More than 8,000 elements of the Military Police belonging to the Secretariat of National Defense and temporarily assigned to the National Guard (GN) will assume control of security and surveillance of the main airports and highway stations throughout the country by June 6, 2022.

According to a plan drawn up by the Sedena itself (the agency that operationally controls the GN), the military will relieve the former civilian federal police officers who were in charge of these functions in 202 highway stations and 55 national and international airports.

In a brief statement delivered to this media, the National Guard confirmed the initial phase of this strategy with the relief of the civilians who were in charge of highway security in Guanajuato and Jalisco.

On August 17, Animal Político reported that this plan would be implemented in September in these two states, and that 800 military police elements would be used for this purpose, who were trained with express courses on issues related to vehicle driving, combating auto transport robbery, among others.

New information now available indicates that this is the first phase of a total of four that will be carried out over the next ten months to cover all the highway stations and air terminals in the 32 states of the country.

Although it will be the same National Guard that will maintain the surveillance of the highways and air terminals, the difference lies in the fact that the elements that were in charge of this task were former federal civilian police officers transferred to this corporation who already had experience in this field as they belonged to the now defunct Regional Security Directorate of the Federal Police.

With the changeover that is now underway, these tasks will be assumed by the military police assigned to the GN and who, in short, make up the majority of this corporation. However, these are elements that in reality belong to and are originally assigned to the Sedena.

And although the GN is still administratively attached to the civilian Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection, the President has already announced that he will propose a constitutional reform for this security corporation to become part of the Sedena as an additional armed branch in conjunction with the Army and the Mexican Air Force.

The three remaining phases of the takeover

The plan to consummate the military control of the country's highways and airports consists of three more phases or "steps", as the Sedena calls them, in addition to the initial step that has already been implemented in Jalisco and Guanajuato. A total of 8,196 military police officers assigned to the National Guard will be required for this purpose.

The second phase consists of the training of a total of 2,945 elements through courses that began on September 6 and will culminate on November 12. This is with a view to the handover of the agents currently deployed on November 22.

The deployment will be carried out as follows: a total of 1,727 GN military personnel will occupy 75 highway patrol stations located in the State of Mexico, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Nuevo León, Tlaxcala, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Quintana Roo and Chihuahua. In turn, 1,218 troops will be deployed at 29 airports located in these states, as well as in Hidalgo, Campeche, Colima, Puebla, Tabasco, Querétaro, Morelos and Veracruz.

The third phase comprises the training of another 3,300 military police officers between January 10 and March 18 of next year, with the aim of relieving agents in office on March 28. In this case, 2,454 troops will be assigned to take control of 63 highway stations in Mexico City, Baja California, Durango, Tamaulipas, Puebla, Tabasco, Querétaro, Zacatecas, Yucatán and Coahuila.

The remaining 846 military personnel will be mobilized to 14 airports in the aforementioned states. The fourth and final phase of the relief will be carried out with 1,951 more military police who will be trained between March 21 and May 27, 2022, with a view to taking up their duties on June 6.

In this case, 468 troops will be assigned to provide security at airports located in Sonora, San Luis Potosí, Nayarit, Aguascalientes, Colima, Veracruz, Campeche and Michoacán. Meanwhile, 1,483 military personnel will be mobilized to 64 highway patrol stations in these states, in addition to Morelos and Hidalgo.

Once the military personnel have been replaced, the document establishes that the National Guard will assume full operational, logistical and administrative control of the country's highway and airport security coordination.