Mexican Army

Mexican Army
Mexican Army
Ejército Mexicano
Logo de Ejército Mexicano.svg
Public logo of the Secretariat of National Defense
Active 1810 – present
Country Mexico
Branch Army/Air force
Size 469.935 (2011 est.)[1]
Part of Secretariat of National Defense
Mexican Armed Forces
Motto Por el honor de México
Anniversaries February 19, Day of the Army.[2]

September 13, Día de los Niños Héroes.[3]

Equipment See: Equipment
Engagements War of Independence (1810–1821)

Spanish reconquest of Mexico (1821–1829)
Texas Revolution (1835–1836)
Pastry War (1838–1839)
Mexican–American War (1846–1848)
Caste War of Yucatán (1847–1901)
Reform War (1857–1861)
French Intervention (1861–1867)
Mexican Revolution (1910–1921)
Cristero War (1926–1929)
World War II (1942–1945)
Dirty War (1968–1982)
Zapatista Uprising (1994–ongoing)
Mexican Drug War (2006–ongoing)

The Mexican Army (Spanish: Ejército Mexicano) is the combined land and air branch and largest of the Mexican Military services; it also is known as the National Defense Army. It is famous for having been the first army to adopt and use an automatic rifle, (the Mondragón rifle), in 1899, and the first to issue automatic weapons as standard issue weapons, in 1908. The Mexican Army has an active duty force of 192,000 (2009 est.).

Mexico has no foreign nation-state adversaries and little ambition to impose itself upon other nations. It repudiates the use of force to settle disputes and rejects interference by one nation in the affairs of another. Although it has not suffered a major terrorist incident, Mexico considers itself a potential target for international terrorism.[4]



Prehispanic Origins

Aztec warriors as shown in the 16th century Florentine Codex. Note that each warrior is brandishing a Maquahuitl.
This page from the Codex Mendoza shows the gradual improvements to equipment and tlahuiztli as a warrior progresses through the ranks from commoner to porter to warrior to captor, and later as a noble progressing in the warrior societies from the noble warrior to "Eagle warrior" to "Jaguar Warrior" to "Otomitl" to "Shorn One" and finally as "Tlacateccatl".
The Tepoztopilli was a common weapon of the Aztec military

In the prehispanic era there lived many indigenous tribes and highly developed city-states in what is now known as central Mexico. The most advanced and powerful kingdoms were those of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan which comprised populations of the same ethnic origin and were politically linked by an alliance known as the Triple Alliance; colloquially these three states are known as the Aztec. They had a center for higher education called the Calmecac in Nahuatl, this was where the children of the Aztec priesthood and nobility receive rigorous religious and military training and conveyed the highest knowledge such as: doctrines, divine songs, the science of interpreting codices, calendar skills, memorization of texts, etc. In Aztec society it was compulsory for all young male nobles, as well as commoners, to form part of the armed forces beginning at the age of 15.

Itzcoatl "Obsidian Serpent" (1381–1440), fourth king of Tenochtitlán, organized the army that defeated the Tepanec of Atzcapotzalco, freeing his people from the their dominion. His reign began with the rise of what would become the largest empire in Mesoamerica. Then Moctezuma Ilhuicamina "The arrow to the sky" (1440–1469) came to extend the domain and the influence of the monarchy of Tenochtitlán. He began to organize trade to the outside regions of the Valley of Mexico. This was the Mexica ruler who organized the alliance with the lordships of Texcoco and Tlacopan to form the Triple Alliance.

The Aztec came to establish the Flower Wars as a form of worship, which unlike the wars of conquest, aimed at obtaining prisoners for sacrifice to the sun. Combat orders were given by kings (or Lords) using drums or blowing into a sea snail shell which gave off a sound like a horn. Giving out signals using coats of arms was very common. For combat that took place outside their cities they would organize several groups in which only one was in action while the others remained on alert. When warfare was carried on to cities these were usually attacked in three different parts, or flanks, all at once and in equal numbers of assault groups. This tactic was used in order to know which division of warriors laying siege would distinguish themselves the most in combat.[5]


The Army of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was the first militant group that initiated the independence movement in the early morning of September 16, 1810. He was followed by his loyal companions among them Mariano Abasolo and a small army equipped with swords, spears, slingshots and sticks. Captain General Ignacio Allende was the military brain of the insurgents in the first phase of the War of Independence which had several victories over the Spanish Royal Army. Their troops were about 5,000 strong and were latter joined by squadrons of the Queen's Regiment where its members in turn contributed infantry battalions and cavalry squadrons to the insurrection cause.

