Global Security – A Mexican Insight

National security is a one-of-a-kind bond, in creating coherence in a country. The Center of Investigation and National security (CISEN) in Mexico establishes that law of national security, which is defined by the actions undertaken in order to keep the integrity of the country. This means globally protecting the country from any threats and risks and preserving the democratic regime.

Nevertheless, the concept of national security in Mexico is a polemical question, as it is often driven by political and ideological connotations.

In sight of recent threats, we set priorities to fight espionage, sabotage, terrorism, rebellion, treason to the nation, and any other action that would impede the authorities to fight against delinquency.

The risks can be internal or external conditions generated by political, economic, social or non-state agents’ situations, as well as natural disasters and pandemics. The national agenda of risks is established on a yearly basis by the National Security Council (CSN).

The Global Plan of Development of 1980-1982 first indicated national security as an essential function of the armed forces, strengthening the political institutions in Mexico.

During the 1980’s, national security was mainly about maintaining the independence and sovereignty of the country. It was in the 1990’s that the public insecurity became a priority, with the creation of the Preventive Federal Police. Then, at the beginning of this century, President Vicente Fox proposed that the main concerns of national security were delinquency and the illegal drug trafficking. Authorities noticed that the concept of national security was previously used in order to justify illegitimate actions of authorities. Political opposition was a threat and needed to be neutralized. For a long time, national security was confused with security for the party in power. In 2007, migration and commercial movements across the Mexican borders became priorities. The Law of National Security established a legal frame for its operation today.

Beyond all the official declarations, there are the real interests of the government which are taken care of. National security went from a military and oppressing concept, to one where human security was a priority. But the national risks agenda remains a confidential document.

The past couple of years have shown that the country may have a hard time to face these threats and risks. Indeed, it would seem as if the main risk is still the population revolting and protesting. Corruption being in the first line of the Mexican government, the national risk agenda fails to meet the population’s’ needs, although the past years have been about fighting organized crime. For some scholars, political crisis, external debt, and poverty are the main threats to the country, but these are not stipulated in the agenda as they are not the main interest of the government. The most Mexico can do for international security, being outside of the Security Council of the UN, is first and foremost to establish a coherent national security system, which could be an example for the region, and bring Mexican forces forward in the international scene.

by Wendy T.