Police with links to organized crime detained in Guerrero

Close to 70 percent of the 18,000 municipal police who failed vetting tests in Mexico are concentrated in ten states, underscoring the weakness and vulnerability to corruption of local security forces in areas that are also hubs for organized crime.

According to a report from the Secretary General of National Public Safety (SESNSP), over 18,000 of the 135,511 municipal police subjected to vetting tests nationwide failed to pass. Sixty-seven percent of these police officers were concentrated in ten states, with Veracruz, Baja California Sur, and Sinaloa home to municipal police forces where over 60 percent of the officers did not meet basic standards, reported El Universal.

The numbers were equally high for state police forces, with 20,521 state police officers failing to pass vetting tests, according to a report by the civil society organization Causa en Comun. In total, including federal police, 42,214 police officers were deemed unfit for service. According to the report, 17 states have yet to dismiss the police who failed vetting tests.  

InSight Crime Analysis

Troublingly, at least half of the states where the municipal police who failed vetting tests are concentrated are also hotspots for organized crime. In Veracruz, for example, where 77 percent of municipal police failed, the Zetas and the "Zetas Killers," a splinter group of the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation, both have a significant presence. The state of Guerrero -- where 1,315 municipal police failed vetting tests -- recently saw the disappearance of 43 student protesters, a crime that was allegedly carried out by corrupt police colluding with the Guerreros Unidos criminal group.   

SEE ALSO: Zetas News and Profiles

Low salaries and a lack of education are likely factors that contribute to the vulnerability of municipal police forces to corruption. According to data from Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) cited by El Universal, 78 percent of the country's municipal police make less than $727 a month, which could make them more likely to accept bribes. Three of the states home to large numbers of low-paid municipal police -- Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Jalisco -- are also among the ten states where police who failed to pass vetting tests are concentrated. Similarly, according to INEGI data from 2013, over 12 percent of municipal police had completed primary school or less, with Oaxaca and Michoacan among the states with the highest numbers of uneducated police. 

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power. In rural sectors, uniformed BACRIM armed with assault rifles still patrol in...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network. The BACRIM's roots lie in the demobilized paramilitary umbrella group the United Self-Defense...

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

In San Pedro Sula's jailhouse, chaos reigns. The inmates, trapped in their collective misery, battle for control over every inch of their tight quarters. Farm animals and guard dogs roam free and feed off scraps, which can include a human heart. Every day is visitors' day, and...

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

In July 2011, members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) attended a meeting organized in California by a criminal known as "Bad Boy." Among the invitees was José Juan Rodríguez Juárez, known as "Dreamer," who had gone to the meeting hoping to better understand what was beginning to...

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Olfato. It is a term used quite often in law enforcement and judicial circles in Central America (and other parts of the world as well). It refers to the sixth sense they have as they see a crime scene, investigate a murder or plow through the paperwork...

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's prisons are a reflection of the multiple conflicts that have plagued the country for the last half-century. Paramilitaries, guerrillas and drug trafficking groups have vied for control of the jails where they can continue to manage their operations on the outside. Instead of corralling these forces...

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The prison system in Latin America and the Caribbean has become a prime incubator for organized crime. This overview -- the first of six reports on prison systems that we produced after a year-long investigation -- traces the origins and maps the consequences of the problem, including...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

  Drugs Extortion Criminal Cash Flows Millions of dollars in dirty money circulate constantly around Bajo Cauca, flowing upwards and outwards from a broad range of criminal activities. The BACRIM are the chief regulators and beneficiaries of this shadow economy. Unlike their paramilitary and drug cartel predecessors, the BACRIM maintain a diversified...

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Following Guatemala's long and brutal civil war, members of the military were charged, faced trial and sentenced to jail time. Even some members of a powerful elite unit known as the Kaibil were put behind bars. Among these prisoners, none were more emblematic than Captain Byron Lima...

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

In the last decade, homicides in Guatemala have obeyed a fairly steady pattern. Guatemala City and some of its surrounding municipalities have the greatest sheer number of homicides. Other states, particularly along the eastern border have the highest homicide rates. Among these are the departments of Escuintla...