Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional (México)

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Center for Research and National Security
Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional - Logo.svg
Official Seal of the CISEN
Agency overview
Formed February 13, 1989; 30 years ago (1989-02-13)
Preceding agency
Headquarters Centro del Cisen Camino Real a Contreras No. 35, Col. La Concepción, Ciudad de México, D.F.
Employees Classified (estimated around 3,500)
Annual budget 587 million dollars (2014)
Agency executive
Parent agency Secretary of the Interior (Mexico)
Website cisen.gob.mx/

The Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional[2][3] (English: Center for Research and National Security (CISEN) is a Mexican intelligence agency controlled by the Secretary of Interior (Secretario de Gobernación). CISEN was established in 1989 after its predecessors ceased to operate. Although the National Security Act considers the Center as the main security agency, the Navy, Army, Air Force and the Office of the Attorney General maintain intelligence bodies dedicated to assists the functions of each one.

Formally, CISEN has the function of articulating the national intelligence, and mistakenly has been compared to the current CIA or the Soviet-era KGB (today's FSB (domestic) and SVR (external)). Its functions include espionage, counter-espionage, analysis of intelligence, proposing to the National Security Council the National Agenda for Risks, among others.


The Center for Investigation and National Security (CISEN) is a civilian intelligence agency of the Mexican state service whose purpose is to generate strategic intelligence, tactical and operational information that allows to preserve the integrity, stability and permanence of the Mexican State, giving support to the governance and strengthen the rule of law.

The role is to alert CISEN and proposing the prevention, deterrence, containment and neutralization of risks and threats that seek to undermine the territory, sovereignty, constitutional order, freedoms and democratic institutions of Mexican and economic development, social and political development.[4] CISEN has now evolved into one of the finest intelligence agencies in the world, according to Joel Vargas, Assistant Director for InterPort Police, currently overseeing 220 Intelligence Operation Centers.


The Center for Investigation and National Security (CISEN) was created 13 February 1989 in order to provide the Mexican state of civil intelligence agency more in line with the political and social transformations experienced by the country at that time and suitable for cope with the challenges posed by the end of the Cold War. At 23 years of its establishment, the CISEN has developed an intelligence system designed to alert civil risks and threats to national security and has trained a body of experienced intelligence professionals to serve the nation. Throughout its existence, has witnessed the transition to a political system increasingly pluralistic, the revolution in communications and information technologies and the configuration of a complex international environment poses new challenges to national security. These realities have forced the CISEN to embark on a process of constant transformation, to explore new mechanisms for cooperation and develop new capabilities that, without neglecting the traditional themes of national security, enable alert from a strategic perspective on an increasingly broad spectrum of risks and threats involving, among others, the social, economic and political development, environmental and epidemiological contingencies and natural disasters.In the late nineties, there was a decisive step in the consolidation of the vocation of CISEN to generate strategic intelligence to the transfer of the structures responsible for neutralizing the threats to the newly created Federal Preventive Police. This allowed institutional focus efforts on strengthening the work of collecting, processing and dissemination of strategic intelligence. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on the Pentagon and the Twin Towers in New York as well as the bombings in Madrid and London in 2004 and 2005, respectively, marked a watershed for the international intelligence community and returned to put the fight international terrorism as a major threat to security and stability.

Consequently, and against the relevance of these threats, CISEN cooperation with foreign intelligence services became a priority with an even greater strategic weight. On the other hand, like all other state institutions, CISEN regime has moved toward accountability increasingly transparent, consistent with the democratic constitutional order in the country, and careful of the peculiarities of the field National Security. As a result of this process was published in 2005 National Security Act establishing the terms of the responsibility of the Legislative, Judicial and Executive on Homeland Security, and the powers, scope, limits and mechanisms CISEN control.[4]

National Security Law

The National Security Act defines national security as the actions immediately and directly to maintain the integrity, stability and permanence of the Mexican state that lead to:

  • Protect the country from risks and threats.
  • The sovereignty, independence, territory and unity of the federation.
  • Maintain constitutional order and strengthen the democratic institutions of government.
  • Defend the country against other States or subjects of international law.
  • To preserve the democratic system based on the social, economic and political.
  • The National Security Concept articulates the work of the Center for Investigation and National Security (CISEN) and other institutions of the National Security System.[4]

Heads of CISEN

  • (1989–1990): Jorge Carrillo Olea
  • (1990–1993): Fernando del Villar Moreno
  • (1993–1994): Eduardo Pontones Chico
  • (1994–1999): Jorge Enrique Tello Peón
  • (1999–2000): Alejandro Alegre Rabiela
  • (2000–2005): Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza
  • (2005–2006): Jaime Domingo López Buitrón (1st term)
  • (2006–2011): Guillermo Valdés Castellanos
  • (2011): Alejandro Poiré Romero (temporary)
  • (2011–2012): Jaime Domingo López Buitrón (2nd term)
  • (2012–present): Eugenio Ímaz Gispert


  1. "Eugenio Imaz al CISEN PERFIL". Newsweek Mexico (in Spanish). Retrieved December 14, 2012. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. English" Center for Research and National Security. Retrieved on December 3, 2011.
  3. "National Security Act – Ministry of the Interior of Mexico, Executive Branch. 2" (PDF). Cisen.gov.mx. Retrieved December 3, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 [1] Archived May 17, 2012 at the Wayback Machine

External links

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