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Secretariat of the Navy
Secretaría de Marina

Mexico created a modest navy after gaining independence from Spain in 1821. At the time of the war with the United States in 1846, the fleet was still very small and was forced to remain in port to avoid destruction. Around 1875 several large gunboats were acquired from Britain, and the naval academy was established at the main Gulf of Mexico coast base of Veracruz. Although a number of gunboats and cruiser/transports were added after the turn of the century, the navy played only a limited role in the Mexican Revolution. After the Great War and again after World War II, the navy expanded by purchasing surplus gunboats, frigates, and corvettes from the United States and Canada.

To meet its broadened responsibilities, the navy has more than doubled in size since the mid-1970s. According to Jane's Fighting Ships , the navy's active-duty personnel numbered 37,000 in 1996. Of these, some 1,100 were assigned to naval aviation, and another 8,600 were marines. Also falling under the command of the navy are members of the coast guard and merchant marine, who support the country's growing maritime fleet.

Along with protection of Mexico's fisheries and detection of vessels transporting contraband, the Mexican navy is charged with the defense of offshore oil installations and other maritime resources. The campaign against drug smuggling has placed an increasing burden on the navy's resources. These heightened priorities led the government to dedicate a significantly greater portion of its budget to the Secretariat of the Navy during the 1980s. Between 1980 and 1984, the United States and Mexico were at odds over the Mexican navy's apprehending of United States fishing vessels--mainly tuna boats--within Mexico's EEZ. In 1993 three smuggling ships carrying several hundred illegal Chinese immigrants were forced to land in Mexico after the ships had been detected off the California coast, adding another dimension to the navy's mission.

The navy is entirely a volunteer force. Its personnel are dispersed among various naval zones and port installations. As with the secretary of national defense, being appointed the secretary of the navy requires not only a distinguished service record but also a personal relationship with the president. Although the general headquarters of the Secretariat of the Navy is in Mexico City, naval command is divided between the country's two coasts. The commanding headquarters of the Pacific fleet is at Acapulco; the Gulf of Mexico coast command is at Veracruz. Both commands are organized into three naval regions each. There are seventeen naval zones, one for each coastal state. Some of the naval zones are further subdivided into sectors. Through coordination within each coast command, patrol operations are carried out by the respective naval zones along the country's approximately 9,300 kilometers of coastline and the nearly 3 million square kilometers of ocean that make up Mexico's territorial waters and EEZ.

The navy's primary mission is to protect strategic installations and natural resources. This assignment translates into safeguarding the country's strategic oil installations (both at port facilities and offshore), apprehending foreign vessels that are fishing within Mexico's EEZ without proper permits, and interdicting shipments of drugs, weapons, and other contraband. Although foreign fishing poachers have been a persistent problem for the navy, expanded efforts to conduct maritime surveillance and intercept narcotics traffickers absorb a growing amount of naval resources. Naval personnel also participate in disaster relief efforts and in clean-ups to prevent environmental damage from spills of oil and other toxic substances. The Secretariat of the Navy supervises the dredging of port facilities, the repair and maintenance of vessels assigned to the fleet and to the maritime industry, the conduct of oceanographic research, and the preparation of nautical charts.

The Secretariat of the Navy-Navy of Mexico reported on the achievements made in the first 100 days, within the framework of the National Plan of Peace and Security 2019-2024 of the Government of Mexico where the strategy against theft of Fuel and Naval Operations against Organized Crime, in order to inhibit criminal action, guarantee the security of citizenship and maintain the rule of law.

As part of the strategy against fuel theft, the Joint Plan for the Attention to Strategic Facilities of PEMEX 2019 was developed, where this Naval Institution has carried out actions and deterrence routes in which 2 thousand 694 troops, 87 vehicles and 15 aircraft have It has been deployed in conjunction with PEMEX physical security personnel and with other instances of the Government of Mexico, which has secured 790 thousand 244 liters of hydrocarbons, 156 vehicles, as well as closing 237 clandestine intakes in the polyducts, at different points from the country.

Also, within the activities of protection of strategic facilities, the Institution has permanently allocated 518 Marine Corps elements to provide security to 11 facilities of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), highlighting the safety of the Nuclear Power Plant of “ Green lagoon"; as well as the "Cantarell" Nitrogen Plant. In sum, naval personnel provide security to a total of 54 strategic facilities in the country.

In compliance with the actions derived from the National Peace and Security Plan of the Government of Mexico, the SEMAR deployed 2,788 members of the Naval Police in support of public security in 34 regional coordinations of the 17 coastal states, having reinforced the security in four of those regional coordinations marked by high crime rates; Such reinforcement was carried out in the states of Colima, Guerrero and Quintana Roo.

The Secretariat of the Navy-Navy of Mexico carried out Naval Operations against organized crime, with adherence to Human Rights, in different states of the Republic, achieving the arrest of 402 people, dismantling 31 laboratories dedicated to the development of various narcotic drugs , securing 69 thousand 060 kilograms of various drugs and eradicating seven marijuana and poppy plantations. With these actions it was possible to reduce the production and trafficking of drugs; also, 101 weapons and six thousand 552 ammunition of different calibers, an aircraft, 16 vessels, 558 thousand six pesos and 487 dollars have been seized.

This was done based on the Naval Personnel Acting Protocol, in the performance of their duties, which fulfills the necessary requirements to act in a coordinated manner with the competent authorities, in strict respect for Human Rights and in compliance with established in the Manual of Use of the Force of Common Application to the Three Armed Forces. The above actions are part of the maritime, air and land surveillance operations carried out by the Secretariat of the Navy-Navy of Mexico, as part of the maintenance of the rule of law in the field of competence in order to guarantee the social coexistence and security of the Mexicans,

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Page last modified: 24-02-2020 18:14:00 ZULU