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Latino Daily News

Sunday June 17, 2012

Mexico City Mayoral Candidate Commends “Successful” Security Model

Mexico City Mayoral Candidate Commends “Successful” Security Model

Photo: Miguel Angel Mancera

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The left-wing candidate for mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Angel Mancera, gave special importance Saturday to the “successful” security model that has managed to reduce crime in the capital even as it continues to grow in the rest of the country.

“The city has made progress in security” after years of work on a model that has yielded results, Mancera said in an interview with Efe, convinced of the importance of following the same line to improve crime punishment and prevention as well as emergency management in case of natural disasters.

According to all the polls leading up to the July 1 general elections, this attorney, 46, will become the next Mexico City mayor and will retain for the left its chief bastion.

The candidate said that since Mexico City sought the counsel in 2002 of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the capital has worked on “a change in the relationship between procuring justice and public safety,” which has had very significant results.

While the rest of the country is fighting to have a single police force per state, the Mexican capital already has that model and the unified line of action it ensures, he said.

Mexico has around 1,600 different police forces, most of them made up of very few officers with obsolete weapons, no training and highly vulnerable to organized crime.

For that reason the federal government presented in 2011 a bill to create 32 police forces that would absorb the small units, or one for each of the 31 states and the Federal District (Mexico City).

But the legislation has not been passed by Congress and faces rejection by municipalities that have no wish to lose this small quota of power.

Besides having a police force under a single command, the capital has invested in technology, infrastructure and equipment to give “an efficient and timely” response not only against crime but also in case of natural disasters, the candidate of a coalition headed by the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, said.

He also said that the capital has recently introduced a professional course for detectives, whose students will graduate “with many more tools for what is coming, which is a change in the way justice is done.”

“We need a police force that is much better trained. That’s not a small task in the Federal District,” where there are “70,000 or more police in public security” and 4,000 in the field of investigation, he said.

The politician, who served as Mexico City’s district attorney from 2008 until January 2012, says that in 2011 crime was slashed 12 percent while at the national level it increased by 10.4 percent.

From 2007 to 2011 crime declined by an average of 3.5 percent per year in the Federal District, which also plunged from third place in kidnappings to 20th in the nation.

Insecurity is one of Mexico’s main challenges, immersed as it is in violence that has taken more than 50,000 lives since the end of December 2006 when Mexican President Felipe Calderon took office.