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Classified: no more government info on organized crime

April 8, 2013

For national security reasons, official reports on organized crime are to remain confidential for a period of 12 years, the federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) announced this week.

The number, names, structure and territories of drug cartels operating in Mexico will be classified because disclosure of such information could affect law enforcement strategies and put at risk any individuals mentioned in official reports, the PGR told Mexican weekly Proceso.

This appears to be a continuation of Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) policy to stop publicizing drug-trafficking organizations and generally play down the level of violence in Mexico. The PGR also recently put an end to the practise of parading high-profile suspects before the media immediately after arrest.

Over the last six years, the National Action Party (PAN) government headed by Felipe Calderon would frequently flaunt arrests and provided detailed information on organized crime in Mexico, listing the 37 most wanted drug lords and the areas that different gangs operated in. But since assuming power in December, the PRI has taken a different approach to the war on organized crime, releasing comparatively little official information.

President Enrique Peña Nieto has said remarkably little in public about the war on drugs, presumably in a bid to shed Mexico’s violent image and to shift the public focus toward much-needed reforms and other economic issues.

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