Mexico City, April 4 IANS | 2 years ago

The governments of Mexico and France plan to exchange troops as part of a training program, officials said.


President Enrique Pena Nieto submitted a written request to the Senate for authorization to send marines to France and have French troops enter Mexico in mid-April.

The plan is to send 27 marines to French Guiana from April 13 to May 3 for classes at the Jungle Training Center.

France will send 26 members of the French Foreign Legion's 3rd Infantry Regiment based in Kourou, French Guiana, for training in Mexico from April 14 to May 6.

The French troops will take a course at the Mexican Marine Corps Specialized Training Center in San Luis Carpizo, a city in Campeche state, and will go to Veracruz at the completion of the program.

The Legionnaires particpate April 29 and April 30 in the ceremonies marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Camaron.

The French Foreign Legion earned its reputation as a legendary fighting force in the April 30, 1863, battle in which a unit of fewer than 70 Legionnaires fought a numerically superior Mexican army during the French intervention in Mexico.

Only two of the Legionnaires survived, inspiring the Mexican commander to say of them, "these are not men, they are devils".

The military personnel taking part in the training program will participate in exercises to learn how to use different tactics, officials said.

The training course will strengthen the capabilities of Mexican marines and allow them to gauge how their training compares to that of military personnel from another country, as well as to bolster French-Mexican relations, officials said.

(Posted on 04-04-2013)