Guanajuato. At center: the Alhóndiga de Granaditas

The Spaniards saw that it was important to defend the fortified plaza in Guanajuato named Alhóndiga de Granaditas which kept the flow of water, weapons, food and ammunition for the Spanish Royal Army. The insurgents then entered the town of Guanajuato and proceeded to lay siege on the Alhóndiga. In this attack the insurgents suffered heavy casualties until there came Juan Jose de los Reyes, the Pípila, who fitted a slab of rock on his back to protect himself from enemy fire and crawled to the large wooden door of the Alhóndiga with a torch in hand to set it on fire. With this stunt the insurgents managed to bring down the door and enter the building and overrun it. Hidalgo then latter arrived at Valladolid (now Morelia) without encountering resistance. The Insurgent Army by then was over 60,000 strong but was mostly formed of poorly armed men with arrows, sticks, tillage tools and very few guns which they had taken from the Spaniard's stocks.

In Aculco the Royal Spanish forces under the command of the Royalist Felix Maria Calleja, Count of Calderón, and Don Manuel de Flon with 200 infantrymen, 500 cavalry troops and 12 cannons defeated the insurgents whose loses included many men and the artillery they had obtained at Battle of Monte de las Cruces. On November 29, 1810 Hidalgo made his entrance to Guadalajara, the capital of Nueva Galicia, where he organized the government and the Insurgent Army. There is where he formally promulgated the abolition of slavery.

At Calderon Bridge (Puente de Calderón) near the city of Guadalajara Jalisco, insurgents held a hard-fought battle with the royalists. During the fierce fighting a wagon full of ammunition in the side of the insurgents exploded, which led to their defeat. All their artillery was lost as well as much of their equipment and the lives of many men.

Constitutional decree for the freedom of the Mexican America
Army of the Three Guarantees enters Mexico city on September 27, 1821.

At the Wells of Baján (Norias de Baján) near Monclova, Coahuila, a former royalist named Ignacio Elizondo who had joined the insurgent cause betrayed them and seized the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, José Mariano Jiménez and the rest of the entourage. They were brought to the city of Chihuahua where they were tried by a military court and executed by firing squad on July 30, 1811. Hidalgo's death resulted in a political vacuum for the insurgents until 1812. Meanwhile the royalist military commander, General Félix María Calleja, continued to pursue rebel troops. Then Insurgent fighting evolved into guerrilla warfare and eventually the next major leader to arise for the rebel's cause was the priest José María Morelos y Pavón who had formerly led the insurgent movement alongside with Hidalgo before his execution. Morelos then went on to fortify the port of Acapulco and took the city of Chilpancingo. Along the way Morelos was joined by Leonardo Bravo, his son Nicholas, his brothers Max, Victor and Miguel Bravo.

Morelos then went on to conduct several campaigns in the south managing to conquer much of the region as he gave orders to the insurgents to promote the writing of the first constitution for the new Mexican nation: the Constitution of Apatzingan which was drafted in 1814. In 1815 Morelos was apprehended and executed by firing squad. With his death concluded the second phase of the Mexican War for Independence. From 1815 to 1820 the independence movement became sluggish but was briefly reinvigorated by Francisco Javier Mina and Pedro Moreno who were quickly apprehended and executed as well.

It was not until late 1820 when one of the most bloodthirsty enemies of the insurgents, Agustín de Iturbide, established relations with Vicente Guerrero through the courts by signing the document called El Plan de Iguala which formed the Ejército Trigarante, or The Army of the Tree Guarantees, to obtain the much desired freedom of the Mexican people. With this new alliance they were able to enter Mexico City on September 27, 1821 which concluded the Mexican War for Independence.

Pastry War

French blockade in 1838

The Pastry War was the first French intervention in Mexico. Following the widespread civil disorder that plagued the early years of the Mexican republic, the fighting in the streets destroyed a great deal of personal property. Foreigners whose property was damaged or destroyed by rioters or bandits were usually unable to obtain compensation from the government, and began to appeal to their own governments for help.

