Forty-three municipal police officers from the state of Tamaulipas, north Mexico, deserted a training course in the state of Chihuahua.

The officers were part of a group of almost 350 police being vetted and trained in military tactics as part of Tamaulipas’ strategy of police modernization and professionalization.

They left after only 15 days of courses at the National Training Center, and their motivation is unknown. The Tamaulipas Public Security Secretary said that conditions have been difficult at the military training center and police have complained about the lack of food and grueling hours.

The official did not say what the future holds for the deserters upon their expected return to Victoria, the capital of the Gulf coast state. He suggested they could be fired for refusing to complete required training, but those who were successfully vetted for corruption could be transferred to serve in other capacities.

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