MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s National Public Safety Council, chaired by President Felipe Calderon, approved on Thursday a plan for all of the country’s municipal police departments to be absorbed by state-level law enforcement agencies.
To take effect, the initiative would have to be ratified by Congress and by a majority of the legislatures of Mexico’s 31 states and the Federal District, which includes Mexico City.
Calderon said at Thursday’s council meeting in the capital that the proposed arrangement would allow Mexican law enforcement to “advance with much greater clarity and unity of command” in the battle against organized crime, which he has made a centerpiece of his administration since taking office in December 2006.
“There is no better response to criminality than institutional solutions that endure beyond administrations,” he said.
The governor of Nuevo Leon state, Rodrigo Medina, said the current “security crisis” in Mexico, where some 23,000 people have died in gangland violence during Calderon’s term, “demands unity and results.”
Medina, whose northern border state is a key battleground in the internecine war among drug cartels, called consolidating the country’s police forces a “viable alternative.”
At the same time, he demanded a “more balanced distribution of the security resources” controlled by the federal government.
The council is due to meet again in August, when mayors will be invited to express their point of view on the proposed elimination of municipal police departments. Calderon’s administration anticipates sending a bill to Congress in the fall. EFE