Adding cops to Mexico City, what for?

The Head of Government of Mexico City,  Claudia Sheinbaum , presented on Monday two new police forces: the Special Operations Command and the Tactical Unit for Citizen Assistance. These groups, as mentioned in the event, will replace the Grenadier Corps. Jesús Orta , Head of the Secretariat of Citizen Security, said that the first body will fight organized crime and will consist of about three thousand elements; for its part, the second body will be one of proximity with rescue capabilities and to give first aid to the population. Likewise, the Head of Government pointed out that when the National Guard formally began operations, it could be deployed in the Gustavo A. Madero and Iztapalapa delegations in Mexico City.

For years, the denial of the city government over the presence of organized crime in the country’s capital only aggravated the situation of violence. Valuable time was lost in the formation of institutional capacities that could cope with this phenomenon. The groups that operated in Mexico City were part of the cartels with a national presence in our country. Once these cartels were fragmented due to the war on drugs and the continued neutralization of their leaders, the groups operating in Mexico City were disengaged and had to replant their operations and crimes in order to survive; his survival was threatened mainly by group opposites who were immersed in this same dynamic of not losing the territories they controlled or the exclusivity over drug trafficking in their places. The consolidation of these groups as local criminal organizations, and without the links with the big cartels, came hand in hand with the expansion of their criminal activities, either in the form of kidnapping or charging of floor to shops.

Derived from the above, these local groups have had enough time, not only to consolidate as independent groups, but have acquired a lot of power. Just remember that the Navy had to participate in the operations that were made to capture the leaders of the Tláhuac Cartel in 2018, which was not dismantled. Local police need to develop intelligence capabilities that allow them to carry out surgical operations to neutralize leaders of the local gangs, it is not enough to have reactive forces, which are those that were presented. In this sense, it would be necessary to completely purify the police and not just add new corporations.

On many occasions, citizens are more confused about which body can do what, since the generation of more and more police corporations can create perverse incentives for corruption. A vital part for any reform or new police policies to work is to fight corruption. It is not understood that, in full 2019, our police do not carry cameras that capture each of their movements, as in any first world city. Thus, more than new bodies, with uniforms that give much to talk about, it is essential to assume the responsibility of generating institutional capacities that not only fight crime, but also give confidence to the population, reducing corruption and reducing the perception of insecurity.


Ricardo Solano Olivera, MSc.


Column originally published at https://laopinion.de/2019/06/19/sumando-policias-a-la-cdmx-para-que/.


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