Even Mexico’s best police force is not immune to corruption.
Nuevo León state police on Tuesday arrested seven municipal officers from San Pedro Garza García on charges they abducted a man and handed him over to an organized crime group.
The police force of San Pedro, an affluent municipality in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, ranked as the best among forces from 70 cities in a survey conducted by the national statistics agency Inegi and published in July.
The seven officers allegedly kidnapped a man from his home on July 22 and handed him over to a criminal organization that sought a 2 million peso (US $100,000) ransom from his family. The criminals failed to obtain the money because their victim escaped.
According to the Nuevo León Attorney General’s Office, the victim called police on July 22 to report criminal damage at his San Pedro home. Officers went to the address where they proceeded to abduct the man. They held him for several hours before handing him over to an unidentified group of armed men. The criminals held the victim hostage for three days before he managed to escape.
Collusion between municipal police and criminal groups is common in Mexico, and officers in San Pedro Garza García have previously been accused of the practice. In early 2019, Nuevo León state police assumed responsibility for policing duties in the wealthy municipality as officers faced control and confidence tests.
However, the Inegi survey suggested that the force had put past problems behind it. In addition, the Institute for Security and Democracy published a study in February that found that the San Pedro police force ranked first in the country for “civic justice.”
The think tank found that its officers are well paid – they receive net salaries of at least 21,074 pesos (US $1,050) a month, have a well-documented work methodology and are accountable to citizens.
With reports from El Universal