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Column 051214 Brewer

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mexico's Need to Secure Borders and Harness Organized Crime

By Jerry Brewer

No organizational strategy for a solid and coherent plan of action in the design, development and deploying of comprehensive police enforcement actions or plans for a homeland can succeed without first coming to grips with the realities of basic infrastructure weaknesses.

As governments and their security forces in Mexico and the northern cone nations of Central America appear to be operationally dysfunctional in terms of having answers or the necessary resources to be proactive in meeting the monumental challenges, many are in fact stymied by indecision and mental paralyses due to the escalating violence and apparent unceasing threats.

The border regions between Mexico and the U.S., and Mexico with Guatemala and Belize, are areas where virtual criminal insurgency wars are being waged. Honduras and El Salvador form the next layer to the south facing this barbaric transnational insurgency.  

Escalating homicides and ongoing violence in the northern cone nations of Central America are causing misery and despair among those in the path that leads north to the U.S. border and beyond, all of which resonate further in a myriad of new adversities and challenges in all directions.  As to Mexico, deaths there from this murdering rampage are far above U.S. losses in the Viet Nam war.

Unprotected borders are nothing less than a swinging gate or revolving door that filters a somewhat perceived methodical transition of tolerance.

Last week a refreshing and most important proactive idea was, once again, officially articulated in terms of border security in Mexico. This time the armed violence implications were hushed for a milder warning that, "Now that Mexico's birth rate has stabilized, and it's economy is improving, Mexico more and more finds itself victimized by illegal immigrants.” Mexico again wants to address its own border security with Guatemala, Belize, and the U.S.

Illegal immigrants from Central and South America now make up more than half of all illegal entrants into the U.S.

As this writer has noted since 2005, the deficiencies of Mexico’s virtually wide open southern border have facilitated transnational crime insurgent acts of violence and murder with impunity, and countless other lawless hostilities, in the homeland.  All of which, in turn, allows the culprits to achieve powers that can threaten the Mexican state.  Furthermore, Mexico’s failures at the U.S. border have contributed significantly to the illicit flow of contraband and people from Central American, a pipeline that flows essentially unimpeded in what seems to be a near rite of free passage to the U.S. border.

Mexico’s border policies, practices and operations must have the needed infrastructure, resources and support to make an impact on contiguous border actions, and with Mexico's neighbors.

Although U.S. Rep Henry Cuellar (D-TX) should be commended for touting this most important necessity last week, he fell short by advocating for the U.S. to fund the Mexican border patrol initiative.  He recognized that, the “U.S. may also benefit from Mexico having a secured border,” and he stressed the importance of U.S. coordination and cooperation.  “I think we will do a much better job of securing our common border so drugs and undocumented immigrants don't pass into the United States."

What about the estimated US$80 billion a year flowing back across the U.S. border into Mexico, along with illegal weapons? Can anyone realistically say that corruption on either side of the border will not be a major concern and a factor?

The reality is that border security for all nations concerned must be a priority, and this means now!

Borders must be secured in Mexico without fail, and as timely as resources and commitment allow. Mexico will also need a competent core of professionals and experts that can lend technical support in strategic and tactical border issues and enforcement protocols.

The U.S. must concentrate on continuing to prop up and effectively structure its own border security, albeit with its own difficulties that include financial and other resource constraints, which — yes — involve the cleansing of some of the same depravities that plague Mexico.


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

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