Chief Commander María del Carmen NúñezVélez has been tapped to undertake the “cleansing” of the Mexico City’s (DF’s) Judical Police. The promotion marks the first time a woman will occupy a directive role in the agency. NúñezVélez, a 24-year veteran of the agency, vowed that no misconduct will be covered up, and that corrupt agents will be dealt with “to the ultimate consequences,” lamenting that the lack of such measures has hurt the agency.
Since joining the force at age 22, she has climbed the agency hierarchy, occupying the positions of unit chief, section chief, group chief, commander, chief commander and coordinator. She is also the mother of three children. In an interview with Milenio,Núñez shared some of the challenges she faced as a female in the mostly male police force in which she felt forced to prove herself multiple times in order to win the respect of her colleagues.
Despite cultural factors that can create barriers for females entering predominantly male fields in Mexico, there is also a general belief in Mexico that women are less likely to become as corrupt as men in the police forces. Núñez vows to transform the force, but did not provide specific plans in the interview with Milenio. Regardless of recent setbacks for the agency that she blames on a few disreputable officers, she insists that the Judicial Police has continued to fulfill its mandated role and will continue to do so during its transformation into the new Investigative Police Force.
According to the new Organic Law of the Federal District, the Judicial Police will be transformed into an investigative force. NúñezVélez will oversee the vetting of agents for the new force, while a counsel will be formed to oversee the larger process, comprising representatives from the DF Human Rights Commission, the National Institute of Penal Sciences, and civil organizations as well as local and federal legislators. DF Attorney General Miguel ÁngelMancera Espinosa predicts that the transformation will be completed before the term of the current administration is up in 2012.
“A cargo de unamujertransformación de Policía Judicial del DF.” Notimex. September 13, 2009.
“Instalarán consejoverificador de PJ capitalina.” Notimex. September 15, 2009.
“A cargo de una mujer transformacion de Policia Judicial de DF.” Milenio. September 15, 2009.