Federal Police (Mexico)

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Federal Police
Policía Federal
Abbreviation PF
Mexico Federal Police Shield.png
Logo of the Federal Police.
Agency overview
Preceding agencies
  • 3rd Military Police Brigade, Mexican Army
  • Federal Highway Police (Policía Federal de Caminos)
  • Fiscal Police (Policía Fiscal Federal)
  • Interior Ministry's Investigation and National Security Center (Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional)
Employees 40,000+ (2009)
Annual budget US$34.6 billion (2010)
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency Mexico
Governing body Secretariat of the Interior (Mexico)
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Mexico City
[2] (Spanish)

The Federal Police (Spanish: Policía Federal, PF), formerly known as the Policía Federal Preventiva (Federal Preventive Police),[3] is a Mexican police force under the authority of the Secretariat of the Interior. They are sometimes referred to by the slang term "Federales". Typically, agents of the Federal Police are heavily armed and wear dark blue, black, or gray combat fatigues.

The Federal Preventive Police was created by the merger of four other federal organizations in 1998 and 1999 in order to better co-ordinate the fight against the growing threat of drug cartels. The agency merged the Federal Highway Police, the Fiscal Police, an Interior Ministry intelligence unit called the Investigation and National Security Center, and military personnel transferred en masse from the Mexican army's 3rd Military Police Brigade.

On account of its heavily armed agents, its culture, and its origins, the Federal Police as a whole may be considered a gendarmerie. However two of the seven "divisions" (i.e. branches of service) of the Federal Police have particularly military characteristics: The Federal Forces Division and the National Gendarmerie Division. The National Gendarmerie Division was created in 2014 in cooperation with France's National Gendarmerie, and is legally defined as a military force within the Federal Police.

There is an investigation division within the Federal Police. Investigation of federal crimes can also be handled by the Attorney General of Mexico's service, the Ministerial Federal Police directed by the .[4]


Mexico City Federal Police Building.
PFP police getting ready for raids in Michoacan, Mexico.

On May 29, 2009, the Federal Preventive Police name was changed to Federal Police, and some duties were added to it. The Federal Police was created as the main Federal Preventive Police in 1999 by the initiative of President Ernesto Zedillo (1994–2000) to prevent and combat and to enforce the fact that drugs will not run around on Mexico's streets. The PF has been assuming its authority in stages over time, as its budget has grown and it has combined and reorganized police departments from major agencies such as those for migration, treasury, and highways. Many large bus stations and airports in Mexico are assigned a PF detachment.

Public Safety Secretary Genaro García Luna hoped to reform the nation's long-troubled police. Among other steps, he consolidated several agencies into a Federal Police force of nearly 25,000.[5]

The Federal Police celebrates its anniversary on July 13 every year (Federal Police Day), with its history dating to 1928 as the successor of the agencies mentioned above.

Calderón's administration[edit]

Main article: Mexican Drug War

When Felipe Calderón, the former President of Mexico, took office in 2006, there were roughly half a dozen drug cartels in Mexico. Each of the organizations were large and dominated huge parts of Mexico's territorial landscape, and operated internationally and overseas as well.[6] When Calderón assumed the presidency, he realized that he could not rely on the federal police nor the intelligence agencies to restore order and crack down the logistics of the mafias.[6] Over several decades, the cartels had bribed police commanders and top politicians; and often riddled with corruption, state authorities would not only fail to cooperate with other authorities in distinct federal levels, but would actively protect the cartels and their leaders. With limited options available, Calderón turned to the Mexican Armed Forces, which, because of its limited involvement in acting against the cartels, remained relatively immune to corruption and organized crime infiltration.[6] He then moved the military to parts of Mexico most plagued by drug-violence to target, capture, and – if necessary – kill the leaders of the drug trafficking organizations. Yet, the president understood that the military could not fight the cartels alone and needed cops in which to rely on for patrolling, collecting intelligence information, and gathering evidences necessary to prosecute drug traffickers.[6]

With the argument that he was tired of the corruption, Calderón abolished the AFI agency created in May 2009 and created an entirely new police force.[6] The new force has formed part of Mexico's first national crime information system, which stores the fingerprints of everyone arrested in the country. They also have assumed the role of the Army in several parts of the country. According to the New York Times, the federal police has avoided "any serious incidents of corruption."[6]

National Gendarmerie[edit]

On October 21, 2008, President Felipe Calderón proposed to break the former Federal Preventive Police to replace it with a different organization, because "the PFP has not yielded the expected results and has not been a strong institution capable of serving as a model for all police services in the country."[7][8] The new corporation became the Federal Police, and it provides support to the police as to the Federal District, states and municipalities. This decision is said was not unexpected, given the insufficient number of convictions, the alarming increase of violence, abductions and cases of corruption and complicity with organized crime elements.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

On December, 2012 The Mexican Government will create a new unit to replace all Federal Police duties, Federal Police will not be disbanded but will be assigned to special task & missions.[15] Additional information on Mexico's planned Gendarmerie("The 'National Gendarmerie' and Mexico's Crime Fighting Plans," MexiData.info, Dec. 24, 2012).[16]

The final product is the 2014 creation of the Federal Police's National Gendarmerie Division, with 5000 police agents. Its focus is on providing ongoing public security in areas with heavy criminal activities and providing border security. It is also expected to reinforce state, city and municipal police forces when the need arises. It is one of the seven constituent divisions of the Federal Police reporting directly to the Commissioner, and the newest to be raised.

