Security commissioner speaks at Tabasco conference. Security commissioner speaks at Tabasco conference.

Constitution is not on law’s side, Sales says

It discriminates against Mexico's security apparatus, commissioner warns

The Mexican constitution discriminates against the police and other elements of the country’s security apparatus, National Security Commissioner Renato Sales said yesterday at a police conference in the Gulf state of Tabasco.


“We’re going through an insecurity [and] democracy crisis and it’s the police who must confront it but we scorn the police with the constitution,” Sales told police and military officers in the state capital Villahermosa.

“There is not a single constitution in the world that scorns its prosecutors, its police and expert witnesses, not a single one, only Mexico,” he added.

The constitution doesn’t promote respect for those who work in the provision of justice or protect them legally, Sales argued.

Criminal prosecution is also low, with a recent study rating Mexico as the worst country in Latin America for impunity.

Sales pointed to a section of article 123 as being particularly discriminatory because it prevents the reinstatement of a dismissed police officer even if he or she is subsequently found to be innocent of the wrongdoing of which they were accused.

Sales also proposed getting rid of polygraph tests as a means of evaluating officers’ trustworthiness, saying they are unreliable and comparable to “inquisitorial chairs.”


He also likened mandatory police confidence tests — in which polygraph tests are often a key component —  to hanging the sword of Damocles over officers’ heads every two years.

“There’s no test more subjective than the polygraph. And suddenly, the police officer who they say made the needle jump . . . asks, ‘Why do I have to go?’ [and] they respond, ‘It’s confidential,’” Sales said.

Moreover, the security commissioner proposed creating a degree in police science to raise the esteem in which the profession is held. He also argued that a complete review and reconsideration of the police recruitment and evaluation model is required in order to ensure that the nation’s forces are equipped to respond to future challenges.

The current year looks almost certain to become Mexico’s most violent on record, with homicide numbers in October the highest ever recorded, according to the National Public Security System, beating the previous record set just four months earlier in June.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Sol del Centro (sp)

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  • Jeff Swanson

    I call BULL SHIT! The police are THE PROBLEM IN MEXICO, MOST all LEA’s use polygraphs, THE US CIA uses polygraphs, 85% of the police in Mexico can’t [pass the test he speaks of to insure they are not corrupt, yea lets just throw that out the window!

  • The US has he opposite problem. The police receive so much protection that they execute citizens in the street (mostly people of color) without consequence. Sure there’s a grand jury inquiry, but charges are never filed. So after their paid vacation, they are reinstated and some are offered book deals to tell their story. I would rather a government err on the side of protecting the people rather than protecting the police.

    • One way to make Mexico less violent is to legalize drugs in a manner similar to Portugal. Sell it in designated stores, impose age limits, and tax it. Legalization takes the money out of drugs. Plus expel US military and police officials in Mexico who are helping with the “War on Drugs.” Militarizing the opposition to drugs has only poured gasoline on the fire of violence.

      • You are mixing drug use with drug trafficking. A better answer would be to legalize drugs in the US market, that is where the demand is. Drug users in Mexico that possess small quantities of any type of drugs set by the Secretary of Health are not prosecuted. It is the demand for drugs in the US that fuels drug trafficking. As long as there is a market, someone will exploit it. The legalization of marijuana in some of the states such as California is already making a difference. Why risk smuggling marijuana when you can buy it legally.

    • Article 123 is hugely important for the working people of Mexico. This article is trying to use the current situation of violence as a cover for a power grab of rights away from los pueblos and for los ricos.

      • Article 123 B applies to government workers and 123 A applies to the private sector and as you state, is very important. The Federal labor law for private sector employers is based directly on Article 123A. The 2 parts are very different and not interchangeable.

    • Garry Montgomery

      Oh, c’mon, man . . . that’s absolute B/S and your bias is showing.

      • Young black men again faced highest rate of US police killings in 2016 by Jon Swaine and Ciara McCarthy

        Sunday 8 January 2017 12.00 GMT Last modified on Friday 14 July 2017 18.59 BST
        Young black men were again killed by police at a sharply higher rate than other Americans in 2016, intensifying concerns over the expected abandonment of criminal justice reform by Donald Trump’s incoming administration.

        Black males aged 15-34 were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by law enforcement officers last year, according to data collected for The Counted, an effort by the Guardian to record every such death. They were also killed at four times the rate of young white men.

        Racial disparities persisted in 2016 even as the total number of deaths caused by police fell slightly. In all, 1,091 deaths were recorded for 2016, compared with 1,146 logged in 2015. Several 2015 deaths only came to light last year, suggesting the 2016 number may yet rise.

        Those three paragraphs are copied and pasted from The Guardian newspaper from Great Britain. There were many other sources. If you want to call my remarks “BS” then back it with facts. If you want to call it “biased,” you are correct. I am a person who believes racial profiling is wrong. I am biased against bigotry and racism. I intended my bias to show. Too many white people are willing to turn a blind eye to racism because it doesn’t hurt them directly and reinforces their privilege. Your flippant dismissal of my posts shows your bias.

        • Garry Montgomery

          And those same “victims” are 10 times more likely to be involved in a crime. How the heck would Brit newspaper even be interested in the inter-racial death rates?

          • Cite your source and be prepared to back it up. As to why a “Brit newspaper [would] be interested in inter-racial death rates,” Great Britain is an interracial country too and they are an ally to the US. What happens in the US matters to Britain. I am done replying to your unsubstantiated responses. Either cite a legitimate source or prepare to be ignored. Trolls like you follow the leader of the Donald and just say whatever you want to annoy people. You state it like it’s a fact even when it is simply your bigotry showing. I suspect you will reply with another unsupported statement and then take my non-reply as a “victory.” I know this topic sufficiently well to know that no credible source will back you up. So if I don’t reply, it is because you proven to me that you are worth ignoring.

  • kallen

    The police are corrupt: most would agree on that point. The author derides the polygraph and the tests for police; ok, but how else are you going to get rid of the rot – that’s what’s missing from the article. I agree with “police science” approach after the rot is cleared away.