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Feds Expand Training for Mexican Police

August 18, 2011  | 

The federal government will expand training of local and state police in Mexico to combat transnational Mexican drug cartels, a State Department official has announced.

The expansion could include the establishment of training centers south of the border and the use of members of the National Guard and Webb County (Texas) Sheriff's Office as trainers of Mexican police. William Brownfield, assistant secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, made the announcement Wednesday in a speech in Ciudad Juarez, reports the Associated Press.

Adding training centers in Mexico represents a shift in the U.S. diplomatic approach to Mexican drug cartels, Sylvia Longmire, author of "Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico's Drug Wars," tells POLICE Magazine.

"There's an interesting diplomatic subtext here," Longmire tells POLICE. "The centers, if and when they're created, are going to be in Mexico. U.S. agencies already train hundreds of Mexican LEOs in various cities, but American trainers not only publicly stepping foot in Mexico, but having offices there, is a big shift in thinking/perception on behalf of the Mexican government. I'm curious to see how the Mexican people respond to this once it gets going."

The training would be part of the Merida Initiative, which has provided $1.4 billion since 2008. The new focus will be on historically out-gunned and ill-prepared local forces.

"The logic is that when two federal governments begin to cooperate, they will initially work at the national level, because they are two federal governments," Brownfield told reporters. "Once this partnership is established, vehicles, equipment, training, education, exercises, sharing, et cetera. Once established at a national level, the logic is that cooperation should proceed to the next level, which is the level of states and municipalities."

Brownfield said sending law enforcement trainers to Mexico makes more sense from a cost standpoint than bringing hundreds of Mexican law enforcement officials to the U.S.

Mexico received $327 million for police training in fiscal 2009 from the U.S. State Department through Merida, reports AP. That amount placed Mexico third behind Afghanistan and Iraq in total funds received for police training from the departments of State or Defense.

Sources: Associated Press, State Department

Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Joe @ 8/18/2011 7:11 PM

Why not just make Mexico a state. Then the US could tax them and my tax dollars wouldn't be wasted on a different country.

Morning Eagle @ 8/18/2011 8:58 PM

Does this mean Mexico would relax their stupid prohibition on U.S. LEOs carrying firearms in their country? Until the massive, drug money fueled corruption is eliminated this almost looks like throwing more U.S. tax dollars into a black hole. There are a lot of good men and women in the Mexican forces that deserve top-flight training and equipment but the drug corruption is killing them almost faster than they can be deployed.

michael @ 8/18/2011 9:50 PM

To me, what a bunch of crap. The Mexican Government will take our money and tell us to stick it up our ass later, just like they have always done. Our Government will give Mexico anything they want, money is the only leverage we have when we are dealing with these different countries. But, if that particular country doesn't want to play with us it should not be ok. Instead, the US will say,"How much do you want?.....May we kiss your ass after we give you that hugh infusion of cash".
My tax dollars will be wasted once again. I do believe that there is a lot of good LEO's in Mexico that are trapped in a bad situation. The US Government is aware of what is going on in Mexico but, has decided to ignored it. However, it is time for us to get some changes for our buck. We need to work with Mexican Government to eradicate the cartels and their influence, corruption, and the control of power they have in the Government. This is a War, not a local gang problem thats getting out of control.

Deadman @ 8/19/2011 12:02 PM

Creating a school in Mexico is a really really bad idea,their police,navy,army and marines are infiltrated because of the money involved,what makes you think that you just won't be training the cartel members in the use of equipment ,weapons and tactics at the risk of American personnel,your arrogance is showing.You don't give the cartels any sway in regards to being able to outmanuever and out think you,that is a serious mistake.

Martyb @ 8/19/2011 3:34 PM

Oh GREAT!!!... Here we go again throwing good money after bad. It's done us a whole lot of good training Mexico's "Elite" military, federal, state & local law enforcement agencies already.

I'm sure the ZETAS and other narco terrorists are really grateful for all the time, money & blood the US has expended in training, equipping and arming "THEIR" troops.

Tom @ 8/21/2011 7:28 AM

First, we need to seal the border without anymore excuses. Second, Holder needs to be fired due to the fast and furious caper which obviously added to the death and mayhem in Mexico and the US.

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