Mexican officials have announced plans to send army troops and federal police to patrol roads in a mountainous region of border state Chihuahua, as part of the new administration’s strategy to combat organized crime and violence.
State Governor Cesar Duarte Jaquez said that President Enrique Peña Nieto’s new national security strategy would get underway in the state in February, as the El Paso Times reported.
As part of the plan, the federal police and army will patrol the Sierra Tarahumara, a mountainous region, where criminal organizations control many of the highways (see map). State government spokesperson Victor Salinas said that the goal was to bring security to roads where there has previously been little police presence, the newspaper reported.
Peña Nieto’s security plan divides the country into five security regions, each with a headquarters to coordinate initiatives. Chihuahua city is the regional headquarters for northwest Mexico, which also includes Durango, Coahuila, Sonora, Sinaloa, Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur.
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Peña Nieto’s national security strategy rests on six main pillars, including the creation of a national gendarmerie, the establishment of 15 new federal police units, and the centralization of security apparatuses.
Northwest Mexico will be a crucial region for the new government’s security strategy. The Sierra Tarahumara is part of the Golden Triangle, the intersection between Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Durango states, which is a poppy and marijuana production center and historic territory of the Sinaloa Cartel. Violence has been on the rise in recent months in the region as it has become one of the battlegrounds for control between other criminal organizations including the Zetas, the Beltran Leyva Organization and the Juarez Cartel.
In December 2012, Chihuahua and Coahuila states had the number one and two highest rates of murders linked to organized crime.
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