Nicaragua Sacked 173 Police in 2011

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Nicaragua’s national police sacked 173 officers in 2011, most of them for corruption, but said that organized criminal groups had not managed to infiltrate the force.

As El Nuevo Diario reports, the officers were fired for “corruption, indiscipline, violation of police regulations, and abuse of authority.” The dismissed officers represent 1.4 percent of Nicaragua’s National Police force.

However, Inspector General Juan Baez Galeano told the newspaper that organized criminal groups had not managed to “achieve what they have with other police forces, where a structure [of officials] is put in the service of [drug traffickers].”

Baez also pointed to a variety of pending measures aimed at strengthening Nicaragua’s police, including a new set of internal regulations and a disciplinary enforcement body.

InSight Crime Analysis

One reason that Nicaragua’s police may have managed to remain relatively free from the infiltration of organized criminal groups is that the country as a whole has less of a presence of these groups. Drug shipments generally pass straight through Nicaragua, rather than being stockpiled or changing hands within its terrority.

The number of Nicaraguan police fired has been fairly constant over the last few years, over 130 each year since 2008. This suggests that the force carries out ongoing cleans-ups to root out corruption. This is in contrast to neighboring Honduras, which is currently in the process of a large-scale purge of its police, with the army being sent in to replace them in some areas.

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