Friday, August 6, 2010

Public Security Chief of Mexico Urges Replacement of Municipal Police

Late last year President Calderon proposed doing away with municipal police and replacing them with federal police. This week in Puerto Vallarta a National Governor's Conference was held to discuss a proposal to replace municipal police with state police. The Secretary of Public Security, Genaro Garcia Luna, attended the conference and asserted in a presentation he made that according to evidence gathered recently organized crime is paying off municipal police about $300-$375 (U.S.) per month as "compensation." If the government were to increase the salaries of municipal police by that amount, he said it would come to an extra $100 million per month, enabling police to live a more dignified life. He also asserted that the municipal police add up to about 40% of all law enforcement officials in the country, and they have no legal authority to investigate crimes (felonies are the responsibility of state and federal police), only to enforce local ordinances at the behest of city governments. He appeared to support the new proposal. This would, however, require constitutional revision.

Currently in Juarez a municipal police officer is earning about $800 per month; the salaries are about half as much or less in many parts of Mexico.

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