The gendarmerie, a grand idea that accomplished little. The gendarmerie, a grand idea that accomplished little.

How next president can tackle violence

Short and long-term ideas for the next administration to address criminal violence

Reprinted from InSight Crime

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Mexico enters the 2018 presidential campaign on the heels of the most violent year in its recent history. But notwithstanding the urgency of the challenge, the candidates have been unable to voice coherent proposals to confront an increasingly fragmented and violent criminal landscape.

While the initial years of the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto suggested Mexico had turned a corner in its efforts to overcome longstanding security challenges, the situation at the close of his six-year term suggests just the opposite.

After a three-year rise in murders, 2017 was the most violent year in Mexico’s recent history. The more than 29,000 murders registered by the National Public Security System represented a 27% jump from 2016, and a nearly 60% increase since 2014. As is usually the case, organized crime was the chief driver of this wave of bloodshed.

Surprisingly, rising insecurity has played a muted role in the current presidential campaign, which will culminate with July’s elections. While the leading candidates have all made some reference to the worsening situation, their comments have failed to present a compelling alternative to merely muddling through.

The current frontrunner, Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) — widely known by his initials AMLO — made waves several weeks ago with his suggestion of amnesty for members of organized crime groups. But the comment seemed more like thinking out loud than a concrete proposal.

Ricardo Anaya of the National Action Party (PAN) called for “fundamental changes” to the current strategy in a recent speech, but included no suggestion of what those would be.

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José Antonio Meade, the candidate from the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), recently called for a crackdown on criminal groups’ arsenals, though he offered little suggestion of how he would do so.

None of these candidates’ rhetoric has presented a comprehensive approach to what has been one of Mexico’s most persistent challenges this century. So what should the next president do? InSight Crime presents several short-term and long-term suggestions to the incoming presidential administration for how to tackle criminal violence.

Near-term proposals

Avoid grand solutions. Mexico’s last two presidents came into office with grand ideas of how to revolutionize the nation’s approach to security. Felipe Calderón declared war on the cartels days into his tenure, while Enrique Peña Nieto sought to deemphasize the struggle while paying lip service to violence reduction. Both administrations presented several wise initiatives within this broad framework, but the overall strategic objective was simple, if not simplistic.

Broadly speaking, both of these approaches failed. Calderón and Peña Nieto both left a nation more violent than they inherited it, achieving the opposite of the ideal and contributing to a decade of growing insecurity.

Mexico’s recent administrations appear to have failed to fully appreciate that worsening violence cannot be solved through one great strategic fix. Rather, it is an issue of countless moving parts, each of which must be targeted in conjunction with the rest. Focusing on a grand strategy to the detriment of addressing key details is not a recipe for success.

Improve policing, not police institutions. One of Mexico’s most venerable political rituals is a new president launching a sweeping reform to federal police bodies. Vicente Fox sought to create a Mexican version of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) known as the Agencia Federal de Investigación (AFI); Felipe Calderón oversaw a federal police reorganization that did away with the AFI; Peña Nieto launched a gendarmerie.

These reforms appear to correspond more to a new leader’s desire to put his stamp on the executive branch, rather than a careful assessment of the problems with the police. Despite the massive investment of money and manpower, these changes led to virtually no long-term improvements.

That is not to say that Mexico’s police do not need improving; they clearly do. But Mexico’s next president should start from the bottom, and provide support for the individual officers rather than reorganizing the overarching structures.

“The low regard police officers receive from the community is just appalling,” a former high-ranking intelligence official told InSight Crime. “Nobody pays any respect to them. That has negative effects on their performance.”

The same official pointed to several examples where concerted efforts to improve the poor opinion of police has had an impact, including state police in the northern state of Nuevo León and municipal police in several northern cities.

“They are offered much better terms, a better sense of worth, and they start responding to that,” he said. “They get better pay, better benefits, better education and the community responds.”

Focus on the local. Improving police capacity goes hand in hand with another long-overlooked need: better endowing of local authorities with the tools to ensure their own security. From Monterrey to Acapulco, from Veracruz to Ciudad Juárez, unique local dynamics tend to weigh heavily on crime rates, even in a country with national criminal rivalries.

Calderón’s and Peña Nieto’s crime policies failed to sufficiently take this into account, said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a professor at George Mason University and the author of a recent book about the Zetas.

