Federal Police (Mexico)

Federal Police
Policía Federal
Mexico Federal Police Shield.png
Agency overview
FormedJune 2, 1928
Preceding agencies
  • 1st Military Police Brigade, Mexican Army
  • Federal Highway Police (Policía Federal de Caminos)
  • Fiscal Police (Policía Fiscal Federal)
  • Centre for Investigation and National Security (Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional) of the Department of Home Affairs
Annual budgetUS$34.6 billion (2010)
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyMexico
Operations jurisdictionMexico
Governing bodySecretariat of the Interior
General nature
HeadquartersMexico City

Agency executive
  • Manelich Castilla Craviotto, General Commissioner
Parent agencySecretariat of the Interior
  • Federal Police Day, June 2[1]
[2] (Spanish)

The Federal Police (Spanish: Policía Federal, PF), formerly known as the Policía Federal Preventiva (Federal Preventive Police),[3] is the Mexican national police force. It is under the authority of the Department for Home Affairs. They are sometimes referred to by the slang term "Federales" or “Mexican feds” by some U.S. agents and media. 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 Gendarmerie Division. The Gendarmerie Division was created in 2014, and is legally defined as a military/police force within the Federal Police.

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


Mexico City Federal Police Building.
Mexican Federal Police

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 law 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[]

When Felipe Calderón took office as President 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]


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]

In 2012, it was reported that President Enrique Peña Nieto's government had proposed the creation of a new unit to replace all Federal Police duties.[15] Federal Police would not be disbanded but would be assigned to special tasks & missions.[citation needed] 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 Gendarmerie Division, with 5,000 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.

The National Gendarmerie is defined as a military grade force within the Federal Police.

Institutional goals[]


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 cooperating with local police and prosecutors in investigating the crimes of high social impact. The strategic objectives are:

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[]

Institutional development[]

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 United States.[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:


Regulation of the Law of the Federal Police in the Official Gazette of May 17, 2010, to establish the basic organizational structure of this Decentralized Administrative Body, Article 5 of that system, comprising a total of 136 seats of middle and senior management, broken 130 seats structure, as shown below:

Commissioner General[]

Intelligence Division[]

Research Division[]

Regional Security Division[]

Scientific Division[]

Drug Division[]

Federal Forces Division[]

National Gendarmerie Division[]

See article: National Gendarmerie (Mexico)

General Secretary[]

Internal Affairs[]

Internal Control[]

Superior Academy of Public Security of the Federal Police[]


Vehicles of the Policía Federal in a parade in Tepic

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

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.


Rank insignia of the Mexican Federal Police.

The ranks from Commissioner 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.



Heckler & Koch USP
Heckler & Koch MP5
Heckler & Koch G3A3
Heckler & Koch MSG90
Heckler & Koch HK21
Mossberg 500


Submachine guns[]

Assault rifles[]

Sniper rifles[]

Machine guns[]


Grenade launchers[]


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
Boeing 727-200 (Policia Federal) Mexico City 20.07.2015.jpg
CASA CASA CN-235 CN-235-400 Transport 2  Spain 1 on order
PF-512 Casa C.235 Policia Federal (7629940848).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
Día del Policía. 88 Aniversario de la Policía Federal (27677338323).jpg
Mil Mil Mi-17 Mi-171-V Transport & Air Support 4  Russia
Afghan Mi-17 (alternate).jpg
Eurocopter Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil AS350L1 Reconnaissance & Air Support 7  European Union 3 more ordered
Eurocopter AS 350B3 Squirrel, Mexico - Police JP5968496.jpg
Eurocopter Eurocopter EC120 Colibri EC120 Transport & Reconnaissance 3  European Union
Eurocopter Colibri Policia Nacional.jpg
Bell Helicopter Bell 206 B-206L Transport & Reconnaissance 5  United States 1 loss
Helicóptero de la Policía de México.jpg
Bell Helicopter Bell 412 B-412EP Transport, Air Support & Reconnaissance 3  United States Recently introduced, accompanied by one B-412 from the FAM
Bell 412EP, Mexico - Air Force AN2158278.jpg
MD Helicopters MD 500 MD 530G Reconnaissance & Air Support 7  United States Recently introduced, accompanied by one B-412 from the FAM
EM N911BL (3369900646).jpg

See also[]


  1. ^ "México conmemora el Día del Policía. La Prensa". Laprensa.com.ni. Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  2. ^ "Comisión Nacional de Seguridad". Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. 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 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-02-13. Retrieved 2016-11-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2012-09-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  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". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  7. ^ Merlos, Andrea (2008-10-22). "Pide Calderón 'zar' policiaco" (in Spanish). El Universal. Archived from the original on 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
  8. ^ Toni, Cano (2008-10-23). "Calderón quiere una policía lejana a los narcos" (in Spanish). Diario Córdoba. Archived from the original on 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
  9. ^ "Relevan a 284 mandos de la Policía Federal Preventiva para depuración" (in Spanish). Notimex. 2007-06-25. Archived from the original on 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
  10. ^ Ravelo, Ricardo (2008-08-17). "Las policias: Improvización, caos, desastre" (in Spanish). Democrata - Norte de Mexico. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. 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. Archived from the original on 2008-10-20. 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. Archived from the original on 2008-11-02. 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. Archived from the original on 2008-11-07. 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. Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  16. ^ "The 'National Gendarmerie' and Mexico's Crime Fighting Plans". Mexidata.info. 2008-12-15. Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  17. ^ "Mexico Plan Adds Police To Take On Drug Cartels". Washingtonpost.com. 2008-07-11. Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  18. ^ La Jornada. "convenio con la PFP para reclutar policías". Jornada.unam.mx. Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  19. ^ "Comisión Nacional de Seguridad". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Comisión Nacional de Seguridad". Archived from the original on 1 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  21. ^ "Comisión Nacional de Seguridad". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. 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; retrieved, 15 April 2012 (PDF; 98 kB, spanisch, Gesetzestext)" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  24. ^ kheinle (2012-02-13). "Justice in Mexico Project, 13 February 2012". Justiceinmexico.org. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  25. ^ Transporte Archived 2016-04-12 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Entrenamiento de pilotos de la PF". Portalaviacion.vuela.com.mx. Archived from the original on 2012-07-06. Retrieved 2014-03-25.

External links[]