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

HEROIN / 17 FEB 2017

Over the last ten years, US anti-narcotics agencies have witnessed a heroin epidemic that tripled the number of heroin addicts…

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 8 OCT 2015

Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto's mass deployment of federal forces to Michoacan is reminiscent of his predecessor Felipe…

EXTORTION / 11 NOV 2015

Criminal gang the Guerreros Unidos are reportedly terrorizing a local community living near one of Mexico's biggest gold mines.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…