In 1838 a French pastry cook, Monsieur Remontel, claimed that his shop in the Tacubaya district of Mexico City had been ruined by looting Mexican officers in 1828. He appealed to France's King Louis-Philippe (1773–1850). Coming to its citizen's aid, France demanded 600,000 pesos in damages. This amount was extremely high when compared to an average workman's daily pay, which was about one peso. In addition to this amount, Mexico had defaulted on millions of dollars worth of loans from France. Diplomat Baron Deffaudis gave Mexico an ultimatum to pay, or the French would demand satisfaction. When the payment was not forthcoming from president Anastasio Bustamante (1780–1853), the king sent a fleet under Rear Admiral Charles Baudin to declare a blockade of all Mexican ports from Yucatán to the Rio Grande, to bombard the Mexican fortress of San Juan de Ulúa, and to seize the port of Veracruz. Virtually the entire Mexican Navy was captured at Veracruz by December 1838. Mexico declared war on France.

With trade cut off, the Mexicans began smuggling imports into Corpus Christi, Texas, and then into Mexico. Fearing that France would blockade Texan ports as well, a battalion of men of the Republic of Texas force began patrolling Corpus Christi Bay to stop Mexican smugglers. One smuggling party abandoned their cargo of about a hundred barrels of flour on the beach at the mouth of the bay, thus giving Flour Bluff its name. The United States, ever watchful of its relations with Mexico, sent the schooner Woodbury to help the French in their blockade. Talks between the French Kingdom and the Texan nation occurred and France agreed not to offend the soil or waters of the Republic of Texas. With the diplomatic intervention of the United Kingdom, eventually President Bustamante promised to pay the 600,000 pesos and the French forces withdrew on 9 March 1839.

U.S. Invasion

American Occupation of Mexico City

U.S. territorial expansion of the 19th century under Manifest Destiny had reached the banks of the Rio Grande which prompted Mexican president José Joaquín de Herrera to form an army of 6,000 men to defend the Mexican northern frontier from the expansion of the neighboring country. In 1845, Texas, a former Mexican territory that had broken away from Mexico by rebellion, was annexed into the United States. In response to this action the minister of Mexico in the U.S., Juan N. Almonte called for his Letters of Recognition and returned to Mexico, hostilities promptly ensued. On April 25, 1846 a Mexican force under colonel Anastasio Torrejon surprised and defeated an American squadron at the Rancho de Carricitos in Matamoros in an event that would latter be known as the Thornton Skirmish; this was the pretext that U.S. president James K. Polk used to persuade the U.S. congress into declaring a state of war against Mexico on May 13, 1846. U.S. Army captain John C. Frémont, with about sixty well-armed men, had entered the California territory in December 1845 before the war had been official and was marching slowly to Oregon when he received word that war between Mexico and the U.S. was imminent thus began a chapter of the war known as the Bear Flag Revolt.

On September 20, 1846 the Americans launched an attack on Monterrey which fell after 5 days. After the U.S. victory in Monterrey hostilities were suspended for 7 weeks allowing Mexican troops to leave the city with their flags displayed in full honors as U.S. soldiers regrouped and regained their losses. On August 1846 Commodore David Conner with his squadron of ships in Veracruzian waters tried unsuccessfully to seize the Fort of Alvarado which was defended by the Mexican Navy forcing the Americans to leave and relocate to Antón Lizardo. In confronting resistance and fortifications at the port of Veracruz, the U.S. Army and marines implemented an intense bombardment of the city from March 22–26, 1847 causing about five hundred civilian deaths and significant damage to homes, buildings, and merchandise. General Winfield Scott and Commodore Matthew C. Perry capitalized on this civilian suffering; by refusing to allow the consulates of Spain and France to assist in civilian evacuation, they pressed Mexican Gen. Juan Morales to negotiate surrender.

American commodore Matthew C. Perry, who had already captured the town of Frontera, in Tabasco, tried to seize San Juan Bautista (modern Villahermosa), but he was repelled three times by a Mexican garrison of just under three hundred men. U.S. troops were also sent to the California territories with the intentions to seize it. After squads of U.S. troops occupied the City of Los Angeles Mexican authorities were forced to move to Sonora; but by the end of September 1846 commander José María Flores was able to gather 500 Mexicans who managed to defeat the U.S. garrison at Los Angeles and then sent detachments to Santa Barbara and San Diego.

