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Latin America's Need for Well Trained, Well Armed Police
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Latin America's Need for Well Trained, Well
Armed Police
Written by Jerry Brewer

The failures to effectively engage and contain local and transnational organized
criminals has given birth and long adult life to strong, heavily armed cadres of ruthless
killers and modern day pirates. As they murder and maim with impunity, steal and
plunder large swaths of sovereign territory and government land, these murdering
marauders have sought to take anything they want with minimal obstruction.
As US top officials casually turn from other areas of the world and glance back to their
southern border and points further south, what are their collective thoughts as to Latin
America’s future, and does it and will it continue to impact the United States?
To truly engage or not engage in Latin America's future must currently be a critical
concern for some US leadership officials, especially those in states that are on the front
line and directly impacted by human flight and chase. Those who also face emboldened
criminals, drug traffickers and gang members with superior weapons, and agendas to
conquer, retaliate, and achieve illicit wealth at the expense of their victims. As well, far
too many of those overrun are simply eliminated and dumped in unmarked graves.
Implied conventional and sanctioned police procedures and authority, on both sides of
the US-Mexico border, are redefining the role of federal, state, county, and local law
enforcement.
Let us be emphatically accurate that the wave of paramilitary styled violence did not
sneak up on either side overnight. Furthermore, the fact is that much of the threat has
been ignored and disguised by some in the media and through political subterfuge for
years.
Boldly but reticently, and quite possibly somewhat oblivious to the bloody carnage to the
south and incursions by violent gang members and organized crime insurgents into
cities and neighborhoods across the US, many are demanding that US law enforcement
not “appear militarized” or exhibit tactical equipment. The “demilitarization of police” has
become a ritual chant and debate by many. This as US police officers continue to face
escalating violence, plus there is a near constant flow of intelligence regarding threats
by terrorists and others to the US homeland.
The rule of law and previous “protect and serve” mantra in the US is now giving way to
those that seek justice away from police actions, seeking their own prosecutors, their
own independent investigators, or simply seeking federal interventions or a government
hierarchy to intervene or circumvent primary jurisdictions in the courts, cities and states.
As well, they want all police to wear cameras; when there is a need to shoot to simply
wound; take a beating in lieu of using stronger force; and to do anything necessary to
recruit the ethnicities of the police agencies to reflect the majorities of the community in
which they serve. All of us who have faced these dilemmas, as police administrators in
US cities, truly know the facts of such fantasy requests.
The new US cultural nuance of emasculating and practically asking for police to carry
personal and visible lie detector equipment must be purely satirical to Mexico and the
northern cone nations of Central America. They have buried hundreds of police officers;
city, county and federal government officials; members of the military; journalists; and
around 60,000 (known) citizens who were trying to protect their homeland from the
violent war-like scourge. And a majority of those victims were killed for a hedonistic
illegal drug demand, estimated at nearly US$80 billion a year, much of which goes
south of the US border.
The US border has been described, coyly, as simply an “illegal alien” invasion site for
migrants coming for US jobs, and to take advantage of social benefits; and as strongly
as proclaiming that world terrorists are sneaking in to attack from the south.
Through previously existing wisdom, or knee-jerk reactions, it was decided that a
slightly less than 2,000 mile fence, projecting a potential US$49 billion price tag, would
stop that nonsense. The shouts to “secure our borders” failed to reason with the fact
that the insurgent-like encroachment can tunnel under or scale any obstacle. The next
less than logical blunder is to throw massive dollars into the wind south and have them
help themselves by finding a way to keep everyone at home, safe and happy.
Just what is the threat to the US border and Mexico alone? Weapons confiscated from
the transnational organized criminals have been described as having the "capability to
arm the entire army of El Salvador."
In Mexico, this was a quick lesson in local policing that clearly demonstrated that police
below the federal levels are generally ill-equipped, outmanned, outgunned, and
inadequately trained to handle the continued growth and obvious threats. Lessons
learned were that a new ability to recognize, prepare, and deploy the appropriate
resources to incidents that threaten to totally destabilize a region or paralyze a
government must never be ignored.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto learned the lessons from other troubled nations
in Latin America that have experienced the realities of these threats and massive death.
He recently deployed a 5,000 person militarized version of police (Gendarmerie) to free
up the military that happened to be Mexico’s only option at the time in its fight against a
superior armed and tactical criminal insurgency. (9/2/14) (photo courtesy Internet)

Note: This article was reprinted with permission of the author. It was originally published
at MexiData.info. Jerry Brewer is the Chief Executive Officer of Criminal Justice
International Associates, a global threat mitigation firm headquartered in northern
Virginia. His website is located at www.cjiausa.org. TWITTER: CJ IAUSA
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