“They didn’t pay attention to details,” Correa-Cabrera told InSight Crime. “They didn’t plan for each group; they made it national.”

Ignorance of local dynamics has been equally evident in how recent administrations have deployed their own resources. For many years, the default approach in dealing with areas that are boiling over has been to send in the army and Federal Police. This often federalizes what are largely local problems.

“The big problem is that the bet has been on the federal level, the military, the gendarmes, without thinking about capacity at the local level,” Sandra Ley, a professor at Mexico City’s Center for Economic Research and Development (CIDE), told InSight Crime. “How do we help our mayors and our local bureaucracies to understand how to use databases, to build intelligence capacities?”

Such an effort, of course, goes hand in hand with a drive to improve the working conditions of local police officers.

End the kingpin strategy. Mexican leaders have, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, pursued the kingpin strategy for decades. Efforts to target top crime bosses were at the forefront of the Calderón approach, with the federal government publishing names of the foremost capos and celebrating their demise.

With less fanfare, Presidents Peña Nieto and Fox largely abided by the same guiding principal: the most powerful criminals were the highest priorities.

The problem with this approach is that “success” begets more violence, as a fallen capo’s erstwhile lieutenants and rivals scramble to fill the vacuum left by his departure.

Experts consulted by InSight Crime were unanimous in their hope that the next president would abandon this philosophy. David Shirk, the director of the University of San Diego’s Justice in Mexico project, told InSight Crime, “We’ve tried to take out top guys, and every time we had, it has backfired in some unpredicted way . . . The first thing we need to do is move away from that approach that causes chaos and causes violence in the drug trade.”

Echoing Shirk’s thoughts, Ley emphasized the resilience of criminal organizations. “This kingpin decapitation strategy doesn’t work. It feeds rising levels of violence, because organized crime reorganizes itself,” she said.

Attacking the most powerful criminals has a superficial logic, but it reflects a lack of consideration and reflection. Such a philosophy manifestly does not contribute to a safer Mexico, and its existence for another six years would represent a barrier to violence reduction.

Resist US dogmas. The kingpin strategy is but one of many reflections of Mexico’s close security relationship with the United States. Others include an obsession on reduction of drug supply, and a corresponding lack of emphasis on reducing demand for drugs.

U.S. policymakers have also long resisted treating the drug trade as a public health problem, and have eschewed efforts to address social problems that help fuel organized crime. The militarization of Mexico’s criminal strategy has also coincided with U.S. instincts, if not its overt policy preferences.

This deference has prevented many Latin American nations, Mexico prominently included, from pursuing policies that diverged from American expectations.

But the possible election of AMLO, a left-leaning populist and two-time presidential runner-up, could upend the decades of lockstep policy thinking emanating from Mexico City and Washington.

“If AMLO wins, it’s a great opportunity to challenge the dominant thinking and approach behind the drug war,” Shirk said, adding that Mexico should “reassess cooperation with the U.S., and do so on Mexican terms.”

This is not to say that bilateral cooperation should be dismissed, but the guiding objective of all such collaboration should be Mexico’s security interests. And from the kingpin strategy to the Mérida Initiative, too often this has not been the case.

Go after domestic drug use. The popular image of Mexico’s drug trade is one of multinational, militarized organizations seeking territory in order to protect the profits stemming from U.S. consumption. While there is plenty of truth to that, much of the increase in crime stems from local drug markets.

A recent report from the San Diego Union Tribune described retail drug sales, feeding the local consumer market, as driving a record year for murders in 2017. According to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent quoted in the story, selling drugs on Tijuana streets is more lucrative than shipping them to the United States. Local drug markets have played a similar and an under-appreciated role in driving violence in many cities around the country.

Such anecdotes square with studies of Mexico’s growing fondness for drugs. The most recent National Survey of Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Consumption shows dramatic rises in illicit drug use over the past seven years. The proportion of adult Mexicans who had tried drugs once increased by 47% during the period, while the figure for 12 to 17-year-olds spiked by 125%.

Should such figures continue to rise, the profits from Mexico’s local drug market will increasingly lure the nation’s criminal groups into conflict.

Mexico’s next president should make undercutting rising drug use a top priority. Other nations that have long struggled with higher levels of drug use provide a number of lessons. One promising model is Hawaii’s Honest Opportunity Probation With Enforcement (HOPE) program, which obliges certain convicts to undergo regular drug testing and imposes nearly immediate but mild penalties for those who fail, such as a 48-hour stint in jail.

