HomeNewsBriefEntire Police Force of Mexican Town Resigns
BRIEF

Entire Police Force of Mexican Town Resigns

MEXICO / 3 JAN 2013 BY CLAIRE O NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

The entire police force of Marcos Castellanos, Michoacan state has resigned out of fear for their safety following attacks and threats by criminal groups, highlighting the precarious position of municipal police in Mexico, particularly in small towns.

Federal and state police forces have stepped in after the mass resignation left the town undefended, reported Notimex.

In late December 2012, the police began resigning following a series of violent incidents in the town and the surrounding area, including the kidnapping of an officer and attacks on police patrols that resulted in the deaths of four police. According to Milenio, a curfew was subsequently imposed in the town due to the reported presence of armed groups in the area.

InSight Crime Analysis

In recent years, there have been a number of mass police resignations in Mexican towns. In December 2009, the entire police department of Tancitaro, Michoacan resigned, along with the mayor and town council, due to threats from organized criminal groups. Similar mass resignations have been seen in Nuevo Leon and Chihuahua

Municipal police, particularly in isolated rural areas, are very vulnerable to coercion or co-option by organized crime,  facing the difficult choice of "bullet or bribe."

Often poorly paid, local police have a reputation for corruption and are widely mistrusted by the population. Furthermore they are often ill-trained and outgunned in the face of violent criminal groups.

The difficulty of building a competent, clean municipal police force and the slow progress of major police reform have led Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, to champion the idea of centralizing all the sub-federal police forces, a plan known as the "mando unico." While there are obvious advantages to sidelining the notoriously corrupt and ineffective municipal police, Peña Nieto has yet to fully articulate how exactly the "mando unico" would be carried out. Most critically, his administration has not explained how the new centralized police force would eliminate the problems of the existing local police forces: shortages of funds and manpower at the local level, and high incentives for corruption.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 19 SEP 2014

A series of killings of top members of the Sinaloa-based Guasave Cartel suggests that one of Mexico’s most important…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 22 JAN 2015

A new study suggests the number of guns trafficked from the United States to Mexico is higher than previously believed,…

EXTORTION / 18 NOV 2013

Authorities are investigating complaints by family members of prisoners in Chihuahua, Mexico that they have been forced to pay extortion…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…