After putting up a fierce defense against the U.S. invasion the Mexican positions along the state of Chihuahua began to fall. These forces had been organized by general José Antonio de Heredia and governor Ángel Trías Álvarez. The cavalry of the latter made several desperate charges against the U.S. that nearly achieved victory, but his inexperience in fighting was evident and, in the end, all the positions gained were lost.

French Intervention

The French intervention in Mexico was an invasion of Mexico by an expeditionary force sent by the Second French Empire, supported in the beginning by the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Spain. It followed President Benito Juárez's suspension of interest payments to foreign countries on 17 July 1861, which angered Mexico's major creditors: Spain, France and Britain.

Napoleon III of France was the instigator. His foreign policy was based on a commitment to free trade. For him, a friendly government in Mexico provided an opportunity to expand free trade by ensuring European access to important markets, and preventing monopoly by the United States. Napoleon also needed the silver that could be mined in Mexico to finance his empire. Napoleon built a coalition with Spain and Britain at a time the U.S. was engaged in a full-scale civil war. The U.S. protested but could not intervene directly until its civil war was over in 1865.[6]

The three powers signed the Treaty of London on October 31, to unite their efforts to receive payments from Mexico. On 8 December the Spanish fleet and troops from Spanish-controlled Cuba arrived at Mexico's main Gulf port, Veracruz. When the British and Spanish discovered that the French planned to invade Mexico, they withdrew.

The subsequent French invasion resulted in the Second Mexican Empire, which was supported by the Roman Catholic clergy, many conservative elements of the upper class, and some indigenous communities; when the presidential terms of Benito Juárez (1858–71) were interrupted by the rule of the Habsburg monarchy in Mexico (1864–67). Conservatives, and many in the Mexican nobility, tried to revive the monarchical form of government (see: First Mexican Empire) when they helped to bring to Mexico an archduke from the Royal House of Austria, Maximilian Ferdinand, or Maximilian I of Mexico (who married Charlotte of Belgium, also known as Carlota of Mexico), with the military support of France. France had various interests in this Mexican affair, such as seeking reconciliation with Austria, which had been defeated during the Franco-Austrian War, counterbalancing the growing U.S. power by developing a powerful Catholic neighbouring empire, and exploiting the rich mines in the north-west of the country.

Recent History: Mexican Drug War

Mexican reserve infantrymen With Uniform.

Although violence between drug cartels has been occurring long before the war began, the government held a generally passive stance regarding cartel violence in the 1990s and early first decade of the 21st century. That changed on December 11, 2006, when newly elected President Felipe Calderón sent 6,500 federal troops to the state of Michoacán to end drug violence there. This action is regarded as the first major retaliation made against the cartel violence, and is generally viewed as the starting point of the war between the government and the drug cartels.[7] As time progressed, Calderón continued to escalate his anti-drug campaign, in which there are now about 45,000 troops involved along with state and federal police forces.

In recent times, the Mexican military has largely participated in efforts against drug trafficking. The Operaciones contra el narcotrafico (Operations against drug trafficking), for example, describes its purpose in regards to "the performance of the Mexican Army and Air Force in the permanent campaign against the drug trafficking is sustained properly in the faculties that the Executive of the Nation grants to him, the 89 Art. Fracc. VI of the Constitution of the Mexican United States, when indicating that it is faculty of the President of the Republic to have the totality of the permanent Armed Forces, that is of the terrestrial Army, Navy military and the Air Force for the inner and outer security of the federation.


The Army is under authority of the National Defense Secretariat or SEDENA. It has three components: a national headquarters, territorial commands, and independent units. The Minister of Defence commands the Army via a centralized command system and many general officers. The Army uses a modified continental staff system in its headquarters. The Mexican Air Force is a branch of the Mexican Army. As of 2009 starting salary for Mexican army recruits was $6,000 Mexian pesos, or about $500 US dollars per month, with an additional lifetime $10,000 peso monthly pension.[8]

The principal units of the Mexican army are nine infantry brigades and a number of independent regiments and infantry battalions. The main maneuver elements of the army are organized in three corps, each consisting of three infantry brigades, all based in and around the Federal District. Distinct from the brigade formations, independent regiments and battalions are assigned to zonal garrisons (45 in total) in each of the country's 12 military regions. Infantry battalions, composed of approximately 300 troops, generally are deployed in each zone, and certain zones are assigned an additional motorized cavalry regiment or an artillery regiment.[9]

Regional command

México is divided into twelve Military Regions composed of forty-four sub-ordinate Military Zones [the 2007 ed. of the IISS lists 12 regions, 45 zones], the enumeration is for nominal designation. There is no fixed number of zones in a region, therefore operational needs determine how many or how few, with corresponding increases and decreases in troop strength.

