Mexico: The Shopping List


November 5, 2007: Both Mexican and American politicians and security personnel familiar with the emerging Mexico-US program want to avoid the term "Plan Mexico." Mexican political leaders are said to be particularly sensitive, Mexico made it clear several months ago that there would be no US military personnel or private security personnel involved in the cooperation agreement. US military personnel have been involved in Colombia, where "Plan Colombia" has put lots of hurt on drug gangs and leftist rebels.

November 3, 2007: The Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR) has chosen an interesting political tactic – it is seeking to present itself as an "umbrella resistance organization." The EPR has recently sought to associate itself with the "teachers' rebellion" in Oaxaca City. Attacking economic targets (like PEMEX) is also designed to appeal to "old line" socialist-Marxist-Communist organizations.

October 31, 2007: The Mexican military is acquiring a new rifle. At the moment the weapon, the FX-05, is being used by Mexico's elite Special Forces Airmobile Group (GAFE). The rifle, named the Fire Serpent (after an Aztec Indian mythological serpent), is manufactured in Mexico. It is a 5.56 mm automatic rifle. Eventually (over a period of years), it will replace the Belgian-designed G-3 automatic rifle (a 7.62 mm weapon) which is used throughout the Mexican Army.

October 27, 2007: How will the $500 million the US has budgeted for the new US-Mexico "cooperative counter-drug proposal" be spent? According to US sources, at least $60 million will go to train Mexican police and support Mexican prosecutors and prison operations. Some $300 million will go for "security" equipment and operations. Mexico wants aircraft, especially helicopters. The Bell 412 is on Mexico's shopping list and some of that money may go to purchase this helicopter. However, that remains speculation. Mexico also needs short-range transport aircraft. On October 26 Mexico's foreign ministry said that the Mexican government intends to buy transport planes. A portion of the $500 million will also be used to buy scanning equipment (for searches of vehicles along Mexico's borders) and new communications equipment.


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