The long wait is over. Mexico’s new gendarmerie was finally launched this week, some 20 months after President Enrique Peña Nieto took office. The fact that Peña Nieto’s ambitious reform agenda has largely been carried out means that the focus will increasingly shift back onto the serious public security concerns he inherited and what he has managed to do to address them. It is far from clear that the gendarmerie will have a significant impact, still less enable the return to barracks of the military, whose prominent presence in the fight against organised crime was one of the fiercest criti- cisms directed by Peña Nieto at his predecessor Felipe Calderón (2006-2012).

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