The port city of Veracruz (Veracruz-Boca del Rio) in Mexico saw the disbandment of its entire police force after federal authorities decided on the action as part of ongoing efforts to eliminate corruption in the police. Efforts are also centered on cracking down on drug cartels, primarily the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, and their seemingly incessant series of acts of horrifying violence that made headlines throughout the world. Approximately 900 police officers and 250 staff were laid off from their jobs as a result.
The Mexican federal and regional governments told the officers and others that they could re-apply for their jobs but they must go through additional training and meet higher standards so security in the city will be less lax.
For now the Mexican Navy will be substituting for the local police force as law enforcement. Federal police officers will also be stationed on the streets and in the police centers.
The sight of hundreds and sometimes thousands of military troops and national officers in many municipalities of Mexico is not uncommon as the Mexican government has pledged to combat the drug cartels and continue the “war on drugs” with all of their resources.
Often, the local policemen are often corrupted, associated with cartels and even useless when conflicts break out.
Veracruz-Boca del Rio is home to over 600,000 people and is also the site of numerous tourist attractions.
An exact number of the Mexican military troops being stationed has not been given although estimates are within the range of 750 to 1,400 troops.
Moreover, the duration of the stay of the troops is also largely unknown.
Since 2006, around 40,000 individuals in Mexico have died in drug-related violence. The numbers show no sign of stopping in its steady rise either any time soon.
(Cover Photo: Felix Marquez/AP)