By Chris Covert
The Mexican Secretaria de Marina (SEMAR) or Mexican Navy has elevated five sailors to the rank of admiral, the top rank of admirals in the Mexican Navy, according to official and private news sources.
The five sailors all have extensive experience in coastal counternarcotics operations, and one is a naval infantry commander. They are Admirals Juan Ramon Alcala Pignol, commander of the Tenth Naval District, in Michoacan; Arturo Bernal Carrasco, head of the Fourth Naval Region, in Sonora, Victor Uribe Arevalo, commander of the Eighth Naval Zone in Puerto Vallarta; Vidal Francisco Soberon, secretary to SEMAR Admiral Mariano Francisco Saynez, and Pedro Garcia Valerio, a naval infantry commander. All five are graduates of Mexico's Heroica Escuela Naval Militar naval academy. The appointments of all five were confirmed by the Mexican senate last week.
- According to a news item posted on sipse.com, Admiral Alcala Pignol has served at director of Heroica Escuela Naval Militar, deputy director of SEMAR's office of personnel management and commander of the Mexican 5th Naval Zone in Tabasco state. He executed operations against the La Familia de Michoacan drug cartel as commander of the 10 Naval District operating in part out of the port of Lazaro Cardenas in Michocacan. Between July 27, 2009 to July 31, 2010, while vice admiral, he served as commander of the IX Naval Region based in Yucalpeten, Yucatan.
- According to a new item posted last February on the website of uniradionoticias.com, Admiral Arturo Bernal Carrasco has been commander of the IV Naval Region based in Guayamas, Sonora, a post he took in February. The IV Naval Region encompasses the coast between Gulf of Santa Clara and Mazatlan. His predecessor, Vice Admiral Eduardo Villa Valenzuela had conducted naval counternarcotics operations along the coasts of Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California states, and coordinated police in Guaymas and Empalme municipalities in Sonora state. Admiral Bernal Carrasco has also seved as SEMAR's Director General de Recursos Humanos or human resouces.
- According to a news item posted on the website of elvigia.net, Admiral Victor Uribe Arevalo had taken over command of the Mexican II Naval Region based in Ensenada, Baja California last February, replacing Admiral Humberto Santos Gomez Leyva. Admiral Uribe Arevalo has previously served as chief of naval staff and commander of the Sixth Naval Zone based in Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan, and Eighth Naval Zone of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. He was formerly inspector of the 2nd Naval Zone and was commander of the destroyer flotilla of Mexico's Pacific fleet.
- Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberon was a secretary to SEMAR Admiral Francisco Saynez. According to sipse.com, he commanded the Naval Subsector Matamoros, Tamaulipas, led a group of command of the Sixth Fleet Ocean Surveillance Ship, and was chairman of the Committee on Special Studies of the General Staff of the Navy. He has also trained on the Cuauhtemoc, the Mexican Navy's sailing training ship.
- Admiral Pedro Garcia Valerio is general coordinator of Mexican Naval Infantry forces, and has served in various naval infantry rifle company and battalion commands. He is credited with the formation of SEMAR's first parachute rifle battalion and has commanded the Mexican Pacific Fleet's amphibious reaction force. He was also Mexico's naval attache in the republic of China from 2000 to 2002.