We're always looking for ways to make better. Have an idea? See something that needs fixing? Let us know!

Mexico: National Intelligence Agencies
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > Public Order and Internal Security > National Intelligence Agencies


From the 1940s until it was disbanded in 1985, the Federal Directorate of Security, which was under the control of the Secretariat of Government, was the primary agency assigned to preserve internal stability against subversion and terrorist threats. The directorate was responsible for investigating national security matters and performed other special duties as directed by the president. It acted as the equivalent of the United States DEA in the Mexican government. A plainclothes force, the directorate had no legal arrest powers nor formal authority to gather evidence, although it could call upon the assistance of other government agencies and could use other surveillance techniques.

By the final years of its existence, the directorate had more than doubled in size to some 2,000 personnel. The agency's demise came after it became evident that many of its personnel were in league with major drug traffickers. Its successor was the Center for Investigation and National Security (Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional -- CISN). Although formally under the Secretariat of Government, CISN is said to operate under direct presidential control. Still primarily concerned with gathering intelligence, CISN also has expanded activities to include opinion polling and analysis of domestic political and social conditions. In 1992 illegal wiretaps were found in a meeting room to be used by the central committee of the opposition National Action Party (Partido de Acción Nacional -- PAN). Although the government denied any official involvement, the local representative of CISN was forced to resign.

Last Updated: June 1996

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Mexico was first published in 1996. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Mexico Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 206 of 213


Click any image to enlarge.

National Flag

($) Mexican Peso (MXN)
Convert to Any Currency


Locator Map