Colorado Trains Mexican Prison Officers To Fight Drug Cartels


A Mexican drug kingpin accused of killing 15 unarmed people pulls a gun out of a guard’s holster in a courtroom and blasts several Mexican federales before he is gunned down himself. The violent confrontation, which left a judge’s desk in splinters and bodies strewn about, unfolded in a dusty room with no ceiling at a secret location in Colorado, reports the Denver Post. It was a simulation played out by Mexican federal prison officers who have been underdoing two weeks of training by a Colorado Department of Corrections prisoner transport and security unit.

If all goes as planned in the U.S. State Department-funded program, the Mexican agents could soon use what they learn to survive in a country where soldiers from drug cartels regularly attack prisoner convoys with machine guns and hand grenades. The 24 Mexican prison officers and their trainers agreed to let a reporter watch the training, provided their full names not be used. Jesus, 39, said the drug cartels give money, drugs and guns to unmarried, unemployed young men “who don’t have anything to lose.” He said it has been difficult to get federal agents to fill the transport positions because it is so dangerous. Now that they are getting the training they need and body armor and weapons, more are willing to take on the hazardous assignments, Jesus said. Roberto, the Colorado officer running the training program, said the training begins with some basics. “Things we show them are all new to them,” Roberto said. “You train for the worst and hope for the best.”

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