MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s more than 600,000 municipal, state and federal law enforcement officers are being required to provide DNA, fingerprints and voice samples as part of a plan to update the records of police agencies, the Government Secretariat said.
“For the first time, (the registry) will include DNA and voice samples from the around 620,000 members of all the police departments in the country,” as well as private security personnel, the secretariat said.
Federal officials are in the midst of cleaning up Mexico’s police departments, with the effort mainly focusing on the 200,000 municipal forces, after finding that many officers were involved in organized crime.
The government’s goal is to create unified police agencies in each of Mexico’s 32 states.
Drug cartels pay officers more than their official salaries and bribes paid by drug traffickers could total $100 million a month nationwide, Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna has said.
President Felipe Calderon has deployed 45,000 army troops and 20,000 Federal Police officers to maintain order across Mexico while the police departments are cleaned up.
The National Program to Update Biometric Data in the National Public Safety Personnel Registry was launched this week, the Government Secretariat said.
The file on each officer will contain DNA samples, a voice-pattern sample, fingerprints, photographs and other general information, National Information Center, or CNI, chief Ruben Fernandez Aceves said.
“The idea behind having DNA and voice samples is to have greater certainty about who the country’s police officers are and make it easier to fully identify them in terms of monitoring their work, professional development and movements between departments,” Fernandez Aceves said.
Federal and state funds, as well as money obtained via the U.S.-funded Merida Initiative to fight drug trafficking in Mexico, will be used to purchase the equipment used to create the database, Fernandez Aceves said.
The program, which will be carried during the course of this year, was launched in Hermosillo, the capital of the northern state of Sonora, with the training of registry personnel.
Registry personnel are being trained to ensure the quality, preservation and proper electronic storage of the information obtained for the database. EFE