Published June 15, 2012
The man favored to win Mexico's July 1 presidential contest, Enrique Peña Nieto, said that if he becomes president, he will hire Colombia's former national police chief to advise him on how to battle the powerful drug cartels.
Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, made the announcement at a press conference accompanied by Colombian retired Gen. Oscar Naranjo.
The candidate said that he had offered Naranjo the post of "external security adviser" and that the ex-chief of Colombia's National Police had accepted.
Naranjo resigned as chief of the National Police last Tuesday. In the year 2010 he was named the "Best Policeman in the World."
Peña Nieto said that, if he wins the election, Naranjo will join his team from the time he becomes president-elect and will continue with him after he takes power on Dec. 1.
The candidate said that his strategy in the battle against organized crime is to enforce "the model that has been applied in other countries, and very notably in Colombia, which is one of the world's most successful cases and for us is the most relevant."
"Without doubt this is a chance to develop the strategy that will provide better results in our country," he said.
"Security is a job for the state - it's not a job for parties or the government at one level or another, but of the entire state. It's a job that cannot be renounced, delegated or substituted, and I'm convinced that our country today demands the best experience along with strategies that have been tried and proved successful," Peña Nieto said.
Naranjo, for his part, expressed gratitude for the confidence that Peña Nieto placed in him and said that his functions, if he takes the position, would be as an external security adviser, "not operational and outside the hierarchy of the Mexican government."
When asked for his evaluation of the militarized security strategy of the current Mexican government, he said "I value enormously what Mexico has done for humanity in relation to the war on drugs"
He said, however, that "there will always be ways to perfect, deepen, correct, and improve strategies and policies."
The fight against organized crime, which has left 50,000 people dead over the last five years, is the main challenge facing the next Mexican president. EFE