Security Education Narrative Database Patterns of Professional Education

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Marshall Islands




Has municipal, state, and federal police; federal police constitute a gendarmerie dating back to the Rurales of the pre-independence era.

Historical context of security sector evolution:

  • 1821 Independence, popular army a trusted national institution

• 1840s US land grab deprives Mexico of most of its northern territories

(Texas, New Mexico, California) army discredited

• 1860s bandits are the primary form of rural political opposition to

rapacious land-owners; a “Robin Hood” tradition

• 1910 Revolution, Zapata and Pancho Villa are folk heros and political

forefathers, but not associated with regular army, army tries to coat-tail

• 1911 the continuing “porfiriato” is characterized by a weak and

disorganized police and widespread small-time banditry

• 1927-1929 Cristero Rebellion, separation of church and state, Catholic

influence rooted out of army and rurales, creeps back in through officer


• 1920s to 1980s firm PRI control of the military and the gendarme-like


• 1980s oil shock, debt crisis

• Post-PRI expansion of military role in managing violence in the heavily

indigenous South hinders democratic response (Villareal, 2001)

• 1990s peso crisis, rise in narco violence and corruption


Urban police (Anozie, 2004)

– police became less reliable in the 1980s as their salaries slipped below cost of

living with inflation

– crime rose during the 1990s debt crisis

– corruption partly tied to the culture of patronage

– Mexico city is worst in country

• Rural police detachments

– Rurales were used for rural pacification, especially to aid European settlement;

occasional assimilation of bandits; in the early 20th C, bandits and rurales

were fluidly interchangeable, recruited during the porfiriato

– Federal Police established 1995 (Urbalejo, 2003) on national police

development plan

• Military (Villareal, 2001)

– increasing use in the late 1990s as a substitute for police to maintain order in

states has impeded democratic control of security, and introduced some drug-

related corruption into the army

– has been accused of abuses (dating back to the 1960s) when engaged in

policing and crowd control, for which they are not adequately trained

Human security and national security:

    • There has been minimal military involvement in national security (e.g.

against the US) since the 1845-1848 loss of Mexican territory (TX, CA,


• The history of American military incursions and humiliations has done

nothing to inspire Mexican confidence in the army as an instrument of

national security.

On the other hand, it appears to be a credible instrument of national will

to preserve internal order, at least for urban and European populations

• Human security threats (unemployment, starvation, loss of land, natural

disaster, crimes and violence against persons and property, etc) have

sometimes been addressed by the military, and sometimes it has been


• the military have been less corruptible than the police for internal security

and anti-drug operations because they are based away from the areas of

operation, and their families are less at risk than police who live in the

communities where they work. Nevertheless, there have been concerns

that nothing but internal deployment risks damaging both democracy and

the army as national institutions, hence the new police force and the

national development program described by Urbalejo.

-see Urbalejo, “Reforming the police system under the Fox Government”41

-see Anozie et al, “Reducing Incentives for Corruption in the Mexico City Police Force”42

Constitution restricts overseas deployments; conscription for the army, but all volunteer service for navy and air; very low expenditure per capita on defence 0.5% of GDP (161st , compare Canada, 1.1% gdp 131st)

Secretary of Public Security, Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of National Defence.

- Universidad del Ejército y Fuerza Aérea (university of army and air force) (This appears to be the rebranded heroico colegio militar de mexico, but may now include graduate students from later in their military careers, like the Canadian model?)43

-the schools listed below look like a mixed bag—some technical schools for other ranks, some dealing with cadets and future officers, some both together, like the combat arms schools at CFB Gagetown.

- Escuela Militar graduados de sanidad (sanitation school)

- Escuala Medico Militar (medical school)

- Escuela Militar de Ingenieros (engineering school)

- Heroico Colegio Militar (this appears to be a four year west point model military college)44

- Escuela Militar de Enfermeras (nursing school)

- Escuela militar de transmisiones (signals school)

- Escuela militar de especialistas (aeronautical engineering school)

-meteorological school


- Public Security Superior Academy in the central state of San Luis Potosi, 800-1000 police officers, future police commanders (like a staff college for mid-career police)

- corruption in state, municipal and local police forces is thoroughly institutionalized (case study near Mexico city)45

- new police academies face rapid infiltration by organized crime and corrupt practices46

-policia federal preventiva, directed by the secretaria de seguridad publica, created in 1998 from merging other federal police forces; considered a gendarmerie due to paramilitary structure; focus on dealing with organized crime; institutional development involves basic police school, police college, and higher institute for specialization47 (which seems to have icitap support and aim at international standards; I don’t know if this is the one in San Luis Potosi, or another one)

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