Mexico's new president wants federal police change
Mexico's president-elect proposed a government reorganization Wednesday that would put the scandal-hit federal police under control of the department responsible for domestic security.
Enrique Pena Nieto said the purpose was "to create a new organization scheme to improve internal security ... and with that restore peace and tranquility for all Mexicans."
Federal police are now part of a free-standing Public Security Department. Its chief, Genaro Garcia Luna, has deep ties to many in current President Felipe Calderon's administration.
Pena Nieto, who takes office Dec. 1, wants federal agents to be controlled by the Interior Department, a change that would require action by Congress.
The federal police force, which has grown during the administration of current President Felipe Calderon from approximately 6,000 officer to more than 35,000, has been considered as one of pillars along with the army and navy of the government's offensive against organized crime and drug trafficking.
Calderon has touted the federal police expansion as the centerpiece of his war on drug cartels. But in June, two officers fatally shot three colleagues at Mexico City's airport, and authorities said the shooters were part of a cocaine ring. Then in August, a group of federal officers shot up a U.S. diplomatic car, wounding two CIA agents in what officials say was a deliberate attack.
Pena Nieto also proposed the creation of a national anti-corruption commission that would have greater powers than the Public Administration Department, which currently investigates corruption among public officials.
Pena Nieto presented his proposal to the congressional leaders of his party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, so they can introduce legislation implementing the changes he is seeking.
He said he wanted his proposal to be approved before he takes office in his administration's first days, but his party does not have a majority in Congress.
Political analyst Luis Miguel Perez Juarez said Pena Nieto was trying to send a critical message to Calderon with the proposed changes.
"It is a disqualification of the (Calderon) strategy. He is saying, `You were wrong, and (the fight) requires a single command,'" said Perez, of Tec de Monterrey University.