“Mexicans want peace,” said new Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto as he announced the establishment of a national police force for combating crime, violence and drug gangs.
The militarized force, starting at 10,000 officers and growing to as many as 40,000, will take over the job from the military. He said the body will include 15 federal police units.
Some of Pena Nieto’s critics say the supposed change is an extension of his predecessor’s policies, which killed 60,000 people after troops were deployed in 2006.
“I see a lot of continuity despite the implict and explicit criticism that was made,” security analyst Alejandro Hope told The Associated Press.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
Addressing Monday’s meeting, the new interior minister, Miguel Osorio Chong, took a swipe at the previous administration, saying spending on security had gone up but so had crime - including kidnaps by 83%, violent robberies by 65% and extortion by 40%.
He also focused on the state of the police, saying 61% of officers earn just over the equivalent of $300 (£184) a month, while nearly two-thirds have just an elementary school education.
Mexico is currently policed by a variety of forces, at local, state and federal level with different chains of command.
President Enrique Pena Nieto.