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Thousands of cops deemed ‘untrustworthy’

September 15, 2012

There are serious concerns over the trustworthiness of Mexico’s law enforcement officers as a newly mandated series of background checks kicks in.

So far, 45,633 police officers across Mexico have failed to clear the checks. Of these, 51 percent were from state police forces, 36.4 were municipal officers and 12.5 percent were federal agents.

In Guadalajara, 39 of 97 municipal police officers screened by the National System of Public Security (SNSP) to date have failed to clear the check. Some failed drug tests but the majority were penalized for being unable to explain how they were living lifestyles beyond the means of a police salary.

All of Mexico’s federal police have now been evaluated but less than half of the country’s state and municipal police cops have been checked. In Jalisco, only 15 to 25 percent of officials have been screened to date.

Luis Carlos Najera Gutierrez, the head of the State Public Security Agency (SSP), estimates that at least 30 percent of state and municipal officers in Jalisco may have to be dismissed.

The proportion of acceptable applicants to work in the police is even lower, with just 15 percent of aspiring officers clearing background checks in Jalisco.

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