Usually on the secretary of defence's recommendation. The senior zone commander also is commander of the military region containing the military zone. A military zone commander has jurisdiction over every unit operating in his territory, including the Rurales (Rural Defense Force) that occasionally have been Federal political counterweight to the power of state governors. Zone commanders provide the national defence secretary with socio-political conditions intelligence about rural areas. Moreover, they traditionally have acted in co-ordination with the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) on planning and resources deployment.

Military Region Headquarter city States in Region
I México, D.F. Distrito Federal, Hidalgo, Estado de México, Morelos
II Mexicali, Baja California Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora
III Mazatlán, Sinaloa Sinaloa, Durango
IV Monterrey, Nuevo León Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas
V Guadalajara, Jalisco Aguascalientes, Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit, Zacatecas
VI Veracruz, Veracruz Puebla, Tlaxcala, central and northern Veracruz
VII Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas Chiapas, Tabasco
VIII Ixcotel, Oaxaca Oaxaca, southern Veracruz
IX Cumbres de Llano Largo, Guerrero Guerrero
X Mérida, Yucatán Campeche, Quintana Roo, Yucatán
XI Torreón, Coahuila Chihuahua, Coahuila
XII Irapuato, Guanajuato Guanajuato, Michoacán, Querétaro
Military Zones
Military Zone Location Military Region
1a Tacubaya, D.F. I
2a Tijuana, BC II
3a La Paz, BCS. II
4a Hermosillo, Son. II
5a Chihuahua, Chih. XI
6a Saltillo, Coah. XI
7a Escobedo, N.L. IV
8a Reynosa, Tamps. IV
9a Culiacán, Sin. III
10a Durango, Dgo. III
11a Guadalupe, Zac. V
12a San Luis Potosí, S.L.P. IV
13a Tepic, Nay. V
14a Aguascalientes, Ags. V
15a La Mojonera, Jal. V
16a Sarabia, Gto. XII
17a Querétaro, Qro. XII
18a Pachuca, Hgo. I
19a Tuxpan, Ver. VI
20a Colima, Col. V
21a Morelia, Mich. XII
22a Toluca, Mex. I
23a Panotla, Tlax. VI
Military Zone Location Military Region
24a Tehuacán, Pue. VI
25a Puebla, Pue. VI
26a El Lencero, Ver. VI
27a Ticui, Gro. IX
28a Ixcotel, Oax. VIII
29a Minatitlan, Ver. VIII
30a Villahermosa, Tab VII
31a Rancho Nuevo, Chis. VII
32a Valladolid, Yuc. X
33a Campeche, Camp. X
34a Chetumal, Q.R. X
35a Chilpancingo, Gro. IX
36a Tapachula, Chis. VII
37a Santa Lucia, Mex. I
38a Tenosique, Tab. VII
39a Ocosingo, Chis. VII
40a Guerrero Negro, BCS. II
41a Puerto Vallarta, Jal. V
42a Hidalgo del Parral, Chih. XI
43a Apatzingan, Mich. XII
44a Miahuatlan, Oax. VIII
45a Nogales, Son. II

Tactical units

Mexican Paratroopers.

The primary units of the Mexican army are six brigades and a number of independent regiments and infantry battalions.

The Brigades, all based in and around the Federal District (encompassing the Mexico City area), are the only real maneuver elements in the army. With their support units, they are believed to account for over 40 percent of the country's ground forces. According to The Military Balance, published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the army has six brigades: one armored, two infantry, one motorized infantry, one airborne, and the Presidential Guard Brigade, the presidential bodyguard brigade has a reaction group, (grupo de reaccion inmediata y potente, G.R.I.P.), its members are trained in martial arts such as karate, aikijutsu, tae kwon do, kick boxing, kung fu, judo, and silat, furthermore, they are trained in techniques and tactics in order to protect high ranking officials and civil servants, such as the President. The Third military police brigade was transferred to the Federal Preventive Police in 2008. The armored brigade is one of two new brigades formed since 1990 as part of a reorganization made possible by an increase in overall strength of about 25,000 troops. The brigade consists of three armored and one mechanized infantry regiment.

