President Felipe Calderon says Mexico will start issuing nationwide identity cards for its citizens starting this year, and by 2012 everyone will have one.
The cards will carry the bearer’s photograph. It will also include information on fingerprints and biometric data, including facial and iris scans, on a magnetic strip.
Most Mexicans currently use their voter ID cards for identification. They contain a photo, signature and one fingerprint. They will continue to be issued.
Interior Secretary Fernando Gomez Mont said Tuesday the new cards will help in the fight against organized crime, and ensure transparency in government aid programs.
Drug traffickers frequently use false identification documents to evade law enforcement.