Mexican Military Now Controls All Customs Points of Entry

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Mexico’s newly created National Customs Agency (ANAM), from which the civilian head Horacio Duarte resigned on Oct. 12, is now under the complete control of the country’s armed forces, according to the so-call Gaucamaya documents, confidential Mexican government reports which were hacked and released to the media earlier this month.

According to the Guacamaya leaks, the ANAM has 5,521 new government jobs planned for 2023.

Hacked ANAM emails show that the National Defense Secretariat (Sedena) will assign at least 2,700 military personnel, including managers and close collaborators in border and interior customs, to those jobs.

These figures do not include the already-operating naval personnel at Mexican port customs.

Since August, all heads of the border and interior customs have been “coordinated” by Sedena by presidential decree and were members of the military, including three generals and seven colonels, many of them brought out of retirement.

Additionally, as of 2023, all Mexican foreign trade officers and department heads will be members of the military

Since Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) began replacing civilian personnel with military officials in Mexico’s Customs Department earlier this year, the incidence of reported abuses and corruption at inspection points, as well as delays, has multiplied by at least three times.

Since June 3, Sedena had warned the ANAM that “customs must be consolidated under military control no later than Dec. 5, 2022.”

By Aug. 8, the ANAM had already hired 642 officers and soldiers, and Duarte arranged for the Finance Secretariat to authorize 2,058 additional positions, all for military personnel, at a cost of 254.7 million pesos for the rest of 2022.

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