REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — Federal forces will continue redoubling their actions and programs against criminal groups operating in this border town, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong said Monday.

The Secretary of the Interior in the cabinet of Enrique Peña Nieto said the purpose of his visit was to participate in the federal government’s security cabinet session.

Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong

According to Osorio Chong, Tamaulipas has a high quantity of federal agents who will continue indefinitely to fight and eventually debilitate criminal groups. This is why new mechanisms will be added to the actual strategy, he said.

Osorio Chong met with Tamaulipas Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, and leaders from the community as well as state and federal representatives, all of them members of the security cabinet.

When meeting with around 400 businessmen from Tamaulipas, Osorio Chong asked for their support in all the security strategies, but also to consider complaining about it with authorities when needed, as a way to create a peaceful environment.

He gave an example:

“We have analyzed all actions taken, what has been going on, what the reactions were after what happened on April 22nd (one incident in Northern Tamaulipas and another in Southern Tamaulipas), when we were able to bring down two wanted and dangerous objectives, and what was the immediate people’s reaction.”

He explained that criminal groups replied to the actions of the federal forces by burning tires, vehicles, empty lots and houses, with the sole purpose of creating a fearful environment for citizens. For this reason, he said, it was difficult to apply some combating strategies.

“That’s what we specifically will do to stop them (the criminal groups), to conquer their objectives, to generate panic between their groups, and, of course, to end the violent incidents and confrontation between both groups,” he said.

Osorio Chong said some strategies under consideration would combat logistic criminal activities and their financial operations. “It is not only about apprehending some of the objectives, but to stop them from moving forward with their goals,” he said.

According to the Secretary, Tamaulipas has been able to see some progress because before one would see daily confrontations in the four regions the state is divided into. Right now, he said, the violent activities are just taking place in two municipalities.

“The caravan of cars, escapes, and everything that was happening, nowadays is just taking place only in some municipalities.”

Osorio Chong praised the federal forces who, on a daily basis, circulate the streets to combat illicit activity. He said the government has the needed financial and human resources to fight the criminal groups, but he said more resources will be applied to help intelligence actions and to look into the logistical and financial support going on inside these groups.

“We will be working harder, even though Tamaulipas already has important federal support. It will continue like this.”

Osorio Chong said that the state and municipal governments have the support and coordination of the federal government because any attacks are being taken without divisions “working as one, in a coordinated manner.”

Mexico’s Attorney General, Raúl Cervantes Andrade, explained that agencies like the Treasury Department are working to audit and thwart illicit resources and money laundering.

“Several agencies are looking at the assets owned by criminal groups, such as fiscal fraud and its relations inside our country and with other countries on the continent, as a way to be able to locate those assets,” Cervantes Andrade said.

Other representatives present during the security cabinet sessions included the Secretary of National Defense, Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda; and the Secretary of the Marines, Vidal Francisco Soberón Saenz; national security commissioner, Renato Sales Heredia; the general director of the National Center for Research and Security (CISEN), Eugenio Ímaz Gispert; Tamaulipas Government General Secretary, César Augusto Verástegui Ostos; Tamaulipas Attorney General, Irving Barrios Mojica; Public Safety Secretary, Luis López Castro; and, Executive Secretary for the Public Safety State System, Silvia Pecina Torres.

Editor’s Note: The above story was translated into English by Melva Lavín-Castillo.