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BRIEF

Hundreds of Mexico Security Officials Fail Tests

MEXICO / 27 MAY 2011 BY PATRICK CORCORAN EN

Almost two-thirds of high-ranking state-level security officials in Mexico will be removed from their posts after failing vetting tests, according to the authorities.

Juan Miguel Alcantara Soria, of Mexico’s National Security Council, said that the 244 officials who failed their exams include attorneys general, government secretaries, police chiefs, and police deputies.

The officials were submitted to a battery of tests, ranging from psychological and medical exams to asset monitoring and drug tests that were designed to detect links with organized crime.

Mexico has significantly increased its vetting of security officials under President Felipe Calderon in an effort to reduce corruption, though most of the testing has been concentrated on police officers.

The efforts have been criticized for their slow pace -- especially at the state level, where just eight percent of all police had been subjected to the tests as of February.

Ten percent of Mexico's Federal Police officers were fired in the first eight months of 2010, after failing similar vetting tests. More than 2,700 were fired in Mexico City in 2010 based on poor performance.

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