Sunday, April 25, 2010

US training Mexican feds

These four officers are among a group of nine Mexican federal policemen who received close-quarters marksmanship training from Border Patrol instructors Friday morning at the agency's warehouse in Nogales, Ariz. In the afternoon, they were trained on basic building entry. This week the group is set to complete the four-part training that also includes sessions on ATV patrols, finding concealed compartments and emergency first aid. When the nine graduate, there will be 57 Mexican federal police officers who have been trained under an unprecedented partnership that began early this year between the U.S. and Mexico, designed to help both countries combat a common enemy: Mexican drug smugglers. "They're getting into close-quarter combat all the time with the drug smugglers and the cartels, and we're hoping that this will help these guys prevail to win and stay alive," said Pittman, a supervisory Border Patrol agent who has been in Nogales for 15 years. "These guys are getting slaughtered down there." Dozens of police officers have been killed in Mexico, including the assistant police chief in Nogales, Sonora, earlier this year and the commander of the Sonoran state police in 2008. Officials chose Nogales to test the program, funded by the U.S. State Department's Mérida Initiative, because it's the busiest stretch of U.S.-Mexico border, said Border Patrol spokesman David Jimarez. It could be expanded across the border in the future...more

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