Mexico to Introduce Gendarmerie in September
By Dialogo May 10, 2013
The Mexican government is planning to introduce its first gendarmerie during the national festivities in September, in order to counter the high violence rates that derive from drug trafficking, according to Carlos Humberto Toledo, General Inspector of the National Commission of Public Security.
“The gendarmerie in Mexico will start operating soon. Most likely, you will see them parading on September 16,” the country’s Independence Day, Toledo said.
The official added that the security force unit has already been created, with 10,000 elements, of which 8,500 are Soldiers and the rest are Marines, which are “being trained so that their military mindset is transformed and adapted closer to what a police officer should be (…),” Toledo added during the Fifth Forum about Security and Justice, carried out in Mexico City.
“It will be a very dynamic body, which will support Federal Police functions, but it will not invade its competence,” Toledo added.
The Federal Police “will be on the roads and cities (…) and the gendarmerie will be located in strategic places,” such as Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) facilities.
Toledo added that the plan is for the gendarmerie to have 40,000 elements in six years.
According to official figures, over 70,000 people died during the government of former President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) during confrontations between criminal gangs and military operations against them.
Human rights organizations think that taking 50,000 Soldiers from their headquarters to counter drug trafficking was the main cause of the increased violence during Calderón’s government.
So far during the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office in December 2012, and who has not stated if he will order the Military to go back to theirheadquarters, 4,249 homicides presumably related to organized crime were reported.