Video: Mexico’s police reform – what do the public think?
Drug violence is Mexico is soaring. Crimes against the public are at a high, with kidnappings increasing and people living in a state of insecurity. But corruption within the Mexican police is rife, and inefficiency is the rule, rather than the exception.
This video was made to go with this Los Angeles Times report by Ken Ellingwood on police reform in Mexico.
The shootout last Monday underscores the grave troubles facing Mexico’s top police official, Genaro Garcia Luna, as he seeks to overhaul his nation’s law enforcement system.
As field marshal in the government’s 21-month-old offensive against drug traffickers, the former intelligence specialist has begun trying to turn Mexico’s police into a modern, trustworthy and well-equipped force. His task amounts to fixing a broken army in the midst of a war — a conflict that has killed 2,700 people this year.
More than 500 police officers and soldiers have died since the government campaign began in December 2006.
The weaknesses of Mexican police are vast. Most officers have at most a grade school education. They often have to buy their own guns on wages equal to those of a supermarket cashier. Many times, the average cop has his hand out for a bribe, in part to pay off bosses for the privilege of a job he probably will not hold for more than a few years. Problems are worst at the local levels.