Last Updated: Friday, 28 November 2014, 14:01 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Mexico

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 18 August 2011
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Mexico, 18 August 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e52481fc.html [accessed 28 November 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: The Mexican government remained vigilant against domestic and international terrorist threats and continued its efforts to disrupt and dismantle the transnational criminal organizations responsible for unprecedented drug-trafficking-related violence. It worked with its neighbors to increase control of its northern and southern borders. No known international terrorist organization had an operational presence in Mexico and no terrorist group targeted U.S. interests and personnel in or from Mexican territory. There was no evidence of ties between Mexican criminal organizations and terrorist groups, nor that the criminal organizations had aims of political or territorial control, aside from seeking to protect and expand the impunity with which they conduct their criminal activity.

2010 Terrorist Incidents: The Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for using propane and gasoline-based bombs to cause property damage at banks and commercial sites in Mexico City. Police arrested several alleged members. The People's Revolutionary Army (EPR), which has resorted to violence in the past, threatened to reemploy violent measures to force a response to its demands for a government investigation into the disappearance of two of its members.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: Mexican security forces improved their operational effectiveness, information sharing, and interagency coordination as part of a government-wide campaign to combat organized crime, reduce violence, and prevent terrorism. As part of this effort, the United States supported the Mexican government's efforts by providing training to Mexican federal law enforcement and security agencies, and promoting interagency law enforcement cooperation at the federal and state levels. President Calderon proposed legislation to clarify national security roles and responsibilities, streamline control of non-federal police forces, and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. Although these efforts were primarily aimed at organized crime groups, they also supported government preparedness against domestic or international terrorism. The Mexican government has nearly doubled spending on public and national security over the past four years.

The United States and Mexico worked closely to address border security challenges along Mexico's southern and northern borders. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano signed arrangements with Mexican Interior and Public Security departments to share information about transnational threats; promote law enforcement information and intelligence sharing; produce joint strategic plans; deploy enhanced airport screening technologies; and strengthen passenger information sharing. On the U.S.-Mexico border, officials increased coordination of patrols and inspections and improved communications across the border. U.S. and Mexican officials also improved cooperation on investigations of aliens who may raise terrorism concerns. Mexico implemented biometric controls and other measures to reduce smuggling on its border with Guatemala and Belize.

Countering Terrorist Finance: There was no indication that terrorist organizations used Mexico as a conduit for illicit activities. Nevertheless, Mexico's limited capacity to counter money laundering suggested a potential vulnerability. In order to counter the illegal movement of funds, Mexican financial institutions are required to follow international standards advocated by the Financial Action Task Force, of which Mexico holds the 2010-2011 presidency. Furthermore, Mexican financial institutions are required to follow the Law of Credit Institutions, as ordered by the Mexican Treasury and supervised by the National Bank and Securities Commission. This law requires banks to consult international and country lists of individuals involved in terrorism or other illicit activities and submit a suspicious activities report within 24 hours to the Mexican Department of Treasury's Financial Intelligence Unit on the activities of any individual on that list.

Regional and International Cooperation: As 2009-2010 chair of the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism, Mexico worked to strengthen the capacities of OAS member countries to prevent terrorism by promoting consultation and by strengthening border controls. Mexico signed the Beijing Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation and the Beijing Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft at the conclusion of an International Civil Aviation Organization diplomatic conference in September.

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