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Special Operations Forces
Fuerzas Especiales
FES insignia
Active2001 - present
Allegiance Mexico
BranchMexican Navy
TypeNaval Special Operations Commando
Motto(s)Fuerza, Espíritu, Sabiduría (Strength, Spirit, Wisdom)
FES operator wearing the now retired 'Camuflaje 3 Jungla' uniform in early 2010's.

The Fuerzas Especiales (Special Forces), commonly known as FES (the initials of their motto) is a Tier 1 special operations unit of the Mexican Navy - Marines officially established in late 2001. Its motto is "Fuerza, Espíritu, Sabiduría" (Strength, Spirit, Wisdom), they are currently under the naval special operations command, Unidad de Operaciones Especiales, commonly known as UNOPES.

These forces are capable of carrying out non-conventional warfare in the air, sea and land, by utilizing all means of infiltration available to develop the most variable operational incursions with the use of military diving techniques, parachuting, vertical descent, urban combat, sniping and use of explosives. The units are well organized, trained and equipped to operate independently in maritime, lake, riverine or terrestrial scenarios.


Operations undertaken by the FES of the Mexican Navy - Marines are classified, as well as casualties and collateral damage. It has played a major active role in the Mexican Drug War, undertaking direct action missions, intelligence gathering, reconnaissance operations, personnel, weapons and facility seizures, law enforcement arrests and kill or capture missions.

Some of their most known operations:

- Elimination of Gulf Cartel leader Antonio Cárdenas Guillén aka "Tony Tormenta" in Matamoros, Mexico, 2010. 3 marines KIA during the firefight with his close protection circle of gunmen known as “Los Escorpiones”. Heavy fire, grenades and road blockades were implemented by the cartel gunmen that day.

- The raid and elimination of the leader of the Beltran Leyva Cartel, Arturo Beltran Leyva, in Cuernavaca, Morelos in December of 2009.

-Operation Black Swan, a joint US-Mexico operation to capture the Sinaloa cartel boss, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán in 2016.

-Operation Barcina, which gained media attention due to a leaked video recorded by a civilian which saw operators from the Puma Squadron through a Black Hawk Helicopter making use of a M134 Minigun gunning down a Beltran Leyva Cartel leader Juan Francisco Patrón Sánchez aka. “El H2” in 2017

-In July 2022, they carried out the successful "Operación Leyenda II" in which they captured the notorious drug lord "Rafael Caro Quintero".


There are two main training centers where the operators receive training:

- Centro de Capacitación y Adiestramiento Especializado de Infantería de Marina (CENCAEIM) in Champotón, Mexico

- Centro de Entrenamiento Avanzado in Valle de Bravo, Mexico

In these centers they receive some of the following courses:


FES are divided into multiple assault squadrons, whose primary tasks consist mainly of Direct-Action and Counter-terrorism operations, some of these squadrons are:


See also