Institutional goals[edit]


Being an institution committed to the society in preventing crime and fighting crime, preserving the integrity and heritage of the people, peace and order and the rule of law, whose principles attached to this of legality, efficiency, professionalism and honesty, with full respect for human rights. Maintain and strengthen the social communications strategy and media relations that allows the dissemination of timely and accurate actions and work of the Federal Police.


The PF was established as a central element of the strategy against organized crime and criminality in Mexico, not only to prevent crimes and federal jurisdiction at the federal level, but to become an institution of excellence, capable of cooperate with local police and prosecutors in investigating the crimes of high social impact. The strategic objectives are:

  • Compliance with legal framework to combat organized crime and drugs.
  • The establishment of the National System of Public Security.
  • The evaluation and adjustment of the strategy for drug control in Mexico.

On July 10, 2008, the Mexican government announced the intention of doubling the number of policemen in the PF to escalate the war against drug trafficking. The recruitment campaign has already begun and includes the university community.[17][18]

Strategic objectives[edit]

AR15 A3 Tactical Carbine pic1
  • Preventing and combating crime commission to ensure peace and public order.
  • Fight corruption, to purify and dignify the police.
  • Strengthen the professionalism of the members of the Institution.
  • Improve public perception of the institutional activities.
  • Promote citizen participation in crime prevention.
  • Consolidated as the country's largest institution in the field.
  • Strengthen its organizational structure and functional.
  • Manage resources efficiently.
  • Increase and strengthen the operational deployment at the national level.
  • Strengthening intelligence activities.
  • Strengthen inter-agency coordination mechanisms with the three levels of government.
  • Promote the updating of the legal framework.
  • Strengthen and upgrade the technological infrastructure.

Institutional development[edit]

The 'Integral Strategy for Crime Prevention and Fight against Crime "is based on a process of reengineering to organizational development, as well as systems and processes in organizational performance, with a cross through the professionalization the creation of three academies in the Ministry of Public Security for the purpose of having Mexican committed to legality, efficiency, professionalism and honesty in this current stage of drug influence to the USA.[19]

Basic Police School.

To generate the training and training students with high school level.

College research.

It is aimed at all those aspiring and active police agents who choose to make them more professional, from academic performance and service in the police pro


In 2000, the PF had 10,878 agents and staff:


Vehicles of the Policía Federal in a parade in Tepic

The Policía Federal consists of seven branches of service, known as divisions, administered by the a central administration called the General Secretariat (Secretaría General) [20][21]

  • Anti-drug Division - División Antidrogas
  • Scientific Division - División Científica
  • Federal Forces Division - División de Fuerzas Federales
  • Intelligence Division - División de Inteligencia
  • Investigation Division - División de Investigación
  • Regional Security Division - División de Seguridad Regional
  • National Gendarmerie Division - División de Gendarmería Nacional

There is also a separate Internal Affairs Unit (Unidad de Asuntos Internos).

2010 included the Policía Federal approx 35,000 civil servants on.[22] A Comisionado General (General Manager), which is used directly by the President of Mexico, heads with wide-ranging powers the institution.[23] Maribel Cervantes Guerrero broke off in February 2012 Facundo Rosas Rosas, who held this office since 2009 .[24]

The Special Operations Group (GOPES) is the police elite counter terror hostage rescue unit.


  • Policeman/woman - Policía - One bar
  • Corporal - Cabo - One chevron
  • 2nd Sergeant - Sargento Segundo - Two chevrons
  • 1st Sergeant - Sargento Primero - Three chevrons
  • Sub-officer - Suboficial - One triangle
  • Officer - Oficial - Two triangles
  • Sub-inspector - Subinspector - Three triangles
  • Inspector - Inspector - One star (eight-pointed)
  • Chief Inspector - Inspector Jefe - Two stars (eight-pointed)
  • Inspector General - Inspector General - Three stars (eight-pointed)
  • Commissary - Comisario
  • Chief Commissary- Comisario Jefe
  • Commissary General - Comisario General
  • Commissioner General - Comisionado General

The ranks from Commissary to Commissioner General wear more complex rank insignia involving the seven-pointed star of the Federal Police badge above one to four five-pointed stars placed between two stripes.





