Mexico daily news, dec.18
Subject: Mexico News DAILY December 18, 2012 |
Peña Nieto presents his security strategy
Development: On 17 December President Enrique Peña Nieto unveiled his government’s much awaited security policy and strategy which he said would be focused on “prevention” rather than “reaction”.
Significance: Devising a new security strategy to reduce the violence resulting from former president Felipe Calderón’s (2006-2012) ‘war’ on organised crime was one of Peña Nieto’s main campaign promises. While all agree that changes are necessary, there is little consensus as to what form these changes should take, with some experts proposing that the government reach an agreement with the various criminal organisations to stop the violence. Peña Nieto has vowed to continue fighting organised crime but with “modifications” to Calderón’s strategy, on which not much detail was provided until yesterday. That the new security plans receive general support is crucial for the new President.
• Peña Nieto has delayed unveiling the new security plans until congress’ approval of his proposal to reorganise the federal government, which predominantly affects the security apparatus. This was achieved last week.
• The new plan is based on six key points: planning, prevention, protection & respect of human rights, coordination, institutional transformation, and evaluation & feedback. Peña Nieto revealed that the country is to be divided into five operational regions each with its own security command. He said that armed forces will continue to assist with public security in these until the new national gendarmerie of 10,000 officers, a fraction of what he had previously envisioned, can start to take over. In the meantime 15 new federal police (PF) specialised anti-kidnapping and extortion units will be created.
• The adoption of a more comprehensive approach toward crime prevention, which not only addresses its consequences but also some of its causes, was the most novel change. The government is to spend US$9bn in crime prevention programmes aimed at providing young people with more opportunities.
• According to Peña Nieto, the introduction of these policy and institutional changes over the medium and long term will allow the government to shift its focus from “reacting” to security threats, to “providing peace to all Mexicans, sensibly reducing the violence”. In this sense he said that Mexico’s security strategy will no longer be “improvised”.
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