Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, June 28, 2010

U.S. Military Advisors in Mexico

According to Mexican newspaper reports confirmed by SEDENA (Mexico’s National Defense Ministry) and the U.S. military, the U.S. Northern Command is training the Mexican military in counterinsurgency tactics used by the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, is the military command responsible for homeland defense efforts. NORTHCOM has an area of responsibility that includes the continental U.S., Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and surrounding waters out to approximately 500 nautical miles, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida.

The counterinsurgency programs being taught have been used to dismantle insurgent networks in Afghanistan and Iraq, and are applicable in the fight against the drug cartels in Mexico according to NORTHCOM

For two years now the U.S. military has been sending on average 20 teams annually into Mexico.The teams are comprised of 4 to 5 soldiers who travel into Mexico on short missions to provide training without participating in field operations.

Most of the trainers have participated in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan including social work and reconstruction. The counterinsurgency focus is on how to fight an enemy that lives among the civilian population through training in areas of intelligence and in joint operations with civilian law enforcement agencies.

In addition, NORTHCOM has been working with the Mexican military and with the Mexican Federal Police to help them vet new candidates and by providing training to Mexican special forces units.

Mexican military district commanders and U.S. military commanders already meet twice yearly to help share common tactics, techniques and procedures and to share intelligence.

SEDENA confirmed that Mexico's armed forces receive training from the Northern Command and U.S. Army as a whole, but did not specify the programs in which they participate.

The level of communication, cooperation and training between the armed forces of the United States and Mexico has increased dramatically over the past two years and represents a historic opportunity to improve long-term strategy in the security partnership between the U.S. and Mexico” said General Victor Renuart, the previous commander of NORTHCOM, before a Senate committee this past March.

“We are focusing on the ability to develop and share information to the Mexican military to conduct operations against drug trafficking organizations to systematically dismantle them."

The cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico has produced concrete outcomes and benefits. The two governments have worked together on Project Coronado to detain over 1000 members of the La Familia Michoacana cartel in the United States since October 2009.

Intelligence sharing and cooperation also played crucial roles in the takedowns of drug kingpins Arturo “el Barbas” Beltrán Leyva and Carlos Beltrán Leyva in December 2009, Teodoro”el Teo” García Simental in January 2010, and José Antonio “Don Pepe” Medina Arreguin, the “King of Heroin”, in March 2010.

"The number one priority is our partnership with Mexico. There is no doubt," said Admiral James Winnefeld Jr, the new commander of NORTHCOM adding that the relationship between the armed forces of both nations has never been better.

By emphasizing respect for the sovereignty of Mexico, Winnefeld said there are great opportunities "to share training, information and intelligence, and help the Mexican army to build capabilities."

According to NORTHCOM Mexican army officers are also sent to the United States to observe operations and receive training in various areas including irregular warfare, human rights and operational security.

"Additionally, lawyers for Mexico's armed forces have visited several U.S. military organizations for observing, first hand, how U.S. officials are organizing and training for the administration of military justice and to conduct operations in compliance with national and international laws” noted General Renuart.

The efforts of NORTHCOM are coordinated with efforts to build the capacities of civilian law enforcement in Mexico, undertaken by the U.S. Department of State and other agencies.

In a police academy that opened in July 2009 in the city of San Luis Potosi, dozens of American and other foreign instructors are helping to train Mexican federal police recruits. The training program is funded by the U.S. State Department and run by Kaseman LLC, a Chantilly, Va.-based logistics company.

“This is really historic," said Noe Sánchez, academic director at the academy. "We've never had this kind of international cooperation before.”

The program marks a major change for Mexico, which is sensitive about foreign meddling and has long resisted large-scale U.S. training of its police and soldiers.

Since classes began July 20, 2009, hundreds of U.S. law-enforcement officers have come to Mexico to team-teach in three-week shifts.

It brings in FBI agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, U.S. marshals, Drug Enforcement Administration agents and detectives from city police departments, as well as police from Colombia, Spain, Canada, the Czech Republic and other countries

The training program focuses on teaching investigative skills - interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence and intelligence-gathering.

To measure the program's success, the Federal Police have instituted periodic "confidence checks" that combine performance evaluations, drug testing, reviews of officers' finances and a background check.


  1. this will either end with better trained initiates for the Zetas or a full-on occuptaion of Mexico by the U.S.

  2. and so it has begun...mebbe it is for the best...whatever it takes to destroy the z...

  3. This will make or break the whole anti-war on drugs effort. Either we succeed or we become a fail state in Mexico, no ands ifs or buts.

  4. And the cartels will pay hundreds or thousands of them to work as killers!

  5. What is the U.S. thinking?!! Its time to cut our loses an close the border btwn mex. this shit is out of control

  6. these soldiers will be used to recapture lost mexican land given to the u.s. hahahaha.

  7. @"these soldiers will be used to recapture lost mexican land given to the u.s. hahahaha."
    Sounds like you are in SERIOUS need of a history lesson! Try Googling "Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo". Moron!

  8. yeah wouldn't it be great if Mexico controlled the whole western part of the USA, and had a shared border with Canada also,then the USA would be a small country against the mighty lawless Mexico...oh i am sure mexicos problems would still be the fault of Americans..but at least those smug assed canadiens could get some blame also...but i guess all the coke and herion in toronto, vancouver and montreal dosen't come from mexico

  9. Perhaps some of the soldiers are working for the forces when they actually are working secretly for the drug cartels. Do they have to go through with lie detector (test) prior to working with the federal authorities? If not, gee... Good luck in the war.

  10. You just can't trust the Mexican army or police, bringing in the U.S. or Mercs like Blackwater is probably the only viable solution and it pains me to say that as a Mexican but I see no other option.

  11. The US being involved in internal Mexican affairs has produced the slaughter we are seeing today,


    What hypocrisy as most Americans call Mexican undocumented workers 'criminals' yet ignore our own sorry ass US government's own criminality as it goes into other peoples countries illegally everywhere.


  12. 7:23pm you sound like a typical crybaby that comes to the U.S. gets comfotable an starts bitching an whining. These sorry asses getting pushed out by the cartels are taking advantage of the laid back USA lifestyle.. sleeper cells if you ask me!! enough is enough quit defending mexico cause they are all screwed up!!!

  13. Mexico is a great country, with many beautiful places, been of Mexican Decent, I do understand the problem. We cant blame every Mexican for this, its a minority who's causing the trouble in Mexico, which is the Cartels and their Pro-Cartel movement (singers,movie makers, etc). If they really want to trim the cartels, you need to first, dismantel their money laundering operations.

  14. bad boy, bad boy, where you gonna go when the UAV comes for you..hey i hear there is a chines lady up around Miguel Aleman who specializes in removal of gang tatuajes...por gratis por la letra...mebbe time to take off those raybans, pat that hair down , get rid of the ed hardy, pull up tha pants, and mebbe ,you know, get a job or something.

  15. Why the hell is everyone critizing the US for helping out mexico? Especially the 'mexicans' on here that "pains them to say the olny viable solution is us involvement" and blaming the US for the violence? Holy hell, are you stupid as fuck??? One, the US didn't cause shit so don't blame them when they are trying to provide aid.

  16. and second why would it pain you to see your country being helped by another? Do you want to see it go even further down the shithole it's in? What the fuck is your problem? I'm mexican and if anything i'm grateful that the us is willing to put it's ass on the line


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