Researchers at Mexico's giant National Autonomous University have completed a study indicating that some 500 people have been executed by organized crime figures in the first nine months of 2006. Of these 500, some 200 were police officers or military of various ranks and from various local, state and federal police forces.
The study took a little time because university research teams had to compile their figures from news reports from all over the country. There is no mechanism by which the various police forces at any level, local, state or federal, can compile and track such statistics. No news isn't bad news, I guess.
However, the AFI, Mexico's version of our FBI -- sort of -- has admitted to losing an average of 8 officers per month so far this year. And the Mexican Attorney General's group called the Specialized Investigations into Organized Crime unit has admitted to losing an average of 58.3 officers per year since President Fox took office in 2000. This unit claims that all have died in the line of duty . . . official, sworn duty.
The researchers say that they cannot determine what percentage of the law enforcement deaths were due to dealings with organized crime entities and what percentage actually died in the line of duty. I know what the average guy on the streets would say; 99-1, respectively. The report addresses that in an interesting manner: "Santiago Vasconcelos (head of the research project) says that some police officers were eliminated for failing to obey orders from criminal groups to attack rivel criminal organizations, a significant number were executed for failing to perform as expected by criminal groups whom they were protecting, and some unknown number died in the line of duty during confrontations with criminal groups." KIA seems to be the trailing cause of death. I might add that the first group mentioned may also include some officers who refused to join in a criminal enterprise and were executed for their folly and as a demonstration to others to not be so picky about their choice of employers.
I must say that I was a little surprised at the 200 YTD figure. It seems like that many policemen have been murdered in Nuevo Laredo alone. I might note that this is just a body count of those who have been found. The number of missing who may of may not be discovered in the future is a matter of speculation.
And I might also note that not one of the murdered law enforcement officers was dispatched by an illegal immigrant from the United States who had swum across the Río Bravo and then walked south for days across the blistering Sonoran desert in search of a better life as a gardener or day laborer in, uh, Toluca.
By comparison, in the United States, with more than 3 times the population and where almost everyone can own and carry firearms (just about 100% illegal in Mexico), there have been about 54 police officers killed in violent confrontations with criminals -- 37 only by gunfire. I doubt if even one was "executed by organized crime". This figure is through October 1 and was developed from data on the Officer Down Memorial Page website. Noted on the page is that 14 officers were killed either during automobile pursuits or as victims of vehicular assault. That's 40% as many who died by gunfire.
I thought I'd go ahead and get a jump on the ACLU's next target -- 4 wheeled self-propelled motor vehicles.
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TAGS: Mexico, Mexico crime, Mexico organized crime