Thursday, July 21, 2016

Unified Command

Image result for mando unico mexicoFrom 2007 to 2014 more than 164,000 Mexicans have disappeared or been killed in the conflict.  From 2006-2012, denunciations of homicide increased by 84%, denunciations of kidnappings increased 92% and extortion increased 130%.  In 2010, then President Felipe Calderon, in order to combat organized crime, proposed abolishing the approximately 2,400 municipal police forces in favor of creating 32 centralized state police forces (in the 31 Mexican states and the Federal District, i.e., Mexico City) under a unified command structure.  The unified command would be able to provide strategy and coherence that is currently lacking.  The proposal went nowhere and following the kidnapping of the 43 students in Ayotzinapa, on November 27, 2014, President Enrique Peña Nieto revived it and sent it to the Mexican Congress. 

One of the problems with the reorganization is that approximately 600 municipalities do not any have police forces at all.  The municipal police forces lack human and material resources to carry out their functions and 86% of these municipal police forces have fewer than 100 people.  The 20% of the largest municipalities account for 25% of the total number of police, whereas, in contrast, 10% of the police are dispersed among 1,110 municipalities that have approximately 12 police officials each. 
In 2013, a national poll revealed that Mexicans have the less confidence in the municipal police (39.2%) than in the federal police (55%), the Army (80.1%) and the Navy (83.1%).  Given the confidence in the military, the Secretary of the Commission of National Defense stated that he is seeking the input of active duty and retired military on the issue of a unified command structure.  Others criticize that the police are becoming too militarized.

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