Mexico City's police is under scrutiny

Abuses perpetrated against citizens and the publicly known corruption cases have deteriorated the police's image

Mexico City's police is under scrutiny
Police forces are plagued by abuse and corruption cases - Photo: Lucia Godínez/EL UNIVERSAL
English 14/08/2018 09:05 Newspaper Leader Actualizada 09:11
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One of the most direct contacts between the citizens and their government takes place through police elements. The members of the security organism are in charge of bringing safety to public places and the streets were the majority of the population is. They turn into the most visible representation of governmental power. Their success and their mistakes affect the general perception people have of the authorities.

One of the reasons for the insecurity crisis that Mexico has been going through for at least a decade is closely related with the deficiency and the lack of control mechanisms in the police force. The abuses perpetrated against citizens and the publicly known corruption cases have contributed to deteriorating the image of the security sector and also, the government's image. Let us recall the cases in which in some cities, entire police corporations have had to be intervened and replace all their elements because they had links to criminal groups.

The police force that operates in Mexico City is considered as one of the best prepared in the country, but in the last months, there have been cases that should set off the alarms.

At the beginning of 2018, the arrest and excessive force used against a young high school student caused outrage. After his arrest, he went missing for days until he reappeared with obvious signs of disorientation. In May, EL UNIVERSAL published a video where two police officers can be seen receiving money from a drug dealer. A month later, dismembered bodies were found in a bridge in the middle of the city, and the police station a few feet away from the crime scene never registered the incident.

Another case became public last weekend. In events are still under investigation, a driver was shot by police officers when he didn't stop at a breathalyzer checkpoint. The officers argue that shots came out of the vehicle and that they felt at risk and they repealed the attack; the ones who were inside the car with the victim reject this version and demand that they are subjected to test to prove they weren't carrying weapons or shot.

The country's capital is showing the highest crime rates in its history. It would be unfortunate that the crime phenomenon would be linked to the lack of control mechanisms in the police force. Any abuse or excess should be investigated and punished strongly to better the government's image, the citizens' perception and to show respect to human rights.


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