Distinct from the brigade formations are independent regiments (all regiments are battalion sized) and battalions assigned to zonal garrisons. These independent units consist of one armored cavalry regiment, nineteen motorized cavalry regiments, one mechanized infantry regiment, seven artillery regiments, and three artillery and eighteen infantry battalions. Infantry battalions are small and are each composed of approximately 300 troops, generally are deployed in each zone. Certain zones also are assigned an additional motorized cavalry regiment or one of the seven artillery regiments. Smaller detachments often are detailed to patrol more inaccessible areas of the countryside, helping to maintain order and resolve disputes.

Special Forces Corps

Mexican Special Forces with Barrett M82 sniper rifles.

The Army has a Special Forces Corps unified command with 3 Special Forces Brigades, a High Command GAFE group, a GAFE group assigned to the Airborne Brigade and several Amphibious Special Forces Groups.

The Special Forces Brigades consist of nine SF battalions. The 1st Brigade has the 1st, 2nd and 3rd SF Battalions, The 2nd Brigade has the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and the 3rd Brigade has the 4th and 9th Battalions and a Rapid Intervention Force group. The High Command GAFE is a group with no more than 100 members, they are specially trained in counter-terrorist tactics. They receive orders directly from the President of Mexico Felipe de Jesus Calderón Hinojosa. The Amphibious Special Forces Groups are trained in amphibious warfare, they give the army extended force to the coastal lines.

Special Operations Forces

Name Headquarters Structure and purpose
Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales (Special Forces Airmobile Group) Classified
Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales del Alto Mando (High Command Airmobil Group Special Forces) Classified
Grupos Anfibios de Fuerzas Especiales (Amphibious Special Forces Group) Classified The Amphibious Special Forces Groups allow the army to extend their operations of ground troops in the coastal and inland waters, in close coordination with the Mexican Navy.

Estado Mayor Presidencial

Seal of the Estado Mayor Presidencial.

The Estado Mayor Presidencial (Presidential Guard) is a specific agency of the Mexican Army that is responsible for the safety and well being of the President in the practice of all of the activities of his office. On March 24, 1985 President Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado reformed the regulation of the presidential guard and published it in the Official Gazette of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación) on April 4, 1986. In this version the responsibilities of this agency included assisting the President in obtaining general information, planning the President's activities under security and preventive measures for his safety. This regulation was in force during the administrations of Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon. On January 16, 2004 during the administration of President Vicente Fox Quesada a new regulation of the Presidential Guard was issued and published by the Official Gazette of the Federation on January 23 of that same year. This ordinance updated the structure, organization and operation of the Presidential guard as a technical military body and administrative unit of the Presidency to facilitate the implementation of the powers of his office.[10][11]

Paratrooper Corps


Generales Jefes Oficiales
Insignia Gral sedena.gif Gral divn.gif Gral bgda.gif Gral bgdr.gif Corl ejer.gif Tnte corl.gif Mayr ejer.gif Capt 1ero.gif Capt 2ndo.gif Tnte ejer.gif Sub- tnte.gif
Grado Secretario de la Defensa Nacional General de División General de Brigada General Brigadier Coronel (Infantry) Teniente Coronel (Infantry) Mayor (Infantry) Capitán Primero (Infantry) Capitán Segundo (Infantry) Teniente (Infantry) Subteniente (Infantry)

Rank badges have a band of colour indicating branch:

Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the Heroic Cadets Memorial in Chapultepec Park, Mexico City. The monument was designed by architect Enrique Aragón and sculpted by Ernesto Tamaríz at the entrance to Chapultepec Park in 1952.[12]
A Mexican army UH-60 Blackhawk landing in the Zocalo, Mexico City.
  • Gold: Generals
  • Light Brown:
    • General Staff
    • Presidential Guard
  • Scarlet: Infantry
  • Burgundy: Artillery
  • Red-Brown: "Materiales de Guerra"
  • Light Orange-Brown: "Transportes"
  • Green:
    • "Justicia"
    • Military Police
  • Blue:
    • Engineers
    • "Transmisiones"
  • Light Blue: Cavalry
  • Light Gray-Blue: Cartography
  • Purple:
    • Aviation
    • Parachutists
  • Gray: Musicians
  • Light Gray: Armor
  • Very light Gray: Intelligence
  • Brownish Gray: "Administracion e Intendencia"
  • Yellow:
    • Medical
    • Veterinary

Military Industry

A Mexican Army Mi-26 heavy transport helicopter.
Mexican Army band playing.

