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Jeanne Schinto 8:30 a.m., May 19
As police forces across Mexico are given mandatory vetting procedures many who fail the tests are being allowed to remain active. The testing procedures were implemented and began in 2010 for all municipal, state, and federal police. InsightCrime.org reported today, November 7th, that by June of this year only 52% of police employees across the nation had been tested.
Oscar Vega Marin, the Mexican Security Minister, stated at a press conference on November 6th that only six states (Zacatecas, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Guanajuato, Tlaxcala and Colima) have completely finished the testing. He also pointed out the four states (Tamaulipas 24%, Jalisco 23% Chihuahua 21% and Quintana Roo 5%) that have had the least progress in the testing. Baja California had finished 55% of their testing by mid August but plans to finish by years end.
Testing procedures include physical exams, drug tests, psychological evaluation, and polygraph testing. Questioning and testing on social connections as well as financial information are included as well.
Of the 15% of agents nationwide who have failed testing, only 20% of that portion have been dismissed. Many agencies have been criticized for not releasing all those that fail the mandatory testing, yet some fail for minor infractions such as being overweight.
Tijuana and Baja California have been applauded for leading the nation in police reform, which began in late 2008 with the help of former police chief Julián Leyzaola. An estimated 600 police were purged during his tenure. Leyzaola has since relocated to Ciudad Juarez as police chief and is having success cleaning up the recently crime ridden city and corrupt police forces.