Monday, August 26, 2013
Mismatched Erratic Police
Stratagems in Honduras and Mexico
Although other countries
in the northern cone of Central America share much of the violence and misery inflicted upon them due to transnational organized
crime, Honduras plus Mexico to the north have much more potential peremptory power to make a difference.
The critical perplexities of their establishing a strong foothold against these murdering
modern day outlaws rests solely with a cohesive plan of action devoid of politics and conjecture. Albeit, that in itself is
a modern day crisis.
What is clear is that both nations have military
power and lack policing infrastructure. It is not hard to follow the dilemma that exists when you have only politics and military
Honduras is facing a new presidential election on November 24
to succeed outgoing President Porfirio Lobo Sosa. Mexico elected President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office
on December 1, 2012. Both aggressively campaigned to end violence associated with crime.
President Lobo's administration sustained an increase in homicides in 2012 over 2011, making 2012 the most violent
year on record. So far in Mexico, Peña Nieto's nine month tenure, omitting other deaths related to crime and violence,
has had 244 public servants murdered during the first six months of 2013, and 100 police officers and members of the military.
In 2012 Lobo sustained an aggressive posture with the Supreme Court over police reform, as
well as other political issues. This while the violence and deaths in Honduras, attributed to Mexican drug trafficking organizations,
became emergency issues that have also resulted in protests by Honduran citizens. Furthermore, an emergency decree that
was in force since November 2011 that resulted in the military having extensive police powers has been extended.
In Mexico, and contrary to his early campaign assertions, Peña Nieto cannot escape
the need for military intervention. His military continues to lead the charge against the organized crime terror-like insurgents.
To this end, Mexico's Defence Ministry has apparently realized that Mexico's military is outgunned and has an
urgent need to replace its arsenal with more modern weaponry. A request for $40 million over the next five years has been
made to apparently meet a need to confront superior weapons being used against them by the criminal groups that have brazenly
shown their violent propensities to attack them head-on or by ambush.
has faced far too much criticism from international media, pundits, and international experts, as well as other reports ad
nauseam, in the play by play of which group controls this territory or that, which area they will take and occupy next, and
who has been replaced and in charge and leading the battle.
these armed criminal insurgents, in effect, have a common agenda of goals that include murder with impunity, crimes with barbaric
violence, territorial control, corruption of police and government officials, and massive profits. What they cannot earn is
simply taken, along with mass human life.
The question is, what strategy
is needed to have an immediate impact?
When we talk of strategy we must
not ignore the means of this transnational enemy that carries no flag of allegiance. As in true battles, their leaders will
fall and be replaced and regroup to fight another day. What is more important than who they are linked to or not, is the weapons
of power they possess to achieve superiority over legitimate authority.
about their bombs? Even Honduran President Lobo was not immune this month, when according to Fox News "a device
tossed from a moving car exploded 100 meters" from his home around midnight.
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) have been placed and
detonated all over the northern cone of Central America, and in Mexico, by the criminal insurgents in attacks against government
officials, police officers and innocents. In Mexico, federal police in Ciudad Juarez and police officials in Nuevo Laredo
are the most recent targets since these devices were initially reported to be used in 2010.
This writer has often written that "police" were never created, organized or deployed to face these superior
war-like weapons and tactics being utilized against them. To those of us who have managed and led law enforcement organizations
here in the US, especially in jurisdictions of escalated gang violence and near the border with Mexico, we rarely worried
about a grenade being thrown at one of our patrol vehicles. South of our border, where actual "policing" is scarce
these days, military weaponry in the hands of organized criminals is common place and escalating.
Honduras and Mexico are pivotal pillars of potential enforcement strategies that must be more than just an artifice
that will not deceive this enemy. These enemies have solidified their presence and territories throughout the regions. They
are in essence a de facto authority that has neutralized the rule of law and weakened governments. Whatever these nations
choose to deploy in defence of their homeland must be unwavering, swift, and decisive in order to save more lives.
Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global threat mitigation
firm headquartered in northern Virginia. His website is located at http://www.cjiausa.org/.