The combination of certainty and swiftness serves as a powerful disincentive — drug use among participants plummeted — while the light penalties save money and avoid adding to a bloated prison population.

Long-term proposals

Continue judicial reform. Mexico passed a landmark judicial reform in 2008 which restructured the nation’s trial system, standardized police procedures and created alternative mechanisms for adjudicating certain crimes. The implementation period came to a close in 2016, and the reform has generated frustration both for specific shortcomings and for a general sense that it has failed to transform the nation’s security situation.

While some of the criticism is warranted, the judicial reform remains Mexico’s best bet to modernize and professionalize its criminal justice system. Recent studies of the system’s new features reveal steady progress and growing confidence among employees of the judiciary.

A fully reformed judicial system won’t solve Mexico’s security challenges alone, but it will do as much as any initiative currently under way to establish the conditions necessary for an enduring transformation.

Improving the judiciary should also not be limited to the provisions in the 2008 reform. Shirk, who has extensively researched the reform’s implementation and impact, called for continued efforts to improve the capacity of the men and women who populate the criminal justice system.

“There are a lot of talented attorneys out there who would love to be prosecutors but can’t get their foot in the door,” he told InSight Crime. “There would have to be national or state-level competitions to inject new blood into these prosecutors’ offices.”

Target social ills. Over the past two administrations, Mexico has begun to pay grudging attention to the role of social ills in driving insecurity. The issue initially played virtually no role in Calderón’s highly militarized approach, though the Todos Somos Juárez (We Are All [Ciudad] Juárez) program, which the federal government launched in 2008 amid record levels of violence in the border city, incorporated elements focusing on social factors in local crime.

While it was not a centerpiece of his strategy either, Peña Nieto increased the federal government’s emphasis on social drivers of insecurity. He oversaw the launch of the National Program for the Social Prevention of Crime (Pronapred), which was aimed at creating a national policy toward crime prevention.

Some research suggests that Pronapred was hampered by poor targeting (it largely ignores young people who already have a criminal record, a group that should be the highest priority). The program’s impact was also limited by insufficient evaluation methods, creating uncertainty about which ideas had success and which did not. And most worrying, a key federal funding subsidy was eliminated in 2017, leaving the program’s future in doubt.

Where possible, such programs should be refined and expanded. The most violent areas in Mexico require an immediate government response that focuses on reestablishing the rule of law, but the efforts to triage bleeding wounds should not come at the expense of investing in future prevention.

Attack dirty money. Organized crime generates billions of dollars of illicit income every year, much of which flows into the legitimate economy.

This creates a delicate problem for Mexico, because an overly robust attack on money that has criminal origins will surely create unforeseen side effects and harm innocent people. While the so-called myth of the ninja accountant retains many adherents, the reality is that a near-term crackdown on traffickers’ money may create further incentives for criminality and violence.

Faced with decreasing profit margins, criminal groups would be encouraged to compensate through increased volume. This would mean more trafficking, more extortion, more kidnapping and more competition among different groups for a shrinking pool of revenue.

At the same time, in the long term, gradually reducing the freedom with which criminal groups launder their profits and enjoy the fruits of their work can help reduce the influence of organized crime.

One obvious place to start is targeting corruption among political leaders, particularly those suspected of working with criminal groups. Over the past decade, more than 20 Mexican governors have been implicated in corruption cases in Mexico and the United States, most of them involving payments from criminal groups.

Much of this corruption was an open secret for years. Many of the officials who are today under investigation flaunted unexplained wealth. (In one case reported by InSight Crime, family members and front men of a fugitive Mexican governor acquired millions of dollars in Texas real estate.)

The fact that such cases proliferated speaks to a lack of will or lack of attention from the relevant federal agencies. Under the next administration, Mexican authorities should do more to monitor political officials’ bank records, shell companies and foreign investments.

Such an initiative may not have a direct impact on violence, but it would promote cleaner government. Such efforts would also help isolate organized crime from the political system, and therefore allow politicians greater leeway in going after criminals.

Patrick Corcoran is a contributing writer with InSight Crime, a foundation dedicated to the study of organized crime.

