Column 082514 Brewer

Monday, August 25, 2014
Mexican President's
Security Initiatives are
Boldly Promising
By Jerry Brewer
As U.S. pundits and charlatans discuss
and opine on the “militarization of
police” in this nation, in the face of
increasing street violence and a lack of
respect for the rule of law, Mexico is
taking a bold stand to confront the past
and present, and its ongoing nightmares.
In Mexico, more than 60,000 people
have been killed in violence in the past
six years, with thousands more having
disappeared without a trace.
Furthermore, reportedly only 4 percent
of the crimes have been solved.
Strategies to engage these local and
violent transnational organized criminal
insurgents within the Mexican homeland
have now reached a critical focus of
strategic planning and subsequent
deployment of 5,000 members of the
newly created Gendarmerie. Last week
President Enrique Peña Nieto formally
commissioned the Gendarmerie as a new
division of the Mexican Federal Police.
Mexico and the nations in the northern
cone of Central America have graphically
realized the threats of crime and violence
in vicious trails of bloody carnage.
Countless journalists, members of the
military, police, and government officials
have been brutally confronted head-on,
tortured, killed, and many are still

The U.S. has not been immune to the
violence of insurgent crime that has
paved its way into more than 300 cities
from south of the border. Related inner-
city crime for control of operating areas,
as well as what is described as traditional
violent crimes of murder, forcible rape,
armed robbery, and aggravated assault,
permeate jurisdictions. As an example, in
Indianapolis, Indiana, a single zip code
was “responsible for 40 percent of [the]
homicides” in 2013.
The purpose of a criminal insurgency is
to provoke a state of terror in the general
public and other persons that intimidates
a population, and/or compels a
government to abstain from performing
any act that is contrary to the crime
agenda. Mexico knows this extremely
The massive and superior weaponry and
tactics being utilized by these organized
criminal insurgents and narcoterrorists
far exceed the skills, knowledge and
abilities of the "protect and serve" police
cadre that routinely patrol the streets and
respond to calls for service. In fact, the
police cultural nuance of the last couple
of decades, known as Community
Oriented Policing, has been graphically
challenged by the throat.
No policing jurisdictions, made up of
local, county, and state law enforcement
officials, were ever created, organized or
deployed to face the threats of today. Yet
implied conventional and sanctioned
police procedures and authority, on both
sides of the U.S. border with Mexico, are
now redefining the role of state, county,
and local law enforcement.
The terrorism-model strategies used by
organized criminals and their
enforcement arms have continued to
mature since they were seen in Nuevo
Laredo, Mexico back in 2005. Those
violent events gave quick notice to law
enforcement of just how heavily armed
the criminals were, with military-type
armaments. The U.S. Border Patrol was
one of the first to recognize the superior
weapons and tactical abilities and
espionage-like tradecraft modus
operandi being used by Mexican drug
cartels, along with some local police in
southern Arizona and West Texas.
Since October 1, 2004 there have been
well over 200 assaults on U.S. agents
along the border with Mexico, including
multiple shootings that have been
recorded. As well, reportedly US$50,000
in bounties was placed on Border Patrol
agents, as well as state and local police
officers, by the criminals.
Yet, some people question the vulnerable
nature of U.S. police officials and their
need to possess better protection and
equipment to protect the homeland — as
well as their own lives.
The creation of the Gendarmerie by
Mexican President Peña Nieto is his
highest-profile initiative in the realm of
public safety. This strategic approach is
also focused to have a significant impact
on businesses operating in Mexico, and
his efforts on issues he deems critically
important to Mexico's future, like
education reform, banking reform,
energy reform, and fostering the Mexican
The previous lack of a competent and
effective policing infrastructure, and
related institutional weaknesses within
Mexico’s criminal justice system, have
been degrading much of the president’s
agenda. There are certainly challenges
ahead in the fight for the rule of law, as
the massive beast of organized crime
seems to always reinvent itself to meet its
The intensely amorphous nature of this
homicidal enemy is simply a diverse cell-
like conglomerate of organized criminal
groups with a common greedy profit
agenda that move to areas of lesser
control and resistance and still maintain
the ability to corrupt and strike any
region and inflict massive harm.
Policing Mexico requires a monumental
transition in thinking and strategizing
beyond simple public opinion. Human
rights must remain a priority, as well as a
respect for human life and dignity.
Geographical control and territorial
dominion sought by criminal insurgents
must be denied at all costs.
Can a 5,000 manned Gendarmerie make
a difference? It must. While proactive
and highly effective patrol, investigative,
and intelligence-based strategies must be
the mandate, uniform criminal
procedures and penal code must strongly
emerge from the ashes.
The command staff of the Gendarmerie is
in a unique position to establish
territorial control over strategic regions
for the president’s security and economic
initiatives. The appropriate evolving
professional development of that cadre of
potential leaders can demonstrate how
smaller numbers of human resources can
have a significant impact. It has been
done before.
Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal
Justice International Associates, a
global threat mitigation firm
headquartered in northern Virginia. His
website is located at
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