HomeNewsBriefMexico to Purge State, Local Police of 65,000 Officers
BRIEF

Mexico to Purge State, Local Police of 65,000 Officers

18 SEP 2012 BY EDWARD FOX EN

Mexico's government announced it will remove some 65,000 police officers from state and municipal ranks, a move which might boost the ranks of criminal groups seeking new recruits.

Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire stated during a visit to Washington D.C. that of the 180,000 state and municipal police who have had background checks, 65,000 (36 percent) were found to be unfit to serve, reported Informador. 

There are currently a total of 430,000 state and municipal officers serving throughout Mexico. Poire added that the aim is to have carried out checks on every one by some point next year.

The reasons for the officers' pending dismissals were not given, nor were details on where they are currently based.

InSight Crime Analysis

Though the announcement of a mass purge of state and municipal police is nothing new in Mexico, this latest round far exceeds the numbers and scale of similar actions taken in the past year. Much of them have been carried out at the local level, with Veracruz alone for example, seeing two rounds of dismissals last year, one of 980 officers and another of 800.

State and municipal officers are often regarded as the most vulnerable link in Mexico's fight against organized crime. Officers among these ranks are poorly paid, more so than their federal counterparts, thus increasing the chance that they will collude with criminal gangs as a way of supplementing their incomes. 

Purging the forces of these corrupt elements, however, is a risky move. If these officers indeed have ties to gangs then removing them from paid work could push them further into the hands of criminal organizations. Jalisco state had to suspend a purge of its forces in May because gangs had posted recruitment ads for some 900 cops about to become unemployed.

The government's focus on vetting state forces should perhaps be broadened out to include federal agents. The federal police have suffered a number of embarrassing incidents this year -- including a July shootout in Mexico City airport and last month's attack on a US diplomatic vehicle carrying CIA agents -- showing that corruption in the agency could be of equal concern.

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

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…