Even though the federal government has committed to sending 6,000 members of its National Guard to the southern border with Guatemala to deal with the migrant crisis there, the state of Jalisco will be getting its full complement of officers from the newly created federal security force, Alfonso Durazo, Mexico’s secretary of Public Security and Citizen Protection, revealed this week.
Durazo said that 3,600 officers will be centered in eight “priority” regions in Jalisco: 1) Mascota and Puerto Vallarta; 2) Ameca; 3) La Barca, Lagos de Moreno and Tepatitlán; 4) Colotlán; 5) Zapopan and Tequila; 6) Guadalajara; 7) Zapotlán el Grande (Ciudad Guzman) and Autlán de Navarro; 8) Jocotepec, Tlajomulco and Tonalá.
Each region will be assigned approximately 450 officers, which means Jocotepec could house around 180 officers.
Included in the total of 3,600 are 1,400 Mexican Army soldiers and federal police officers who were deployed here in March as part of a measure to boost security in the state, Durazo said. The remaining 2,200 officers are slated to arrive in the state after July 1, he confirmed.
On taking office, President Manuel Lopez Obrador announced the creation of the National Guard as a way of demilitarizing the fight against organized crime. However, at first the new agency will differ little from the previous approach, since it will be staffed principally by soldiers and federal police and coordinated by military personnel, although under the umbrella of the new Public Security and Citizen Protection Ministry. The force will grow to around 60,000 by 2021, operating in 266 “priority” regions of the country.
The new uniforms for the force were presented at the end of March. At that press conference, Durazo announced that the budget for the new security agency for the following 12 months would be between $US745 million and $US1.05 billion. It is not clear whether additional funds will be found to fund the National Guard’s operation in the south of Mexico.