Mexican interior secretary urges states to strengthen police forces

Mexican Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong requested that Mexican states and municipalities to strengthen their police forces on 20 December 2016, and suggested the army would not be used as a long term solution (Milenio). The Interior Secretary commented on security issues during the 41st Session of the National Public Security Council which also featured President Enrique Peña Nieto and other government officials (La Jornada and Milenio). Osorio Chong warned the armed forces should be used as a last resort in emergency situations and said the accusations of excessive force and a lack of legal framework have lowered morale in the military (Milenio). The Interior Secretary also highlighted the establishment of special anti-kidnapping units in every state and reported the Security Cabinet authorized the arrangement of operations in 50 of Mexico’s most problematic municipalities (La Jornada).

Armed group kidnaps six Mexican police officers in Chihuahua

Chihuahua State Prosecutor Félix González confirmed an armed group of men kidnapped six Madera Municipal police officers in Chihuahua, Mexico on 23 November 2016 (Economía Hoy). The armed group stormed the police station kidnapping the policemen and stole guns and a patrol vehicle (Vanguardia). The officers were abducted in the municipality of Madera located in an area close to the Sonora state border known for the presence of drug cartels. La Simona, the community where the kidnapping took place, is identified with groups linked to the Juárez Cartel as well as alleged youth hitman training facilities (Economía Hoy). This is the second attack against police forces in November 2016 as three Madera officers were wounded in an ambush on 12 November (Vanguardia).

Raid carried out against former Honduran police members of drug trafficking ring

Authorities oversaw ten raids throughout Honduras in operation Panamericano that captured multiple members of a criminal structure, comprised of former and current police officers, dedicated to transnational drug trafficking (Radio HRN, 23 November 2016). According to investigations by the Fiscalía Especial Contra el Crimen Organizado (FESCCO), the current police acted as cover to transport drugs through the country, then passed the drugs off to associates with connections to other countries in the region (La Prensa). Investigators have identified people from the same group in Costa Rica, transporting drugs from Colombia to the United States (La Prensa). The operation Panamericano was lead by FESCCO, in coordination with the Dirección Policial de Investigaciones (DPI) and the Tropa de Intelegencia y Grupos de Respuesta Especial de Seguridad (TIGRES).