Mexico to Purge 1,500 Feds by December, in Anti-Corruption Drive

Mexico’s attorney general announced that by December, 1,500 officers will have been removed from the Federal Agency of Investigation, the country’s equivalent of the FBI.

In testimony before Congress, Attorney General Marisela Morales provided details on Proyecto Diamante (Project Diamond), her plan to identify and eliminate corrupt elements within Mexico’s federal security services.

According to Morales, 300 officers have been dismissed from the agency, 600 are in the process of being removed, and another 600 have resigned in order to avoid being fired.

The third phase of Morales’ anti-corruption strategy, which includes evaluations of more than 3,000 public prosecutors, will take place between December 2011 and July 2012. Morales said that she intends to evaluate all 20,000 employees of Mexico’s Justice Department using tools like lie detectors, psychological exams and drug tests.

The federal corruption purge comes as states and municipalities attempt to root out corruption in their own police forces. Thousands of officers have been dismissed in some of Mexico’s most bloody regions, including Veracruz and Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, raising concerns that the diminished police forces do not have the capacity to combat crime.