Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (center) delivers a speech during the National Public Security Council, at the National Palace in Mexico City, December 17, 2012.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has announced measures to counter crime and battle drug cartels across the country.
On Monday, Pena Nieto announced the creation of a 10,000-strong national police force to crack down on crime and said it should be in a similar form to gendarmeries or the Spanish Guardia Civil.
Mexico’s current domestic law enforcement is diverse and includes a majority of city and state police, backed up with a minority of national police.
Pena Nieto made the announcement at a gathering of cabinet ministers, state governors, high-ranking politicians and judges, as well as human rights observers.
"Mexicans want peace," said the new president, adding that at the top of the agenda is to decrease the number of "homicides, kidnappings and incidents of extortion."
The president’s grand scheme aims at dividing the country into five controlled regions, which would replace the current system of policing.
On top of that, Pena Nieto said he has set aside USD 8.8 billion for social programs aimed at crime prevention.
Before the new national police force’s initialization, Pena Nieto will use the Mexican military to stage security operations.
Pena Nieto, who won the July 1 presidential election, was sworn in as the new president of Mexico and brought his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) back to power after 12 years of being outside the corridors of power.