A new ‘state-of-the-art’ U.S. base, currently under construction in Puebla, would be used to launch covert operations against drug cartels, says the Mexican opposition party.
Earlier this year, in May, the governor of the Mexican State of Puebla, Rafael Moreno Valle, and the U.S. Coordinator for Plan Merida in Mexico, Keith W. Mines, held an inauguration ceremony for what they described as the most ‘sophisticated and modernized’ police academy in Mexico.
The 54-acre facility will cost $22 million. It will have barracks for about 500 personnel, two conference auditoriums, two chow halls, a helicopter landing area, four watch towers, a gun range, a forensic lab, a training court room, as well as smoke and fire simulation buildings, according to Mexican journalist Raul Rodriguez Cortes.
At first glimpse, to most Mexicans, it would seem logical to modernize the federal police; after all, there is an unprecedented crisis of violence and corruption throughout the country. Therefore, building a militarized police training base would seem like the best solution to tackle the problem . . . or so it seems.
According to local activists in Puebla, the new ‘Ignacio Zaragoza Militarized Academy’ or AMIZ will serve as a covert U.S. Military base, where U.S. Special forces will train, rehearse, and launch black operations against Mexican drug cartels. Many Mexicans are in favor of this idea. However, there are many who oppose what they call a violation of their national sovereignty.
Others accuse the Mexican Government and the United States Government of building ‘a school of the Americas on steroids,’ even if the facility was only going to serve as a police academy.
Local Mexican Congressman from the ‘Convergence Party,’ José Juan Espinosa Torres is one of the biggest opponents of opening any military base in Puebla -whether Mexican or foreign. Also, a representative from the PRD Party, Enrique Alcántara Dzgaip has been organizing street protests against the construction of the base, calling it an ‘American intervention.’
The U.S. Coordinator for Plan Merida in Mexico, Keith W. Mines, the Governor of Puebla, and other pubic officials have admitted that many U.S. federal agents will serve as instructors at the base in order to ‘modernize’ the Mexican police force. Some U.S. Agencies will include the FBI, DEA, BATF and even NCIS, which is a military organization since it’s part of the U.S. Navy.
Some of the street protesters in Puebla accuse the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) of destabilizing Mexico because of the notorious ‘operation gunrunner’ or ‘fast and furious,’ where BATF agents sold weapons to the drug cartels. Using bullhorns in the streets of Puebla, the protesters are saying that the new ‘militarized police base’ will serve as a point of U.S. Government weapons distribution for the drug cartels.