Colombia ex-police chief to advise on Mexico drug war


Colombian Police director Oscar Naranjo gestures during a press conference at the headquarters of the National Police in Bogota on April 20, 2012, where he announced his resignation.



Colombian General Oscar Naranjo will be Mexico's chief security adviser if presidential front-runner Enrique Peña Nieto wins next month's election.

Peña Nieto announced Thursday that he will appoint the retired general and ex-police chief as his adviser, calling Colombia a success in drug war strategy, according to the Associated Press. Naranjo, 55, said that he would "have no operative role or place in the government hierarchy."

"He has a sterling reputation in the administration, almost unassailable," Adam Isacson, a military security expert at the Washington Office on Latin America, told The Miami Herald.

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Known for helping bring down Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, Naranjo has also had a long history with US counter-narcotics officials, who he often collaborates with closely, reported The Washington Post. Peña Nieto's unusual move may indicate that he plans to keep the already-established alliance between Mexico and the United States in place.

Peña Nieto has pledged to reduce violent crime that has affected everyday Mexicans during a drug war that has killed more than 47,000 people since 2006, according to the AP. His strategy is the opposite of President Felipe Calderon's, which went after drug kingpins. Some analysts believe Peña Nieto's plan could mean drug dealers who are more discreet would be left alone, although both the potential president and Naranjo insisted all cartels would be treated equally.

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