Untrustworthy cops in Mexico: what else is new?

As part of the ongoing public safety mess in Mexico, the president himself sent a document to the Senate, detailing the findings in a “trustworthiness” evaluation that was performed this year to Mexico’s security forces. The unsurprising result: 50% of all law enforcement personnel don’t fulfill the required trustworthiness requirements.

The report itself is ridiculously incongruous, with high ratings for states such as Tabasco, Mexico City (where every inhabitant knows that cops are a joke) and, bafflingly, Chihuahua, with a 97% approval rating. Mind you, world-famous capital of violence against women, Ciudad Juárez, is in Chihuahua, so this information is so obviously and flagrantly flawed, that it calls into question the entire study, as well as the prowess of the so-called statisticians who gave a 97% approval rating with only 82 cops taking the tests. Yes, we’re supposed to believe that 100% of Tabasco’s law enforcers are trustworthy and reliable.

What are the implications of this? there are many, for starters, how flawed was the hiring process that allowed this high an amount of worthless people to get to such a position of power and influence? second, as the article points out, how reliable are the people who administered the test? meaning, basically, that the percentage might even actually be higher.

But the real problem is, now that we know this, what is the government going to do? Because  the sensible thing to do would be to fire all these people. Of course, since the process was wrong from the beginning, it’s now a tangled, unsolvable mess where the obvious solution won’t work. You can’t fire half the cops in the country, which is already in the middle of a public safety crisis, and expect things to improve. You need time to fix your training and screening procedures, because they are so flawed that they are partly to blame for this mess. You need time to find and train new personnel (which the unemployment rate might make a bit easier, assuming most applicants actually make it through the screening procedure).

Assuming you did this, in the meanwhile you’d have close to 30 thousand people out of a job. Mind you, these people have a certificate for unreliableness, as well as police training. So we’re looking at two possibilities: either they start to make a living out of illegal activities (kidnappings, robberies, drug dealing, racketeering schemes) or they join private security companies. Now, these companies are a huge success because, if there’s something the average mexican wants, is security. So I foresee a situation where, desperate to have more personnel to get more customers, these companies will hire those, certified unreliable, former law enforcers. Ironically, as someone concerned about security, I might hire one of those companies who would then send a security guard with questionable integrity to watch over my property. Who’s to say he won’t tip his friends off so that they can rob or murder me?

This problem is indeed so complex that a solution eludes the mind. But indeed this is how things work in Mexico most of the time: it looks as though the government is hellbent on digging itself (and us) into the most tangled, deep hole possible, so that as there is no solution possible, none will be demanded of them. But it is time that the mexican people started demanding something from the people who amount to our (quite highly paid) employees.

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