The federal Public Safety Secretariat said that Cervantes, the first woman to head the Federal Police, has been “trained by leading security agencies in matters of crime data and criminal-operations analysis, intelligence, strategic planning, anti-terrorism, investigations and policing techniques in Spain, Israel and the United States.
Cervantes was employed as head of the intelligence division of the Federal Police and was responsible for establishing ties of cooperation, training and exchanging intelligence with the American Police Community, or Ameripol, and with the European Police Office, or Europol.
“She has wide experience in the fields of organized crime, national security, intelligence, international terrorism, armed groups and kidnapping,” the secretariat said Friday.
According to the agency, the work of Cervantes, 41, a native of Hidalgo state, has been praised internationally.
Among other distinctions, she was decorated in 2006 with Spain’s White Emblem Military Merit Cross, and in 2011 with the Obelisk Intelligence Badge, the highest honor of Colombia’s Police Intelligence Board.
Cervantes replaces Facundo Rosas, who has been designated the Public Safety Secretariat’s undersecretary for prevention, linkage and human rights.
Calderon gave the Federal Police and the army the lead role in battling violent drug cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.
But despite the nationwide deployment of tens of thousands federal forces, drug-related homicides have skyrocketed in recent years.