Review of Development of National Gendarmerie: Paramilitary Forces in Mexico (02/24/2013)
Mexico has developed a paramilitary force with the same civil authority as the federal police and the same vicious training as the Mexican military.
La Cartita --- Mexico is developing a paramilitary force with the same civil authority as the federal police and the same vicious training as the Mexican military. Paramilitary forces have committed some of the worst crimes in Mexico. For instance, the Acteal massacre, which occurred on December 22, 1997, involved a paramilitary group of 100 men killing 45 people (18 children, 22 women and 6 men) during a mass ceremony.
Summary of The Acteal Massacre
Former members of the federal police assert that the Mexican military was definitely involved in all aspects of the massacre: training, execution and the political cover-up that followed. Such groups are also involved in the Mexican government's war with the EZLN. Historically, paramilitaries have formed the PRI's counter to the political threat of indigenous autonomy. For this reason, one can expect a reinvigoration of the intense Zedillo-era paramilitary campaigns against the EZLN, ELN, and EPN under the current Mexican president.
Plan Merida, the US military training program for the Mexican military, will remain unchanged under the current Obama and EPN administrations. As if one needed a reminder, the lack of US government opposition to the development a paramilitary force illustrates that the US government will cooperate with anyone who can maintain control over rural, resource rich areas of Mexico. From Washington's perspective, the paramilitary force is ideal for accomplishing the population control deemed necessary for a favorable business climate. The paramilitaries promise to have the same civil authority as the federal police and the same vicious training as the Mexican military. The US media, as it did with Plan Colombia, can be expected to gloss over the obvious problems of developing such a force.
Ultimately, the issue is a police force with military training may be too powerful in a country defined by abuse of power. Based on the Mexican Executive office's selection of the former head of the Colombian national police, Gen. Oscar Naranjo as a military advisor, Mexico's paramilitary force can be expected to behave as vicious as any other paramilitary force sponsored by the US in Colombia or Central America. Expect atrocities against civilians as occurred under Gen.Naranjo during his involvement with Plan Colombia and intensified repetition of Zedillo's paramilitary campaigns.
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