Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Riverside

UC Riverside Previously Published Works bannerUC Riverside

A Tale of Two Missions: Mexican Military Police Patrols Versus High-Value Targeted Operations

  • Author(s): Pion-Berlin, David
  • et al.
Abstract

Latin American scholars often maintain that militaries should be kept out of internal security operations. Soldiers, they claim, are ill suited for these assignments, inevitably placing innocent civilians in harm’s way. This study instead argues that not all counternarcotic missions are the same. When a specific operation coincides with a military’s capabilities and proclivities, it can be conducted effectively and humanely. When there is a disconnect between the operation and the institution, there is a greater chance for mission failure and civilian casualties. Those differences are revealed in a comparative case study of the Mexican military’s crime patrols versus its targeted operations against cartel kingpins. It finds that while there are justifiable doubts about transforming soldiers into cops, it is also the case that soldiers can conduct themselves professionally and with restraint when they are tasked with assignments that conform more closely to their skills sets.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View