Mexico’s National Security Commission has announced that the 390 commanders of their new Gendarmerie division of the federal police are currently receiving training in France and Colombia.
According to the National Security Commission, the Gendarmerie’s 5000 cadets will complete their training at specialized academies throughout Mexico and “will be ready to assume their duties in the coming month of July.” They also stated that the Gendarmerie commanders are taking management and specialized courses at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE). The CIDE is considered to be one of Mexico’s top think tanks.
The formation of the Gendarmerie division has been one of the boldest political actions taken by President Enrique Peña Nieto, in his efforts to increase security in Mexico. Chief of the Commission, Manuel Mondragon y Kalib, stated that the top commanders of the Gendarmerie have been named. The new law enforcement agency will be under civilian command with the sole purpose of providing security, particularly in rural and marginalized areas.
Since late 2006 around 75,000 people are reported to have died in drug related violence in Mexico. In many areas army and marine corps have been deployed to maintain order. It is no secret that Colombia also has a long history of internal conflict and ongoing drug wars. However there are increasing concerns that the growing trend for vigilante justice could result in public unrest as, according to ‘Gallup’ polls, confidence in the military and police force is currently at the lowest it has been since 2000. It remains uncertain whether Colombia will follow Mexico’s example.
#99 Colombia Febrero 2014 (Gallup)