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Unifying Mexico's Police

In the face of news that at least 20 tourists had just been kidnapped in Acapulco, the Mexican government has announced the preparation of a plan to alter the nation’s police structure that would essentially federalize the country’s 2,200 local police departments under a unified command.

A link to the kidnapping story is available here.

Drug-related violence has led to the deaths of almost 30,000 people in the past several years, and the capacity for the state to secure the population has been significantly undermined. –JCL

The New York Times:

The Mexican government is preparing a plan to radically alter the nation’s police forces, hoping not only to instill a trust the public has never had in them but also to choke off a critical source of manpower for organized crime.

The proposal, which the president’s aides say is expected in the coming weeks, would all but do away with the nation’s 2,200 local police departments and place their duties under a “unified command.” It comes at a critical moment for President Felipe Calderón, who faces mounting pressure from the United States and within Mexico to demonstrate progress in defeating the drug cartels.

He has already hurled the military into the fight, using soldiers to buttress the federal police and battle the drug traffickers, but violence continues to soar and corruption among the nation’s police forces remains a constant, fundamental scourge.

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