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Police had been protesting in Mexico City since last Wednesday. Police had been protesting in Mexico City since last Wednesday.

Government reaches agreement with Federal Police, though not all

President confirms that the force will continue to patrol federal highways

President López Obrador said this morning that an agreement had been reached with dissenting Federal Police who have been protesting their incorporation into the National Guard. But not all the police officers are on side.

The president said the dissident officers and the federal government had signed a 13-point agreement that included an end to protests, a guarantee of salaries and benefits, 10 options for relocation for those not reassigned to the National Guard and a promise of non-dismissal.

“The matter has been resolved: we will continue the selection process for those who wish to form part of the National Guard as long as they meet the requirements, and those who are unable to join will be given other options, like what we discussed with security duties in government offices and other work, but we are not going to dismiss anyone.”

The president added that of the Federal Police officers tested for positions in the National Guard, only about 60% passed, compared to nearly 90% of hopefuls from the army and navy, who must also pass the exam.

“In the case of the Federal Police, in general close to 60% qualify. What does this mean? It means that the agency has been going downhill for a long time, or in other words, discipline, professionalism and everything that must be present at all times [in law enforcement].”

The leader of an estimated 500 dissident officers said this morning he was unaware of the agreement reached yesterday. Mario Alberto Lover said his group was not represented at the negotiating table and therefore the accord is invalid.

“. . . they misled us once and now they’re trying to do so again, because the accords were made in secret; they didn’t take us into account so we don’t recognize them.”

However, the force will continue to carry out highway patrol duties and provide security at airports and international border crossings.

“. . . that is not the duty of the National Guard. The service will continue and the [Federal Police] will continue to carry out it out. What we must achieve is the betterment of the service: they must protect the citizenry rather than extort them. There cannot be corruption.”

Starting last Wednesday, hundreds of Federal Police officers protested and blocked roads in Mexico City to reject their incorporation into the National Guard, citing cuts to salaries and benefits. Disgruntled officers also took issue with being deployed to dangerous states without the bonus that used to accompany such postings and being evaluated by military personnel.

The president charged that critics of the government were behind the protest, and Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo named former president Felipe Calderón, who denied the accusation.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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