Mexico City: Police officers work for the cartels

Criminals pay officers up to MXN $20,000 per month to join their ranks, more than the average police officer salary

Mexico City: Police officers work for the cartels
For a long time, Mexico City was more peaceful than the rest of the country - Photo: Henry Romero/REUTERS
English 16/05/2019 09:16 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:23
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For a long time, Mexico City was a security example and oasis while other regions were plagued by violence, nevertheless, the capital has been facing increasing violence in the last years.

Mexico City has witnessed the appearance of dismembered bodies in a downtown avenue, the arrest of a cartel leader, executions, and two or three shootings in one day. As it was the case in other cities, two criminal groups are fighting to control the area and there are hundreds of extortions.

Now, as it happened in other cities, organized crime is using an old practice: bribing the police. This is not unheard of in Mexico City but this time it can be documented.

Today, EL UNIVERSAL reveals information that confirms that the Unión Tepito cartel has recruited active and retired police officers in Mexico City and the metropolitan area. Their purpose is to infiltrate police corporations and to have an armed group to protect their crimes.

According to official investigations, criminals bands offer between MXN $18,000 and MXN $20,000 per month to those who join their ranks, a higher amount than the average police officer salary, which is MXN $15,000. For the majority of them this is an additional income, since they collaborate with criminals on working days, during their free time, and on their days off.

If the reliability evaluations aren't toughened, it is easy to predict the future. The scenario present in other cities will replicate in the capital: police bodies work for organized crime full time and then federal forces will intervene in local police groups.

In the last weeks, a salary increase above inflation and several work benefits were announced for Mexico City police officers but in the meantime, if actions to stop and punish corrupt officers aren't implemented, the insecurity rates in the city will hardly change.

Crime and violence rates increased during the previous administration; at the same time, the signs that began to appear in the city were the same that were present in other areas plagued by violence and crime. Dozens of Mexican cities are besieged by violence, can Mexico City stop this? Time is running out.


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