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Entire Police Forces Continue to be Arrested in Mexico

The arrest of a town’s entire police department in Mexico’s state of Chihuahua reflects just how insidious police corruption continues to be in the country, with governments at all levels seemingly unable to make any real difference.

Fifteen police officers from the municipality of Madera, Chihuahua, in northern Mexico, were arrested on August 15 during a joint operation by state and federal agencies, the Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office reported

Madera’s police commander was among those arrested. Identified only as José Luis M. M., he had apparently provided protection services to drug traffickers in the area and obstructed the work of local authorities.

The arrest occurred after the police chief stopped operatives from state security agencies and threatened them at gunpoint to abandon an investigation in the region.

Entire police forces being rounded up for corruption and collusion with organized crime is nothing new in Mexico. In August 2018, 205 police officers were disarmed and suspended in the municipality of Tehuacán in central Puebla state, while 113 more were believed to have fled.

The ease with which corruption spreads inside the police forces and the vast impunity for participating officers means that successive government reforms have shown no concrete results. 

An average of 1,688 corruption cases were registered for every 1,000 active-duty police officers in Mexico in 2017, according to a survey conducted by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).

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