HomeNewsBriefMexican Army Has Arrested 8,000 in 2012

Mexican Army Has Arrested 8,000 in 2012


Mexico's Defense Department (Sedena), which is made up of the army and air force, has detained nearly 8,000 people in anti-drug trafficking operations over the course of 2012, though low conviction rates mean many go free.

Between January and early September of this year Sedena detained nearly 8,000 people in anti-drug operations, reported El Universal. The numbers from 2012 are on track to match those of last year, when Sedena detained 12,465 people.

In operations against drug trafficking, Sedena seized over $7 million in Mexican and US currency.

In addition, the army has confiscated over 10,000 large arms, 5,000 small arms, and 1,500 grenades. They also seized over 10,000 vehicles, 18 planes, and 32 boats.

InSight Crime Analysis

The real challenge for the Mexican government is actually bringing those arrested to trial and obtaining a conviction. A report from Mexico's Attorney General's Office from earlier this month stated that only 31 percent of those detained by the office's organized crime division between 2006 and 2011 were convicted. This is an improvement over previous reports that those arrested for drug trafficking had an estimated conviction rate of 15 percent.

A corollary issue is Mexico's extensive use of pre-trial detention. Many people who are arrested are jailed without being charged or convicted, resulting in dangerously overcrowded, corrupt jails and making it easy for small-time offenders to become integrated into larger criminal networks within prisons.

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.


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.


Was this content helpful?

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


Related Content

MEXICO / 24 NOV 2016

The growing backlash against Mexican soap operas revolving around the drug trade and its principal players, known as "narcotelenovelas," is based largely…


With oxygen in short supply in Mexico amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a black market is expanding -- in another example…

MEXICO / 22 NOV 2010

Silverio Cavazos Ceballos, the former governor of the western state of Colima, was assassinated Sunday. …

About InSight Crime


Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…


Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…


Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…


InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…


Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…