit to Peru this year, to learn more about the country's Military industry and Joint Armed Forces Command.

If the officials engage in such a visit, they are likely to learn about the significant progress the Peruvian government has made in recent months in the fight against illegal coca cultivation.

For example, the Peruvian government's goal is to eradicate 35,000 hectares of illegal coca crops in 2015, an increase over the 31,000 hectares of such crops that security forces dismantled in 2014. The Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM) is the country’s main area of coca production.

Eradicating coca crops was not the only success Peruvian Armed Forces have registered in recent years. In 2014, the Armed Forces reduced the areas where terrorist groups -- including the Shining Path -- operated from 120,000 square kilometers to 5,000 square kilometers.

As a consequence of the efforts of Peruvian security forces, the Shining Path is now almost nonexistent; the Armed Forces have captured its main leaders. What remains of the group are cells that have led to other criminal activities, such as the production of cocaine paste for the manufacture of cocaine, Castro Contreras said.

While the Shining Path has been greatly weakened, the Armed Forces must remain vigilant in the fight against international drug trafficking.

“Peru has become the largest producer of cocaine, within a context of violence. The drug cartels, such as the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel, are seeking to ensure that this production is guaranteed at any price,” Castro Contreras explained.




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