Since the early first decade of the 21st century the Army has been steadily modernising to become competitive with the armies of other American countries[13] and have also taken certain steps to decrease spending and dependency on foreign equipment in order to become more autonomous such as the domestic production of the FX-05 rifle designed in Mexico and the commitment to researching, designing and manufacturing domestic military systems such as military electronics and body armor.[14]

The Mexican Military counts on three of the following departments to fulfill the general tasks of the Army and Air Force:[15]

  • Dirección General de Industria Militar (D.G.I.M.) - Is in charge of the designing, manufacturing and maintenance of vehicles and weapons such as the assembly of the FX-05 assault rifle and the DN series armored vehicles. On July 19, 2009. SEDENA spent 488 million pesos(37 million U.S.) to transfer technology to manufacture the G36V German made rifle. Although it is not known if this will be manufactured as a cheaper alternative to the FX-05 meant for the army or if it is to be manufactured for Military police and other law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Police. The FX-05 is planned to become the new standard rifle for the armed forces replacing the Heckler & Koch G3 so it is not yet clear what the G-36 rifles will be used for.[16] As of 2011 D.G.I.M. is in charge of assembling the Oshkosh SandCat.[17]
  • Dirección General de Fábricas de Vestuario y Equipo (D.G.FA.V.E.) - Since its creation the department has grown from a simple clothing factory to an Industrial complex in charge of the supply and design of the Army/Air Force's uniform, shoes/boots/, combat helmet, and ballistic vest. Since the 20th century to mid 2000's, The Mexican army's standard combat uniform color was the olive green battle dress. From there the army switched to all woodland camouflage and Desert Camouflage Uniform. Then on July 2008, The General Directorate of Clothing and Equipment Manufacturing of the Ministry of National Defense announced the plans of creating the country's first digital uniforms, which will consist of Woodland/jungle and Desert camouflage. As of 2009 the uniforms are in service.[18]


Land Vehicles

Mexican Army Vehicle Inventory
Vehicle/System Firm Number in Service Status Origin
Wheeled Armored Vehicles
Lynx 90 Armoured Fighting Vehicle[20] -- In Service  France
Panhard VCR/TT Armored Personnel Carrier[21] -- In service  France
BDX (DNC-2) Armoured Personnel Vehicle -- In Service  Belgium
Panhard Véhicule Blindé Léger -- In Service  France
DN-IV Caballo Armored Personnel Vehicle -- In Service  Mexico
DN-V Toro Armored Personnel Vehicle -- In Service  Mexico
MAC-1 Armored Personel Vehicle -- In Service  United States
M8 Armored Personel Vehicle -- In Service  United States
MOWAG Roland -- In Service  Switzerland
Oshkosh Sand Cat -- The Mexican Army has purchased 250 Sand Cats  Mexico[22][23][24]
Infantry Transport Vehicles
Humvee --[25] In Service  United States
M520 Goer In Service  United States
Freightliner M2 In Service  Mexico
M-35 In Service  United States
M151 MUTT In Service  United States
Chevrolet Silverado GMT900 In Service - Hand rails are installed with bipod for GPMG's and Mk 19 gl's  Mexico
Ford Pickup In Service  Mexico
Dodge Ram In Service. Variants of 4x4 and 6x6  Mexico
Tracked Armored Vehicles
Sedena-Henschel HWK-11 -- In Service  Mexico/ Germany
AMX-VCI -- In Service  France
The full range of different FX-05 types used by the Mexican armed forces.
FX-05 Assault rifle
G3 Assault rifle
FN P90 Submachine gun
RPG-29 Rocket propelled grenade
Five-Seven USG pistol

