Photo: Drug Routes into US
The federal government is deploying more security forces units in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas and will “completely” purge the state’s law enforcement agencies in an effort to stop a spike in drug-related violence, Mexican Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said.
Osorio Chong announced the expanded deployment Tuesday in the border city of Reynosa, unveiling a “new phase” of the federal security strategy for Tamaulipas aimed at restoring to residents “the peace and safety they deserve.”
The surge in drug-related violence in the border state is due “to a large extent to the unraveling of criminal organizations as a result of the Mexican state’s actions,” Osorio Chong said.
Operations launched by federal and state security forces have led to a “weakening” of the Gulf cartel and Los Zetas, the two largest drug cartels operating in Tamaulipas, Osorio Chong said.
The progress made against these criminal organizations, however, “has not been sufficient,” the official said.
The security strategy will now focus on three areas, with the first being the “dismantling of the composition and operations of the criminal organizations,” Osorio Chong said.
The security forces will also focus on sealing off the routes used to smuggle people, drugs, firearms and cash, and on ensuring that local law enforcement agencies are efficient and trustworthy, Osorio Chong said.
The Attorney General’s Office will establish regional offices across the state “to deal with and investigate crimes more effectively,” the official said.
Patrols will be stepped up at ports, airports, customs posts, border crossings and highways, with inspections of prisons and nightspots where criminal activities occur being expanded, Osorio Chong said.
The Gulf and Los Zetas drug cartels have been fighting for control of Tamaulipas and smuggling routes into the United States for years.