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  • kallen

    Maybe Mexico’s looking at this the wrong way. For example, of the 29,000 homicides last year, how many were bad guys? If most were bad guys, then that’s not a bad thing. Maybe the thing to do is to quietly encourage that to sort of house cleaning as it were or at least encourage said criminal mutual destruction while doing some of the other things mentioned like continuing judicial reform.

    I’m also not sure “Mexico’s next president should start from the bottom”. In my little town in BCS, the local police are the problems – they have no respect because they deserve none. Any time, any day you can see the rot. I think EPN’s moves of testing the police was a good one…now if they could only finish the job and get the losers out of there.

    I think there also needs to a “pride in Mexico” campaign – kind of along-term “do the right thing” public-relations campaign. Without the support of the populace, any attempts will fail.

    • bajawood

      Right here in La Paz BCS we have had collateral damage. It is not just bad guys dying. Regardless of who is dying promoting more violence and killing is not only irresponsible but immoral and will only lead to more lawlessness and eventually the destruction of the whole society. Have you talked to any local police? Do you know how little they are paid? Do you know that they are threatened and often forced to work for the cartels? You want a public relations campaign just like the government agencies paying millions to talk about how great they are. What a joke not to mention a waste of money. No one would believe a word of it. You want to do the right thing. The only right thing is legalization of drugs followed by taxing them and treating the people with problems. Treating them medically and treating them as human being who have a medical problem not a moral failure. It will not end crime but it sure will put a huge dent in their profits.

      • Jimmy G.

        I must apologize for seeming cynical….
        Legalize rape, bank robbery and kidnapping, child smuggling along with it, then. It’s not about what they sell, it’s about acquisition of wealth (whatever level of material possessions that means to each criminal). Your treatment plan would work for those addicted to drugs (maybe 20%) but not to those addicted to the pure thrill of taking from others under threat of violence. That’s Mexican history, Mexican culture.
        And BCS is the money laundering epicenter.

      • kallen

        “Collateral damage” you say – maybe so but the numbers are important. If 99% of those deaths were bad guys (and from years of reading Mexico News Daily, I think that number is probably about right) then that is probably acceptable in the grand scheme of things as there are not a lot of other options.

        Not immoral either. Immoral is bringing the whole country down because collectively Mexico is too weak-kneed to do what needs to be done. You need to either incarcerate via rule of law or kill the bad guys – you’re not going to rehabilitate your way out of this one. If you don’t have the rule of law and/or can’t afford to put them in prison then only one option remains.

        Yes, I know police don’t make a living wage but EPN has tried to get rid of the bad eggs from the police force without success. Apparently the government cannot afford to pay their finiquito (severance) so they remain. If they can’t pay that, how are they going to be able to pay the entire police force a living wage? Again, not an option.

        I think people need to take responsibility for their actions: I they make the decision to go into law enforcement they need to consider all the factors. Don’t like being forced to work for a cartel? Then why’d you go into law enforcement if you knew that was a real possibility?

        Yes there is corruption and waste of public finances but Mexicans consistently place corruption low of the list of priorities for government. Again, people need to take responsibility for their actions.

        They legalized pot in Colorado, my home state. That genie is out of the bottle now as the state is making tons of money on the stuff BUT the costs have yet to be paid by society. Pot’s effect on the developing adolescent brain are scary. Long term effects include neurosis, increased suicide rates, impaired mental abilities and decision making, emotional instability etc. These are just the documented effects. Legalizing is not the way forward.

        The world is headed for a major correction (to use economic parlance) and I don’t think its going to be pretty. In fact, I think its going to be downright ugly. What we fail to do now, nature will do for us. It’s time we; the US, Mexico and the world, make the tough decisions. Excessively liberal/progressive do-gooder policies haven’t worked and we’re running out of time. (I don’t mean to disparage liberal/progressive philosophies, I share many of their beliefs). If these 29,000 deaths, 60,000 over three years, represent mostly the deaths of bad guys then that’s not a bad thing.

        • Güerito

          It’s nowhere near 99%. Most experts estimate that murders associated with narcos account for about 50% of all murders in Mexico. Some put it lower.

          Regardless, with criminal groups now targeting the innocent civilian population more, with extortion and kidnapping among other crimes, it’s very likely that 50% is too high.

