It is being hailed as the first-ever Mexican counterpart to the CIA. But for this new “superministry” of government, established secretly over the past few weeks by just-installed President Enrique Peña Nieto, the main targets are the powerful and bloody organized crime networks that control the vast drug trade.
The objective of the National Intelligence Center (CNI) is to gather all the information generated by every Mexican governmental body linked to security and law enforcement.
Government officials who spoke anonymously with Proceso say they fear the Mexican Government lacks the necessary knowledge to face a task of this magnitude. Indeed several U.S. government agencies had tried to make something similar happen in Mexico under the last administration of President Felipe Calderon.
According to the sources, Peña Nieto’s aim is to emulate the intelligence operations, tactics and spy activities of the CIA, which centralizes relevant information in one single entity. According to Santiago-based America Economia, another task that will be handled by the CNI will be to take over all the missing people cases related to organized crime.
Peña Nieto is hoping to maintain one of his central electoral promises of slowly demilitarizing the fight against organized crime undertaken by Calderon. The CNI will help, for example, in the studying of different options and scenarios before launching any type of operative against a certain cartel, drug trafficker or element of organized crime.
According to Proceso, shortly after being elected, Peña Nieto asked Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, who he later named Interior Minister, to hire U.S. consulting agencies specialized in intelligence and security to help build the new agency, which should be officially inaugurated later this year.