HomeNewsBriefFake Military Uniform Workshop Discovered in North Mexico
BRIEF

Fake Military Uniform Workshop Discovered in North Mexico

MEXICO / 25 MAY 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

Mexican Marines made an alarming discovery during a raid in the northern border town of Piedras Negras: a clandestine workshop used to make fake military uniforms.

Acting on an anonymous tip, marines discovered hundreds of replica camouflage uniforms in the workshop, designed to mimic those of the armed forces. Authorities even found fake body armor, also fashioned to look like military gear.

The navy maintains that the texture, design and colors of the fake uniforms were off, but photos of them (see above) appear close enough to the real thing that the untrained eye could easily be fooled.

According to naval officials, the workshop was an attempt by an unspecified criminal organization to damage the reputation of the armed forces, which has already taken a hit due to recent allegations of high-level corruption.

InSight Crime Analysis

The use of fake uniforms by drug cartels has less to do with trying to hurt the reputation of the military than with its strategic value. With relatively convincing uniforms, criminal groups can set up roadblocks, conduct robberies and carry out hits much more easily, and do not have to worry about attracting attention for being armed.

The use of fake uniforms is not unknown in Mexico. US Homeland Security agent Jaime Zapata, who was murdered in February 2011, may have been killed by cartel members posing as soldiers at a roadblock.

The success of this tactic relies on a central pillar of the government's security strategy: deploying the military in trouble spots, making their presence unremarkable in these conflict-hit zones.

Drug trafficking organizations in Mexico have also been known to personalize fake uniforms, adding badges with cartel symbols or mottos.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

FENTANYL / 10 JUN 2022

Authorities in Mexico's northern state of Sinaloa have made a string of synthetic drug lab busts, underscoring how the state…

FEATURED / 28 APR 2021

The deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl has displaced heroin as the leading driver of the ongoing opioid crisis in the United…

MEXICO / 25 APR 2022

The Mexican government's shuttering of a special criminal investigative unit that worked with US anti-drug agents has added new cracks…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…