Elements of the Mexican Army patrolling in their service vehicle. Photo: Google

By MARK LORENZANA

Mexico’s Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) has requested 13.9 billion pesos in a bid to upgrade its military service vehicles. According to Sedena, in recent years it has faced problems mobilizing military personnel on a national scale because of obsolete vehicles.

In April of this year, the General Directorate of Military Transportation requested tax authorities to approve a total investment of 13.9 billion pesos for the purchase of 5,522 new vehicle units. The request detailed the planned purchase of 3.5-ton pickup trucks, as well as 6.5-ton trucks.

“The low supply of transport units, many of them in a state of obsolescence, compromises the services that the armed forces can provide the public, because the number of vehicle units does not correspond to the number of military troops,” said the request.

In addition, Sedena highlighted the high maintenance costs required for vehicles that have already exceeded their service life — units that are more than 10 years old and have a mileage of more than 300,000 kilometers.

Sedena said that there was a pressing need to acquire new vehicles to combat organized crime and drug trafficking in the country, which have become “a strong threat to national security.”

The acquisition of new vehicles, according to Sedena, should also translate into an immediate response by armed forces and should “help shuttle military personnel safely and in a timely and strategic manner in states with a high incidence of crime.”

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