Both President Fox's and President Calderón's responses to the deteriorating security situation in Mexico were focused on the federal level. Fox increased the role of the military in countertrafficking and preventing organized crime while at the same time pursuing a long-term strategy of institution and accountability building at the federal level. The Fox administration started attacking corruption early on its first term. Because the Federal Judicial Police were known to be highly corrupt, in 2001 Fox's administration dissolved the organization and created a new one, the Agencia Federal de Investigación [AFI - Federal Investigative Police], under the Attorney General. In addition, Fox signed the first national freedom of information law in June 2002 in order to increase government transparency and thus complicate large scale corruption.
Security services in Mexico are often duplicated across agencies. Investigations into drug crimes are carried out by municipal police, the Federal Agency of Investigation (Agencia Federal de Investigación, or AFI), or in a few cases, Secretary of National Defense (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional, or SEDENA). While overlapping roles may provide checks and balances across agencies, it also results in confusion with regard to authority, roles, and responsibilities.
Until the summer of 2008, Mexican federal police forces were under two separate commands and carried out separate functions: The PFP did not have investigative authority and reported to the SSP; the AFI was charged with investigating crimes and reported to the attorney general's office. The Federal Preventive Police (Policía Federal Preventiva, or PFP) of the State Security Secretariate and the Attorney General's AFI were merged into one organization.
In March 2008 the Public Security Secretariat (SSP) completed the redesign of the Federal Police, which coordinated the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI) and the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) in an agency comprised of six specialized divisions, with a scheme based on police intelligence operations. The new police force had been 30,000 on staff, distributed divisions of Police Intelligence, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Crimes, Regional Security, Judicial and Ministerial Services, and Federal forces [divisiones de Inteligencia Policial; Antidrogas; Delitos Federales; Seguridad Regional; Servicios Judiciales y Ministeriales, y Fuerzas Federales].
The redesign of the Federal Police announced 18 months earlier, operationally articulated the functions of prevention, investigation and combating crime within the PFP and the AFI, but the latter is still administratively attached to the PGR. In December 2006, the new administration of President Felipe Calderón announced the re-structuring of the Secretariat of Public Security. With this, the PFP was to be transformed into the Federal Police Corps (Cuerpo Federal de Policía - CFP), which was to absorb "all federal law enforcement capabilities," including the powerful Federal Investigation Agency (Agencia Federal de Investigaciones - AFI) from the Office of the Attorney General, customs, immigration, and corrections.
The model outlined in December 2006 by Garcia Luna suffered some changes in recent months, one of them the name, which went from Corps of Federal Police [Cuerpo Federal de Policía] to simply Federal Police [Policía Federal]. Another was the increase in staff. In those 18 months the agency staff went from 20,182 to 30,214, of which 80.5% belong to the PFP and 5,893 to the AFI, in accordance with the Federal Police document, dated 30 March 2008, which details the new institutional model of the federal police and defines its basic principles.
The agency has several strategies to prevent and combat the crime based on police intelligence and the new profile police. The first proposes a change in the pattern of operation, which "is based on the basic cycle of intelligence," and in "systems and procedures of criminal investigation." To prevent corruption and possible leakage of information, it is segmented "according to the roles and responsibilities of each area," creating "spans of control, lines of responsibility and coordination," says the document. On the new profile of police in the prior year the SSP called college graduates or graduate studies truncated to join the corporation with the goal of capturing 8 thousand applicants. Controls were also set stricter entry, retention and promotion, created the National Control Centre Trust, which will certify more than 100,000 police officers per year, and settled the Civil Service and Police Career Academy of Public Security.
The redesign of the Federal Police identified two areas of operation: the central sector, with the divisions of Police Intelligence, Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Crimes, and its scope, with the Regional Security (formerly the Federal Highway Police), Court Services and Ministerial and Federal forces. Regional Security was reorganized from a territorial deployment consists of 34 regional police stations, reinforced Research Model Police Units (PICU) and to generate operational intelligence in fighting crime. It also has 112 stations in cities heavily populated area, 62 stations detachment to serve rural areas and 31 tactical operations centers or mobile units for crime prevention.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|