By Rafael Azul
25 February 2013
As Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration approaches its third month in power, it is rapidly escalating the militarization of Mexican society. A combination of commando special operation forces and paramilitary death squads, both equipped by and in close contact with the US military, is being placed at the service of Mexican big business and transnational corporations. Increasingly Mexico is operating under an unofficial state of siege.
Since Peña and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI) took over from President Felipe Calderón and the National Action Party (Partido de Acción Nacional, PAN) on December 1, 2012, a long-standing relationship between the Pentagon and the Mexican Government has intensified.
On January 17, the Associated Press reported that the US military will open a new operations center in Colorado to train Mexican security personnel that will confront criminal drug and smuggling syndicates—utilizing the same counterinsurgency methods as the US military in combating Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The announcement followed the news that US special operations forces have helped the Mexican Government establish its own CIA-like agency, the National Intelligence Center (Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, CNI), in Mexico City.
The military training center will be under the command of NORTHCOM, the division of the Pentagon for North American operations. In addition to other duties, Mexican police and army officials will be trained in setting up a network of intelligence agencies, similar to those that carry out the criminal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Then-US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta established the program on December 31.
Both Mexican and US officials went out of their way to present the program as business as usual, except that from now on the US commander of the program will have the rank of general. In a written statement, Navy Captain Jeff Davis declared, “We are merely placing a component commander in charge of things we are already doing.”
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We are so good with dirty wars! And what could go wrong with this program…