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Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Mexico

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 31 July 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Mexico, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbcabc.html [accessed 1 October 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. It increased law enforcement and counterterrorism cooperation with the United States and other neighbors and took steps to enhance 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. citizens in or from Mexican territory. There was no evidence of ties between Mexican criminal organizations and terrorist groups, nor that the criminal organizations had political or territorial control, aside from seeking to protect and expand the impunity with which they conduct their criminal activity.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Mexican government continued to improve the abilities of its security forces to counter terrorism. The United States supported these efforts by providing training and equipment to Mexican law enforcement and security agencies, sharing information, and promoting interagency law enforcement cooperation. The United States also supported Mexican efforts to address border security challenges along its southern and northern borders and its ports. The U.S. and Mexican governments implemented programs to share information and jointly analyze transnational threats; promote information and intelligence sharing; deploy enhanced cargo screening technologies; and strengthen passenger information sharing. U.S. and Mexican officials also continued coordinated efforts to prevent the transit of third country nationals who may raise terrorism concerns. On the U.S.-Mexico border, officials increased coordination of patrols and inspections and improved communications across the border. On the Mexico-Guatemala-Belize border, Mexico deployed additional security forces and implemented biometric controls. Mexico remained a critical partner nation in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program, which began to shift its focus from protection of national leadership training to border security, preventing safe havens, and protecting critical targets.

The Mexican government aided U.S. efforts to disrupt an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. U.S. officials arrested Iranian-American Manssor Arbabsiar in New York on September 29 after the Mexican government denied him entry to Mexico and he was returned to the starting point of his journey. Arbabsiar had planned to contact a Mexican criminal organization on behalf of elements of the Iranian government.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Mexico is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Financial Action Task Force of South America Against Money Laundering, a FATF-style regional body. As a result of the announcement of a National Strategy for the Prevention and Elimination of Money Laundering and Financing for Terrorism in 2010, Mexico issued a number of Anti-Money Laundering/Counterterrorist Finance (AML/CTF) regulations that strengthen reporting requirements and expand the range of financial entities covered under AML/CTF provisions. In April, the government proposed to amend the Federal Criminal Code to expressly establish that corporate entities are liable for crimes, including cases of terrorist financing, committed by their legal representatives.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: Through the Organization of American States' Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism and the Central American Integration System, Mexico has led regional efforts to strengthen capacities to increase security and prevent terrorism by promoting consultation, increasing law enforcement cooperation, and strengthening border controls.

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