Infantry weapons

Heckler & Koch G3 7.62x51mm NATO assault rifle Made under license from Heckler & Koch  Mexico
FX-05 Xiuhcoatl 5.56x45mm NATO assault rifle  Mexico
HK USP .45 ACP Semi-automatic pistol  Germany
Glock 21 .45 ACP Semi-automatic pistol
HK21 7.62x51mm machine gun Made under license from Heckler & Koch  Mexico
Heckler & Koch MSG90 7.62x51mm NATO sniper rifle  Germany
MP5 9mm Submachine Gun Made under license from Heckler & Koch  Mexico
HK UMP .45 ACP Submachine Gun  Germany
FN Minimi 5.56x54mm NATO & 7.62x51mm NATO Machine gun  Belgium
Cornershot .45 ACP  Israel
Barrett M82 .50 BMG Sniper rifle  United States
HK PSG1 Morelos 7.62x51mm NATO Sniper rifle Made under license from Heckler & Koch  Mexico
FN Five-Seven 5.7x28mm standard armor peircing ammo Semi-automatic pistol  Belgium
FN P90 5.7x28mm Submachine Gun [26]  Belgium
Mondragón F-08 7 x 57 mm Mauser automatic rifle used for ceremonial occasions  Mexico
Remington 870 12 gauge pump action shotgun  United States
Mossberg 500 12 gauge pump action shotgun  United States
Benelli M4 12 gauge semi auto shotgun  United States
Franchi SPAS-12 12 gauge pump action or semi auto shotgun  United States
Franchi SPAS-15 12 gauge full auto combat shotgun  United States
M2 Browning machine gun 12.7x99mm NATO machine gun  United States
M-134 minigun 7,62mm Gatling-type machine gun  United States
HKP-7 9 mm PARABELLUM made by the Mexican army industries, in use for presidencials bodyguards and military police.[citation needed]  Mexico


Name Type Origin
Mk 19 grenade machine gun 40mm  United States MK19-02.jpg
M203 grenade launcher grenade launcher 40mm  United States M203 1.jpg
MGL grenade launcher 40mm  South Africa
MILAN Anti-tank guided missile  European Union Milan 501607 fh000004.jpg
M40 106 mm recoilless rifle anti-tank gun 106mm  United States Rcl106lat2.jpg
M72 LAW light anti-tank rocket 66mm  United States USAF M72 LAW.jpg
B-300 light anti-tank rocket 82mm  Israel
RL-83 Blindicide light anti-tank rocket 83mm  Belgium Rakrohre Schweizer Armee.jpg
RPG-7 anti-tank rocket 85mm  Soviet Union
RPG-29 anti-tank rocket 105mm  Russia/ Mexico RPG-29 USGov.JPG
M101 towed Howitzer 105mm  United States M101-105mm-howitzer-camp-pendleton-20050326.jpg
OTO Melara Mod 56 towed Howitzer 105mm  Italy Spanish-marines-man-105mm-howitzer-19811001.jpg
M90 Norinco towed Howitzer 105mm  China
DN-V Búfalo (Buffalo) Self-propelled artillery 75mm  Mexico
MO-120 Heavy mortar 120mm  France MO-120-RT-61
M1/M29 mortar 81mm  France
Brandt 60 mm LR Gun-mortar/M1 mortar 60mm  France/ Mexico

See also


  1. ^ "Government Report 2009". 
  2. ^ 19 de febrero.- Día del Ejército Mexicano. (Spanish)
  3. ^ Sola, Bertha. "Día de los Niños Héroes (Spanish).
  4. ^ "Country Profile: Mexico" (PDF). Library of Congress Federal Research Division. July 2008. p. 25. Retrieved April 5, 2010.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ "Los Origenes" (in Spanish). Secretaria De La Defensa Nacional. 
  6. ^ Michele Cunningham, Mexico and the Foreign Policy of Napoleon III (2001)
  7. ^ "Mexican government sends 6,500 to state scarred by drug violence". International Herald Tribune. 2002-12-11. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Mexico" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  10. ^ "Estado Mayor Presidencial". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  11. ^ "México - Presidencia de la República | Estado Mayor Presidencial". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  12. ^ Espínola, Lorenza. "Los Niños Héroes, un símbolo" (in Spanish). Comisión Organizadora de la Conmemoración del Bicentenario del inicio del movimiento de Independencia Nacional y del Centenario del inicio de la Revolución Mexicana. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  13. ^ Jornada: report From General Guillermo Galván, Minister of Defense
  14. ^ "Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  15. ^ "Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  16. ^ "Alistan compra de 4 Black Hawk para PF - El Universal - México". El Universal. 2009-07-18. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "grupo reforma". 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  26. ^ "Aumentan Vigilancia Durante Desfile Militar" (in Spanish). El Siglo de Torreón. October 17, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 

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