The mayor of Mérida has joined civil rights groups in denouncing President Enrique Peña Nieto’s plan to dissolve municipal police departments.
Mayor Renán Barrera Concha joined critics in saying that absorbing municipal police into state and federal forces is a flawed idea that focuses too much on municipalities when corruption is an epidemic infecting all levels of government.
Presidential aides said the plan is similar to what Italy did in the 1990s to clean up mafia-infiltrated cities.
Peña Nieto this week called for a law to disband the country’s 1,800 municipal police forces and give states authority over security in every town. Municipal-level authorities can be more easily corrupted by criminals, he said.
But analysts said state police forces have their own corruption problems and need better training and salaries instead.
Mérida’s municipal force, organized in 2003 after an absence of 30 years, recently added 50 officers to its ranks.