10/01/11 — The National Public Security Office (Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública, SNSP) is requesting that authorities raise the salaries of police earning less than 10,000 pesos a month in accordance with the General Law of National Public Security (Ley General del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública). According to a report recently released by the SNSP entitled the Police Comprehensive Development System (Sistema Integral de Desarollo Policial, “sidepol”), police wages vary greatly all across Mexico. According to the report, wage equalization would arguably lower levels of corruption as high levels are often attributed to low police salaries due to the underpaid agents’ vulnerability and susceptibility to becoming involved in or easily influenced by gangs and cartels.
The average salary for a state level police officer in Mexico is 9,250 pesos, approximately $668 USD. These wages are unequally distributed among police officers of equivalent ranking. A police officer in Aguacalientes, according to Sol de Zacatecas, makes approximately $1,300 a month. Tamaulipas, on the other hand, has one of the lowest police salaries in all of Mexico, being paid approximately $300 per month, less than half of the allocated average monthly funds for a police officer’s salary. Many Mexican reporters note that Tamaulipas is one of the cities most effected by cartel violence, while Aguascalientes continues to enjoy low crime rates. Quintana Roo is another example of a state with a high level of cartel related crime that similarly receives low police wages, only approximately $353 a month.
Wage inequality does not stop, however, at state level police salaries. There are also discrepancies in the local police wages among Mexican states. Tizimín, Yucatán receives only approximately $332 a month while local police in Tijuana receive a monthly salary of $1,079.
Low wages are often pointed to as one of the reasons for such elevated levels of corruption among Mexican police. Lack of benefits, promotions, health care, etc. are also cited as contributing to the sub-par security forces in the country.