By Chris Covert
Mexican Army troops participating in the Laguna Segura security operation in Coahuila and Durango are being rotated out and replaced with fresh troops, according to Mexican news accounts.
Identification of the new units have not been released so far. The Mexican Army has been rotating fresh troops into Tamaulipas as well as Coahuila consistently since last summer. Since the start of 2012, it was reported that 8,000 army troops were sent to reinforce security efforts in Tamaulipas.
|General de Division Roberto de la Vega Diaz|
Units that have been identified as being deployed to Coahuila state, not necessarily in La Laguna include elements of the 15th Motorized Cavalry Regiment, which was redeployed from Chiapas state. Also, 150 Mexican marines, about a rifle company was deployed to Ciudad Acuna in far northern Coahuila near the border city of Piedras Negras. Both deployments took place in December, 2011
The Laguna Segura operation has already seen some changes since the start of 2012. For example, the former commander of the IX Miliary region, General Marco Antonio Gonzalez Barreda, was appointed to an army staff position as Inspector General and Comptroller of the Army and Air Force. He was replaced by General de Division Roberto de la Vega Diaz, a former 35th Military Zone commander in northern Guerrero, who had also been previously posted as military attache in Bolivia.
General de Division de la Vega Diaz reportedly said in a Monday news conference that other federal troops have been redeployed to other regions in the republic, a probable direct reference to earlier reports in El Diario de Coahuila news daily that said a Policia Federal unit had been ordered out of La Laguna a week ago owing to unspecified problems with the deployment in the area.
News reports over the weekend now say Policia Federal troops are still in the area, although it may not be the same unit which left a week ago.
The general also made the startling admission that he accepted the possibility of corruption of the troops, and regretted corruption is widespread amongst several security organizations. The general's candid remarks come only a day after a report by the leftist news weekly Proceso, which described in some detail corruption at the command levels in Mexican military units particularly in La Laguna.
Recent news reports from the region indicate the Mexican Army will be a permanent presence in the region as it was announced by Durango governor Jorge Herrera Caldera a week ago in El Sol de la Laguna that a new army base would be built in Gomez Palacio, Durango
The Laguna Segura operation, which is one of four major security efforts in Mexico, began in earnest in late October, 2011 as an attempt to coordinated among the three levels of government security operations. The La Laguna area is astride a major east west road and the borders of Coahuila and Durango states.
Organized crime gangs use the inter border region to escape capture due to jurisdictional issues. The Laguna Segura is an attempt to coordinate incidents such as vehicle pursuits to make policing more effective in the region.
The three other major security operations include those in Guerrero, Veracruz and in Tamauliaps states.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com