General Oscar Naranjo Appointed as Mexico’s Top External Security Advisor

 

August 2012

 

BLUF:

Colombia’s legendary Police Chief, General Oscar Naranjo, retires from office and steps into Mexican limelight by accepting an offer to become President-elect’s top External Security Advisor.

OBSERVED:

Mexico’s President-elect Enrigue Pena Nieto announced earlier this month that when elected he would designate General Oscar Naranjo to be his top External Security Advisor.

With 34 years in the force and as a pioneer of police intelligence work against drug trafficking, Naranjo has hunted down drug lords from Pablo Escobar of the Medellin Cartel to Javier Calle Serna of the Rastrojos, who is considered as one of the most powerful drug traffickers of our day.  Naranjo first resigned as Colombia’s Chief of National Police because he wanted to, “make room for the younger generation.”  In 2010 the International Association of Chiefs named Naranjo as, “The Best Policeman in the World.”

From 1995 to 2000 Oscar Naranjo worked arm-in-arm with the DEA, CIA and Scotland Yard, and purged the Colombian Police force by forcefully retiring more than 10,000 corrupt policemen.  This comes as a signal to observers in Mexico and the United States that Peña Nieto would make the pursuit of drug trafficking a high priority amid growing allegations that top members of his party have had ties to organized crime.

This appointment indicates a Colombian type of strategy will be followed against drug traffickers, fight them and hunt them down. President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto called Colombia a model for success in the U.S.-backed fight against drug traffickers.  He indicated that Mexico would need to increment collaboration with the U.S. or follow Washington’s policy.  As a result Naranjo claimed that he plans on traveling regularly between Mexico City and Washington.

ASSESMENT:

[+] The appointment of General Oscar Naranjo means a different, more intense, approach against drug trafficking will begin.  His record shows that he is successful in hunting down big Drug lords, and that he encourages work with the U.S. in order to do so.  Naranjo will increase the association of the United States and enlist its help to a greater degree to confront the drug traffickers.  The presence of the United States both on the intelligence side and personnel side is expected to increase.

[-] General Oscar Naranjo’s approach of going after only the largest drug cartels rid Colombia of its massive organized gangs, but it also instigated the growth of small local drug traffickers.  While hiring Naranjo is a step to ridding Mexico of its biggest drug Cartels, they could be opening the door for the small market drug lords to deal on the community basis.

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