Mar 26, 2012

Mexico has the world’s third largest police force

El Milenio: With more than 544 thousand federal, state, and local agents, Mexico has the world’s third largest police force, behind India and the United States. However, the incidence of high social impact crimes (homicide, armed robbery, and kidnappings) has not only continued, but even increased in recent years.

These statistics come from the Superior Audit Office of the Federation in its earnings statement on review of the 2010, which also reports a steady increase in the budget in the last five years for public safety and crime prevention.

Nonetheless, crime rates rose and thus the three branches of government saw the need for a new government system of police professionalization.

According to figures from the high oversight authority, high social impact crime continued to rise, with premeditated homicides rising from 15 to 18 per 100 thousands citizens.

In turn, robberies increased from 32 to 39 per 100 thousand people and kidnappings stood at a rate of one per 100 thousand.

All this despite the fact that Mexico has the third largest police force (544,025 in the three levels of government), surpassed only by India, with a little more than a million, and the United States, which has 951,000.

“This shows the failures of organizations operating within the country, including the Federal Police, which receives monetary resources every year,” said Arturo Zamora, deputy coordinator of PRI’s Legal Affairs in the Chamber of Deputies.

Growing expenditures

Based on the Supreme Audit Office of the Federation’s report, the Jalisco legislature said that in the period of 2006-2010, the Federal Police budget increased at a rate of 34.7 percent on average annually, from 5 billion 749 million pesos in 2006 to 18 billion 929 million pesos in 2010.

It also noted the armed forces role in stemming the wave of violence in the country. “As long as [the crime rate] fails to fall, as long as there is no range of security to ensure the full freedom of Mexicans, the army and navy should continue working towards the goal of guaranting security.”

Zamora reaffirmed in this regard that the PRI representatives are willing to create more legal tools for the Mexican state to combat organized criminal gangs, for which they will wait until the new president of the Commission of Government convenes a meeting to restart the analysis of the National Security Act.

Javier Corral, former president of that body and member of the PAN, was given permission to leave his seat last week, but first held the PRI responsible for the impasse on the law.

“As soon as someone as the new president of the Commission on Governance is named, they won’t call on the same members. There isn’t even a place to begin the analysis of the National Security Act, since the legislative process sent that bill at the first turn Commission of Government.”

“As the one who was appointed president of the Commission of Government did not convene the members, there is not even a place to begin analysis of the National Security Act, because the legislative process forwarded the bill at the first opportunity to the Commission of Government.”

The PRI deputy director also said that his party will work to avoid being blamed for the failure of the PAN’s anti-crime strategy, which has resulted in thousands of deaths during the current administration.

Translation: Michael Kane, Center for International Policy 

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