Mexico City's police are set to launch a new special unit dedicated to combating drug dealing in the capital, in an effort to clamp down on the country's biggest domestic drug market.
According to a spokesperson from the Federal District Secretary of Public Security (SSP-DF), the group will be composed of 200 officers, who are still being trained, reported El Universal.
The unit will work in conjunction with Mexico City's Attorney General's Office, gathering intelligence and searching homes that are suspected to be involved in small scale drug dealing. Officials said that intelligence would be used to construct a map of properties used to store and move drugs, reported Milenio.
Mexico City has so far been spared the high levels of drug-related violence seen in other parts of the country. As InSight Crime has noted previously, the city is the base for the federal security forces as well as the home to the country's elites, who are unlikely to allow violence to rise in their home city. It also benefits from a de facto truce between cartels, allowing some cartel leaders to live in the city peacefully.
When announcing the launch of the new unit, officials said there had been no reports of cells linked to organized crime currently operating in Mexico City. However, in 2011, a police report obtained by the Mexican press suggested that seven cartels, including the Sinaloa Cartel, the Zetas and the Familia Michoacana, had established a presence in the city and were involved in drug dealing and trafficking, extortion, contract killing, synthetic drug production and human trafficking.
As the country's biggest domestic drug market -- which has grown rapidly in recent years and represents a significant revenue source for criminal groups -- the city is a lucrative proposition for criminal groups. While the new force may be focusing on small time drug dealing, it could face more powerful adversaries if it is true that the cartels are already present in the city.