          • kallen

            Hmmm. What experts? 50% or lower is not consistent with my own reading. I just googled the topic and found most experts disagree on the percentage. Still the public broadcasting system site elaborates on the erroneous counting methods (for example, if killed by an automatic weapon then its considered drug violence, if strangled its considered domestic violence) so there is an obvious lack of consistent data there. Still, the governor of BCS has said the violence in Cabo/La Paz is mostly cartel on cartel and that is consistent with what I’ve read. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

          • Güerito

            Here’s your PBS report that supports what I posted:

            “Some counts have blamed the drug war for as much as 55 percent of all homicides. Others have put the estimate as low as 34 percent. Yet those figures have likewise been criticized as unreliable. For example, someone killed by a high-caliber or automatic firearm would be counted as a victim of organized crime, but if they were strangled or stabbed to death, they would not necessarily be considered a casualty of the drug war.”

            https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/the-staggering-death-toll-of-mexicos-drug-war/

            In other words, the methodology and the figures might not be great, but most experts estimate narco murders are about one-third to one-half of all homicides. Exactly what I posted.

            Also, narco homicide estimate figures are not based exclusively on what weapon is used. The circumstances of the homicide are also considered.

            Which is why, when most journalists are writing on the topic they state, as I did:

            “crime experts have estimated that narco-violence could account for up to half of the overall numbers.”

            Notice that “up to,” indicating a 50% figure is considered high.

            http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-mexico-murders-20170301-story.html

            A heck of lot closer to my figures than your 99% figure. And as say above, criminal groups and “narcos” are now targeting innocent civilians more, so it’s just as likely the narco related figures are too high than too low.

          • kallen

            You’re misstating the article(s) – pbs and la times (which is a very progressive/anti-gun/pro-Mexico news outlet). Both say “some” – you replace it with “most” – that’s intellectually and ethically dishonest and Trumpian if I may be so bold. What is clear to me from several searches and a lot of reading is that there is no a reliable count of the percentage of homicides being good guys or bad guys. My personal experience from living in Mexico is therefore the most reliable barometer: In BCS most homicides are cartel on cartel. You can believe whatever you want to believe but the fact remains: what Mexico is doing now isn’t working and they have few options – best to let the cartels wage war on each other and do the job that the effete government cannot.

          • Güerito

            I kinda thought I was wasting my time here. Now I know I was.

            Experts studying the issue estimate between one-third to one-half of all homicides in Mexico are narco related. Nothing in either article I posted disputes that. If you can find a single study or source that suggests the % is higher, I’d love to see it.

            But you want to throw out a 99% figure, relying on your “personal experience” as the “most reliable barometer” – based on statements you read from one local politician in Baja Sur.

            And you call me dishonest?

          • kallen

            I can see reading comprehension and critical thinking are not your fortes.

            I admitted the exact figures are unknown – that means I walked back the 99%. Try understanding the words on the page.

            But what I want to know is: Who are these experts (that means who are the sources) to whom you incessantly refer? In the LA Times piece it states “The Mexican government does not distinguish which deaths were tied to the cartels, but some crime experts have estimated that narco-violence could account for up to half of the overall numbers.” See the word “some”? Know what it means? It does not mean “most”. It could mean two people who say they are experts. It does not refer to university figures or professors or government statistics – just “some crime experts”. Critical thinking involves asking the right questions like, Who are these expert sources? Is there an agenda? Who gains from the news presented in this way? By refusing to consider the source you’re engaging in more intellectual dishonesty – you’re part of the problem. Do you believe Trump when he says “most climate experts think climate change is BS”? You are doing what Trump does: expecting me to believe you on face value.

            I live part time in BCS. I follow the news and I follow what the locals say. Most agree with the governor when he says that most deaths are cartel on cartel and that is congruent with what I see with my own eyes whether that’s a druggies body hanging from a bridge in town or empty 9mm casings on the road. That is tangible, believable and more accurate since it’s not filtered by the press or government.

            We’re done here. I get enough of Trump’s ignorant ways on the news, I don’t need to more it here.

          • Jimmy G.

            Your personal experience…
            Shut up.

  • Güerito

    It’s good to see he mentions local drug sales (narcomenudeo) and criminal groups diversifying into other crimes not related to drug trafficking, two things I’ve been mentioning here for a couple years.

    It’s certainly a mistake to think the corruption of police and politicians is limited to the local level, since most states have instituted “Mando Único,” which places authority in state officials over even local polices forces. And many former governors have been directly linked to narcos within their state, with Veracruz, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nayarit and Michoacán being recent examples.

