Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador plans to create a specialized border force to combat illegal immigration across Mexico’s borders, according to his hand-picked security chief.
“We’re going to create a border police force that will be highly specialized,” Alfonso Durazo said in an interview with Bloomberg. “They need to apply the law,” including stopping undocumented migrants and human traffickers from crossing into Mexico, which Durazo stated often takes place with the help of corrupt officials.
The new force is aimed at stanching the flow of illegal immigrants and contraband from Central America and will also be deployed to Mexico’s northern border, Durazo said, according to Bloomberg. It is part of Lopez Obrador’s broader strategy against regional violence, corruption and poverty.
Durazo is set to become Mexico’s public security minister when Lopez Obrador takes office in December.
Lopez Obrador is a left-wing populist who won the presidency riding the wave against the Mexican political establishment, blaming the establishment for Mexico’s rising rate of cartel violence and police corruption.
Lopez Obrador is known for speaking out against the United States government’s treatment of Mexican migrants. These statements heavily clash with his own plans for border reform on Mexico’s southern border.
Durazo was optimistic about the reforms, which he called a “Mexican recipe for peace.” Still, Mexico’s deep-seated problems with corruption and violence are “not going to be resolved in a day,” Durazo said, according to The Associated Press.
One of the proposed policies by the incoming Mexican administration is an amnesty policy that would forgive crimes committed by low-level drug cartel members, whom Durazo stated are often “coerced” into joining the cartels.
Lopez Obrador will host Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for meetings in Mexico City on Friday. Immigration and border security are expected to be on the agenda.