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Entire police force disarmed

Tijuana’s notoriously corrupt police were forced to surrender their weapons when Mexican President Felipe Calderón sent federal troops into the troubled border city. Calderón started off the New Year trying to overcome the taint from his controversial election ‘win’ by taking on Mexico’s narco-traffickers in a big way. No better place to start than Tijuana where even Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, himself a member of the corrupt and ossified Institutional Revolutionary Party, admitted that police salaries couldn’t match the financial rewards offered by drug dealers. Since August, at least five police officers from city, state or federal agencies have been murdered, including assistant Tijuana police chief Arturo Rivas Vaca, who was gunned down in his patrol car in mid-September. Police weapons are being checked against those used in a number of high-profile murders in the city. After the big take-away, dozens of disarmed officers remained outside City Hall, eating chicken tacos and wondering what would happen next.

For critical coverage of the War on Drugs see

New Internationalist issue 398 magazine cover This article is from the March 2007 issue of New Internationalist.
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