Human Rights and Civil Society

Nuevo León Implements New Police Reforms

06/01/11 –  Nuevo León will begin implementing one of the most ambitious police reforms in Mexico to date that intends to make it increasingly difficult for police officers to become corrupted by organized crime groups.  On May 25, Nuevo León formally revealed its plan to create a new state service called “Sistema de Policía Acreditable” (Accredited Police System), also known as “Fuerza Civil” (Civil Force).  Governor Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz stated that this special police force will possibly be the only one of its kind to effectively stand up against and challenge organized crime groups.

Jorge Domene Zambrano, executive director of the Office of Public Security for the state of Nuevo León, said that Fuerza Civil is designed to replace 51 municipal police forces across the state with 14,000 new officers, which is almost double the current number of local police. According to news source Globe and Mail, Fuerza Civil officers will receive twice the current salary, be eligible for bonuses and get benefits such as private health care, scholarships for their children and the ability to live in guarded neighborhoods, which will help reduce the number of threats made to family members. Officers will be trained at one of the two training camps located in Escobedo and in Guadalupe.  This program is expected to cost roughly $1 billion over five years and will promptly start September of this year.  In addition to this program, Nuevo León’s Secretary General Javier Treviño Cantú stated that the government is also “revamping laws to make it easier to go after gangs and is targeting poor neighborhoods with social programs to help fend off recruitment by cartels.”

Fuerza Civil was supposed to start in 2015, but according to the Chamber of Industry and Transformation (Cámara de la Industria de la Transformación, Caintra) of Nuevo León, it could not wait any longer. The violent Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas have been fighting over control for drug routes in Nuevo León, creating increasing amounts of violence, particularly in populous areas like Monterrey, Nuevo León. Monterrey- one of Mexico’s most prosperous cities, home to some of Mexico’s largest companies, and location of one of the most prestigious Mexican universities (the Monterrey Institute of Technology)- will lose 11 municipal police forces in the change to the Fuerza Civil system.


“Hoy anuncian la Policía Acreditable.”  Milenio.  May 25, 2011.

Redacción.  “Debe Fuerza Civil dar resultados a corto plazo: Caintra.”  El Porvenir.  May 27, 2011. 

Waldie, Paul.  “Police turn blind eye to Monterrey drug cartels.”  The Globe and Mail.  May 27, 2011. 

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