    At the federal level, the best weapon the government has is its ability to go after money laundering. The agency in charge of prosecuting money laundering in Mexico is the Financial Intelligence Unit located in the Finance Ministry. José Antonio Meade, PRI’s candidate for President, headed the Finance Ministry during 2016-2017:

    **Exclusive – Anti-money laundering group blasts Mexico in draft report**

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican prosecutors are failing to systematically punish money launderers and tax authorities are too lax with potential drug money fronts such as real estate and luxury goods firms, according to a draft report on Mexico’s efforts to fight illicit finance.

    The report by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international organisation that sets global standards for fighting illicit finance, highlights the tiny dents made by Mexican prosecutors in the financial networks of drug gangs and corrupt officials.

    Mexico has been slipping in convictions, data in the report shows. The country already lagged regional peers such as Colombia and Brazil, both of which have made strides in setting up independent prosecutors.

    “Money laundering is not investigated and prosecuted in a proactive and systematic fashion,” said the draft of the report, sections of which were seen by Reuters.

    Since 2014, Mexico’s tax authority has had powers to audit more than 64,000 businesses considered high risk.

    But it has only allocated 16 people to probe those companies and since 2014 they have audited just 118, or less than 0.2 percent, the draft noted

    An earlier draft prepared by a team of officials led by the International Monetary Fund was harsher, according to two sources familiar with the issue. The IMF did not respond to a request for comment.

    The earlier draft noted poor co-ordination between financial officials, prosecutors and security forces within Mexico, and flagged weak co-operation with the United States, the sources said. However, Mexican officials convinced the assessors to tone down the report, they said.”

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mexico-corruption-exclusive/exclusive-anti-money-laundering-group-blasts-mexico-in-draft-report-idUKKBN1ED2A7
    .

  • cooncats

    Another excellent post Guerito. No one should be surprised the PRIistas have done basically nothing about the criminals in Mexico, they are one and the same with the criminal class so of course Meade is corrupt along with the rest of the PRI.

    It is hard to be optimistic about Mexico as I was 10 years ago, the corruption and crime seems to be growing in lock step. Electing Peña Nieto was a huge step backwards for this country and the explosion of impunity and corruption following that election is no accident. It has grown to the point where this country is considered the most corrupt in Latin America, no mean “achievement.”

    The sad truth is that much of the country really isn’t under any sort of government control or security and the theft of public funds by government officials at all levels is epidemic. I don’t believe it is exaggerating to suggest this is a failed state for the most part.

    I do agree with this writer that the attempt to control narco criminals by targeting a few people at the top is a gross failure. Rather I think the targeting should be at the working level to interrupt the actual operations. And it should include all manner of crime including the graffiti which is mainly gang advertising and intimidation.

    It is a proven fact that security is best built from the bottom up. Mexico needs to clean up its streets and neighborhoods and stop trying to fight the futile U.S. war on drugs.

    Mexico needs to face the reality that some crimes, notably kidnapping leading to death, first degree killing of any kind should be dealt with extremely harshly. For these crimes, the sentence should be death by public firing squad. For the rest, hard labor in hard prisons. When the Sicarios start witnessing their buddies being executed as a routine event it may make recruitment not so easy.

    • Jimmy G.

      Capital punishment for treason, rather than allowing retired politicians to vacate to Spain might go a long way.

  • Jimmy G.

    No chance. There isn’t a single individual who can rise to the political level of becoming a candidate who isn’t corrupt. Trying to cure the symptoms of criminal mentality/ kleptocracy is like trying to vote a caring, non sociopath into the leadership of Siciliano Cosa Nostra….
    Mexico will devolve to cannibalism before the culture of criminality is “elected out of power”.

  • BB

    Does anyone know what the starting salary is for police officers? Obviously the salary is a part of keeping policemen off the take?

  • WestCoastHwy

    What, (How next president can tackle violence) Superman is running for the presidency of Mexico? Hey Mexicans, how can you fight crime when your economy is it’s principle capital? Mexicans would have to turn each other in (Indict), kind like the USA economy except that USA citizens are selling each other insurance.

    The primary institution of any country is it’s economy of which everything else falls into place depending on it’s culture, Mexico’s culture is of a criminal nature; so go figure!

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