Transparency & accountability

Reforma finds that 90% of police arrested for drug ties are local cops

The drug cartels in Mexico are said to have one link in common: the municipal police force. 90% of the 357 police officers detained this year, for presumed links to drug traffickers, belonged to local groupings. According to a recount of REFORMA, based on official information from the Attorney General’s office of the Republic and that of Nuevo León, of the total of agents investigated, 319 of them worked in municipal corporations, 15 in ministerial, 19 in federal, and 4 in state preventive police forces. The entities with the most agents involved are Hidalgo, with 121, Nuevo León with 100  and Tabasco with 60. The only case in which the State Attorney’s Office carried out the investigation was Nuevo León, the remainder where carried out by the federal Attorney General’s Office, or PGR.

Thursday, during his appearance before the House of Representatives, the head of the Federal Secretary of Public Security, Genaro García Luna, proposed to integrate the 2 thousand 22 municipal corporations of the country with the 32 state police forces, in order to standardize the operating procedures and make resources efficient.

Two of the major associations of mayors in the country, the ALMAC and AMMAC, agreed that municipal police officers are the most vulnerable to corruption involving drug trafficking, because they have fewer tools, materials, and economic resources. According to the investigations, the police officers corrupted by organized crime, formed part of the institutional protection networks servicing the cartels of, “La Familia”, “Sinaloa” (Pacífico), Beltrán Leyva and Arellano Félix. Their “contributions” consisted of permitting the passage of drug cargos, acting as escorts of drug-traffickers, and providing confidential information on investigations, amongst other things.

One of the most significant cases was the abduction of the Customs Administrator of Veracruz, Francisco Serrano, who was “picked up” by municipal transit agents (operators) on orders of organized crime. Because of this, four agents have been imprisoned.


Baranda, Antonio y Rolando Herrera. “Halla narco socio dentro de Policía.” Reforma. September 25, 2009.

Integrar corporaciones municipales a las policías estatales propone García Luna a diputados.” Boletín N°. 0094. LXI Legislatura .September 24, 2009.

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