Mexico is now launching a special 5,000-strong police force to combat industrial, farm and business crime.

Extortions, kidnapping and theft have extended far throughout Mexico's economy, strangling commerce in some regions.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said Friday the new police agency "is prepared to serve and protect Mexicans in areas where it is needed, or where institutions are weak."

The force known as the gendarmerie is made up of fresh recruits whose average age is 28, and who have never served on another police force. They were trained by the Mexican army.

It will act as a division of the federal police and will be sent to protect areas like those where wheat and sorghum farmers, banana growers and mining firms have been hit by organized crime.