Mexico: Enrique Peña Nieto joins forces with “world’s best cop”
Presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto has hired Colombian general Oscar Naranjo as his top security adviser.
Mexican presidential frontrunner Enrique Peña Nieto has named Colombia’s General Oscar Naranjo as his top security advisor. Gen. Naranjo, a well known colombian officer, who is often called “the world’s best cop,” resigned as Colombia’s National Police Director this April after more than three decades of fighting drug cartels in the South American country.
In a press conference held in Mexico City Thursday night Peña Nieto said: “I asked him to act as an advisor if I win the presidency, due to his experience, success and his acclaim during his career, not only in his country but internationally.
Gen. Naranjo has an astounding record. Apart from leading efforts that significantly lowered cocaine production, he coordinated forces that killed top members of the FARC’s secretariat and he is credited with cleaning up police corruption throughout his country. Now, Peña Nieto is hoping that Naranjo can help him do some of the same things for Mexico. “The reason we have this environment of fear today in Mexican society is the absence of security,” the candidate for Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party [PRI] said.
Mexico’s current government has focused heavily on capturing top cartel leaders and interdicting drug shipments headed to the US.
But despite some success, drug related violence has increased in the country under the watch of President Felipe Calderon, claiming over 47,000 lives since 2006 and costing the country 1.2 percentage points of its annual economic output. Peña Nieto and other Mexican candidates are looking for alternatives to President Felipe Calderon’s security strategy that are less violent and more effective at curbing drug trafficking. Peña Nieto also said that, when elected, he was planning on working with the U.S. government, as Colombia did, to improve border security.
Naranjo’s work has been praised by U.S. officials in the past. In one of the leaked cables from Wikileaks in 2009 U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield said Naranjo was: “perhaps the smartest, best informed member of Colombia’s government” According to the Huffington Post.
Yet the pressure is on for Peña Nieto and General Naranjo if Mexico’s July 1st elections go their way. Mexican citizens and the international community will want results from this new government. “It’s clear that the Mexican people expect immediate results” Peña Nieto said.