The President of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies has called for a reopening of the debate on the “single command” security policy (known as “mando unico”), as the pace of its implementation and ultimate effectiveness remain under question.
Cronica reported that Jesus Zambrano argued on 7 January that mando unico is “an issue that can no longer be postponed.” Developed six years ago before being launched fully by President Enrique Peña Nieto in 2014, mando unico aims to replace Mexico’s 1,800 municipal police units with 32 centralized state departments.
The latest criticism follows the shocking killing of the mayor of Timixco, Gisela Mota, which Morelos State Governor Graco Ramirez has claimed was due to Mota’s public championing of mando unico, as reported by Insight Crime. Mota was gunned down in her home on 2 January, just one day after her inauguration. She became the 40th mayor to be killed in Mexico in the past eight years, The Economist reported this week.
InSight Crime Analysis
Mando unico is supposed to reduce corruption seen within Mexico’s municipal police forces, many of whom are in league with drugs organizations. Doing away with the municipal police is also supposed to help make local politicians less vulnerable to threats and killings (although Mota’s death clearly calls this into question).
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Critics of mando unico argue that corruption is just as endemic across state institutions. Cronica reported that another mayor in Morelos state recently claimed that police officials now under centralized state control remain “in collusion with organized crime groups” and engage in “robbery, extortion and kidnapping.”
Frustrations have also grown because the implementation of mando unico has moved slowly. El Universal reported that only 17.5 percent of Mexico’s municipalities now operate under mando unico. Meanwhile, many states have not modified their legislation to meet the requirements of the policy. One such example of the slow pace of implementing mando unico was recently seen in the municipality of Cuernavaca, once again in Morelos state. The local government only recently approved mando unico after exhaustive discussions between the city mayor and state officials, as reported by Cronica.