Mexico’s Peña Nieto unveils police unit, much smaller than envisioned / Tracy Wilkinson

Diminished version of new police corps in Mexico underscores criticism of Peña Nieto on security strategy.

When he was running for election in 2012, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto offered a new police organization, the gendarmerie, as a cornerstone campaign promise and his only security initiative. It was to be a 50,000-strong, independent paramilitary force that would tackle Mexico’s toughest crimes.

It is instead a 5,000-member unit of the federal police that will focus on economic crimes. It will work as a kind of rapid-reaction force, Peña Nieto said, that will be deployed around the country to hot spots as needed. The gendarmerie will be used to protect businesses, tourist areas and harvests of limes, sorghum and other crops, often targeted by drug and crime cartels that extort money from businesspeople and producers with threat of death. SEE MORE…




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