Military die under fire of crime

During the last two six-year terms, when the Mexican government undertook an intense fight against drug trafficking and organized crime, 542 soldiers died: 288 during the Felipe Calderón administration and 254 in the Enrique Peña Nieto administration.

Image: stock photo
Image: stock photo

Of the total number of military deaths during the period 2006-2018, according to information from the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena), in response to a request for transparency, more than half were registered in the states of Tamaulipas (130 soldiers fallen in both six-year terms), Sinaloa (68), Michoacán (58) and Guerrero (55), for a total of 311. That is, 57.38%.

In Calderón's administration, 288 elements of the National Defense lost their lives, of which 151 died in the four states mentioned (Tamaulipas, 51, Sinaloa, 35, Michoacán, 37, and Guerrero, 28); that is, 52.43% of the total in that six-year term.

Meanwhile, in the Peña Nieto administration, 254 soldiers died, 160 of them in the four entities mentioned: Tamaulipas, 79; Sinaloa, 33 deaths; Michoacán, 21 and Guerrero, 27; that is, 63% of the total.

According to analysts and activists, the lack of planning in the actions of these six-year terms against organized crime, in addition to the criminal groups that were concentrated in these states, as well as the antiquity, are the causes of the deaths.

"Remember that Tamaulipas, especially in the time of Calderón, was the land of 'Los Zetas' and they had a slogan to kill. Even among them they were rewarded and recognized because the more military they killed, the more moguls they were. There were certain incentives for Los Zetas to execute violence against the Mexican Army, the Mexican Armed Forces and the Federal Police, even at the local level, "said Francisco Rivas, general director of the National Citizen Observatory (ONC).

La Sedena notes that in these actions against organized crime, 286 soldiers were killed "for assault with a firearm." In this case, 132 occurred in the administration of Calderón, while in Peña Nieto's six-year term they added 154.

María Elena Morera, president of Causa en Común, said: "It is very serious that they kill any Mexican; However when we are talking about Armed Forces or police officers, it is much more serious because it is the people who take care of us. It seems to me that the main problem here is impunity, and we never finish investigating what happened and that the perpetrators go to jail. So, it's very cheap to kill a policeman or an Army element. "

She believes that if the military is not prepared, it is easier for them to ambush them. "I think [the deaths] are more due to the fact that they are doing security actions without being prepared and it is very easy for them to ambush them. They do not do research, it is shown that only 3% of the operations that the military does have to do with previous investigations. They are more about doing rounds and operatives at the moment, "he said.

For Francisco Rivas, the murder of soldiers in combat against organized crime is regrettable but inevitable in a strategy that did not work, but that had effects such as arrests of criminals. In figures, it worked more for Calderón, since it left the organized crime weakened, but with Peña Nieto, the acts of general crime were perceived more, not only organized.

The design of the strategies, for the specialists consulted by El Gran Diario de México, was one of the causes that led to the deaths of the military, due to the fact that there were no previous plans before taking the Armed Forces to the streets.

via Cuarto Poder