Mexico needs more than 100,000 additional state police officers in order to meet international standards.
An analysis conducted by the National Public Security System (SNSP) identified that there were 123,070 state police officers in Mexico’s 32 federal entities at the end of 2020, equivalent to 0.96 state police officers per 1,000 residents.
The figure is well short of the established international standard of 1.8 per 1,000 inhabitants. To reach that standard, the states need to recruit and train 101,458 new officers.
As things stood in December, Mexico’s 32 state police forces collectively had only just over half the officers they should have had.
The situation in some states is much worse: Baja California, which includes the highly-violent border city of Tijuana, had just 0.18 state police officers per 1,000 residents and Sinaloa, home to the notorious Sinaloa Cartel, had just 0.26 officers per 1,000.
The states with the next lowest per capita rates were Sonora (0.3), Querétaro (o.31) and Coahuila (0.45).
Mexico City, which has state-like status, was the only federal entity with more than 1.8 officers per 1,000 people at the end of 2020. The capital easily exceeded the international standard with 4.41 police per 1,000 chilangos or capitalinos, as residents of Mexico City are known.
Yucatán ranked second with 1.64 state police per 1,000 residents followed by Tabasco with 1.47.
The SNSP analysis also found that 7,066 state police officers were dismissed last year because they didn’t pass confidence tests. More than a quarter of the dismissals — 27% — occurred in Guerrero, more than any other state. Dismissals in Zacatecas and Tabasco accounted for 25% and 18% of the total, respectively.
SNSP data indicates that state police in San Luis Potosí are the best paid in the country with an average net monthly salary of 21,090 pesos (US $1,043) followed by those in Guanajuato — Mexico’s most violent state — and Chihuahua, where officers earn average wages of 20,000 pesos and 18,094 pesos, respectively.
Officers in Chiapas are the worst paid, taking home just 6,357 pesos (US $315) per month on average. At 6,414 pesos, Tabasco has the second-lowest average wage for state police followed by Morelos, where officers earn an average of 8,647 pesos.
The SNSP recommended that state governments increase pay and benefits for police in order to provide them with greater stability and security and thus strengthen their commitment to the job and sense of belonging.
Source: El Economista (sp)