Submachine guns[edit]

Assault rifles[edit]

Sniper rifles[edit]

Machine guns[edit]


Grenade launchers[edit]


The PF has many vehicles; land, sea and air, it is estimated to own more than 17,000 patrol cars. The exact information regarding transport vehicles and aircraft that comprise the fleet of the Federal Police is classified, to protect the life and efficiency of agents.[25]

Rotary wing and fixed wing pilot training takes place in the school of Naval Aviation located on Las Bajadas, Veracruz.[26]


Manufacturer Aircraft Versions Type In Service Origin Notes Image
Fixed-wing Aircraft
Boeing Boeing 727 727-200 Tactical Transport 4  United States
US Air Force C-22B (727-100).jpg
CASA CASA CN-235 CN-235-400 Transport 2  Spain 1 on order
CN-235 VIGMA (1).JPG
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Hydra Technologies Hydra Technologies S4 Ehécatl S4B Observation & Reconnaissance 12  Mexico Will be supported by 3 Elbit Hermes 900
Elbit Systems Elbit Hermes 450 H-450 Observation & Reconnaissance 4  Israel 10
Hermes 450 in flight.jpg
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk UH-60M/L Transport & Air Support 9  United States 3 more on order
Mil Mil Mi-17 Mi-171-V Transport & Air Support 4  Russia
Mi-171Sh Karlovac 2009.jpg
Eurocopter Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil AS350L1 Reconnaissance & Air Support 7  European Union 3 more ordered
Helicopter rescue sancy takeoff.jpg
Eurocopter Eurocopter EC120 Colibri EC120 Transport & Reconnaissance 3  European Union
Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri (D-HEHA) 05.jpg
Bell Helicopter Bell 206 B-206L Transport & Reconnaissance 5  United States 1 loss
Bell Helicopter Bell 412 B-412EP Transport, Air Support & Reconnaissance 3  United States Recently introduced, accompanied by one B-412 from the FAM
Norwegian military Bell 412SP helicopters.jpg
MD Helicopters MD 500 MD 530G Reconnaissance & Air Support 7  United States Recently introduced, accompanied by one B-412 from the FAM
Hughes 500MD Armada Española.jpg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "México conmemora el Día del Policía. La Prensa". Laprensa.com.ni. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  2. ^ "Comisión Nacional de Seguridad". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  3. ^ In a news conference after the Zacatecas prison break in May, spokesman Ricardo Nájera for the Mexican Attorney General stated that the name and acronym PFP (Policia Federal Preventiva) has not been used for a year and a half [1]
  4. ^ http://www.pgr.gob.mx/prensa/2007/bol12/Feb/b10912.shtm
  5. ^ "L.A. Times". L.A. Times. 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Bonner, Robert C. (15 April 2012). "Cracking the Mexican Cartels". New York Times. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Merlos, Andrea (2008-10-22). "Pide Calderón ‘zar’ policiaco" (in Spanish). El Universal. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  8. ^ Toni, Cano (2008-10-23). "Calderón quiere una policía lejana a los narcos" (in Spanish). Diario Córdoba. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  9. ^ "Relevan a 284 mandos de la Policía Federal Preventiva para depuración" (in Spanish). Notimex. 2007-06-25. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  10. ^ Ravelo, Ricardo (2008-08-17). "Las policias: Improvización, caos, desastre" (in Spanish). Democrata - Norte de Mexico. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  11. ^ Daniel Blancas Madrigal (2006-09-26). "Arrestan a más federales por el caso Martí" (in Spanish). La Cronica de Hoy. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  12. ^ Segura Garnica, Jacinto (2007-04-30). "Gatilleros son empelados administrativos de PFP" (in Spanish). El Mexicano. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  13. ^ "Cae mando de PFP por proteger al Rey Zambada" (in Spanish). El Universal. 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  14. ^ González, Maria de la Luz (2008-11-04). "Confirma PGR arraigo de ex comisionado de PFP" (in Spanish). El Universal. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  15. ^ "Is it Worth Creating a Gendarmerie in Mexico? - InSight Crime | Organized Crime in the Americas". InSight Crime. 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  16. ^ "The 'National Gendarmerie' and Mexico's Crime Fighting Plans". Mexidata.info. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  17. ^ "Mexico Plan Adds Police To Take On Drug Cartels". Washingtonpost.com. 2008-07-11. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  18. ^ La Jornada. "convenio con la PFP para reclutar policías". Jornada.unam.mx. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  19. ^ "Comisión Nacional de Seguridad". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  20. ^ "Comisión Nacional de Seguridad". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  21. ^ "Comisión Nacional de Seguridad". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  22. ^ Alex Gertschen:http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/politik/international/moral_fuer_den_krieg_ohne_absehbares_ende_1.7458708.html
  23. ^ "Diario Oficial de la Federación. Cámara de Diputados, 1. Juni 2009, abgerufen am 15. April 2012 (PDF; 98 kB, spanisch, Gesetzestext)." (PDF). Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  24. ^ kheinle (2012-02-13). "Justice in Mexico Project, 13 February 2012". Justiceinmexico.org. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  25. ^ Transporte
  26. ^ "Entrenamiento de pilotos de la PF". Portalaviacion.vuela.com.mx. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 

External links[edit]