Dave Rice 7:17 a.m., May 20
The secretario de Seguridad Pública (secretary of Public Security) of Mexico recently released statistics on Baja California revealing that 2,591 police in the state have been removed from their positions since 2007. The statistics were released to El Universal newspaper which is based in Mexico City.
El Universal reported today, September 17th, that the majority of those fired were because of ties to drug cartels. Around twenty percent of those are already imprisoned on criminal charges. While a program was intended to be implemented on tracking those who were released but not charged, it proved a failure.
A large portion of the former police charged with crimes had ties to the Sinaloa cartel. The Sinaloa cartel made a push into Baja California in recent years and has turned to police as the group looks for recruits.
Baja California has been applauded across Mexico for the initiative it took to purge corrupt police. Much of the credit has been given to Julián Leyzaola, who was chief of police in Baja before leaving for the troubled city of Ciudad Juarez.