Secretariat of National Defense (Mexico)

The Mexican Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA; Spanish: Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional) is the government department responsible for managing Mexico's Army and Air Forces. Its head is the Secretary of National Defense who, like the co-equal Secretary of the Navy, is directly answerable to the President.[1] Before 1937, the position was called the Secretary of War and of the Navy (Secretaría de Guerra y Marina). The agency has its headquarters in Lomas de Sotelo, Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico City.[2] Some key figures who answer directly to the Secretary are the Assistant Secretary, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, and all military tribunals.

Office for National Defense
Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional
Logo of the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense
Flag of the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense

Standard of the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense
Agency overview
HeadquartersBoulevard Manuel Ávila Camacho 172, Irrigación, Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional, 11200 Mexico City
19°26′25″N 99°12′57″W
Agency executive

Under the Federal Public Administration Act (Ley Orgánica de la Administración Pública Federal), the Secretary has the following duties:

  • Organize, administer and prepare the Army and the Air Force.
  • Organize and prepare the National Military Service.
  • Management of the Army, Air Force, National Guard and armed contingents which don't belong to state's national guard.
  • Plan, direct and handle mobilization of the country in the event of war; formulating and executing, in due case, plans and orders necessary to the country defense, as well as directing and advising civil defense.
  • Construct and prepare the forts and all kind of military buildings for Army and Air Force use, as well as administration of barracks, hospitals and other military buildings.
  • Administer military justice.
  • Acquire and build armaments, ammunition, and all kinds of materials and elements for the use of Army and Air Force.
  • Grant permission for an expedition force to enter another country or to allow another country to send their forces to Mexico.
  • Manage the issuing of licenses to bear firearms with the aim of preventing the use of arms expressly banned in law and also those types of arms restricted by the state for the exclusive use of the Army, Navy and National Guard, with the exception of what is established by the 13th section of Article 30 of the Constitution, as well as the supervision and issuing of permits for the sale, transport and storage of firearms, chemical weapons, explosives and strategic weapons.

List of secretaries

No. NameTook officeLeft officeTime in officePresident
Escamilla, PabloGeneral de brigada
Pablo Quiroga Escamilla
193415 June 19350–1 yearsdel Río, LázaroLázaro Cárdenas del Río
Figueroa, AndrésAndrés Figueroa Figueroa
16 June 193517 October 1936 1 year, 123 daysdel Río, LázaroLázaro Cárdenas del Río
Figueroa, AndrésBrigadier General
Manuel Ávila Camacho
18 October 193631 January 19392 years, 105 daysdel Río, LázaroLázaro Cárdenas del Río
Castro, JesúsGeneral de División
Jesús Agustín Castro
1 February 193930 November 19401 year, 303 daysdel Río, LázaroLázaro Cárdenas del Río
Castro, JesúsJesús Agustín Castro
1 December 194031 August 19421 year, 273 daysCamacho, ManuelManuel Ávila Camacho
Castro, JesúsGeneral de División
Lázaro Cárdenas
1 September 194231 August 19452 years, 364 daysCamacho, ManuelManuel Ávila Camacho
Urquizo, FranciscoGeneral de División
Francisco L. Urquizo
1 September 194530 November 19461 year, 90 daysCamacho, ManuelManuel Ávila Camacho
Urquizo, FranciscoGilberto R. Limón
1 December 194630 November 19525 years, 365 daysAlemán, MiguelMiguel Alemán
Ramos, MatiasGeneral de División
Matías Ramos
1 December 195230 November 19585 years, 365 daysCortines, AdolfoAdolfo Ruiz Cortines
Olachea, AgustínGeneral de División
Agustín Olachea
1 December 195830 November 19645 years, 365 daysMateos, AdolfoAdolfo López Mateos
Barragan, MarcelinoGeneral de División
Marcelino García Barragan
1 December 196430 November 19705 years, 364 daysOrdaz, GustavoGustavo Díaz Ordaz
Díaz, HermenegildoHermenegildo Cuenca Díaz
1 December 197030 November 19765 years, 365 daysÁlvarez, LuisLuis Echeverría Álvarez
López, FélixGeneral de División
Félix Galván López
1 December 197630 November 19825 years, 364 daysPortillo, JoséJosé López Portillo
Gardoqui, JuanGeneral de División
Juan Arévalo Gardoqui
1 December 198230 November 19885 years, 365 daysHurtado, MiguelMiguel de la Madrid Hurtado
Gardoqui, JuanGeneral de División
Antonio Riviello Bazán
1 December 198830 November 19946 years, 0 daysGortari, CarlosCarlos Salinas de Gortari
Aguirre, EnriqueGeneral de División
Enrique Cervantes Aguirre
(born 1935)
1 December 199430 November 20006 years, 0 daysZedillo, ErnestoErnesto Zedillo
Vega, GerardoGeneral de División
Gerardo Clemente Vega
(born 1940)
1 December 200030 November 20066 years, 0 daysFox, VicenteVicente Fox
Galván, GuillermoGeneral de División
Guillermo Galván Galván
(born 1943)
1 December 200630 November 20126 years, 0 daysCalderón, FelipeFelipe Calderón
Zepeda, Salvador Cienfuegos'General Secretario
Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda
(born 1948)
1 December 201230 November 20186 years, 0 daysNieto, Enrique PeñaEnrique Peña Nieto
Sandoval González, Luis CresencioGeneral de División
Luis Cresencio Sandoval
(born 1960)
1 December 2018Incumbent1 year, 9 daysLópez Obrador, Andrés ManuelAndrés Manuel López Obrador

See also

  • Museo del Enervante - a Sedena museum dedicated to those who have fought drug trafficking in Mexico.
  • Zuyaqui - a famous dog who worked for the agency.


  1. Mexico's Federal Organic Law of Public AdministrationLey Orgánica de la Administración Pública Federal, Article 29 Archived 2006-06-15 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Home." Secretariat of National Defense. Retrieved on February 15, 2011. "Blvd. Manuel Ávila Camacho S/N. Esq. Av. Ind. Mil., Col. Lomas de Sotelo; Deleg. Miguel Hidalgo, D.F. C.P. 11640."
  3. "Quien es el Gral. Luis C. Sandoval, proximo Secretario de Defensa" [Who is Gen. Luis C. Sandoval, next Secretary of Defense?], El Universal (in Spanish), Mexico City, October 22, 2018, retrieved June 24, 2019

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