Quintana Roo’s state security force has taken control of municipal Police in Tulum, after a series of high profile incidents.
Tulum’s police have made headlines several times over the past few months for abuses ranging from corruption to the use of excesive force and homophobia.
The most recent scandal came as Salvadorian refugee, Victoria Salazar, died at the hands of police in Tulum.
“The decision comes as the result of constant failures on the part of Tulum’s municipal police force. These have included abuses of power, a lack of restraint, and a disregard for human rights,” said Lucio Hernández Gutiérrez, spokesperson for Quintana Roo’s state police force.
A group of 30 police officers from Tulum has been sent to the state police academy in Chetumal, where they will undergo training in police tactics, first aid, psychology, and physical fitness.
“Residents and visitors alike must be able to feel confident when dealing with police in our state. Police officers must be examples of honesty, responsibility, and respect. Those who do not live to these ideals will be removed from their positions,” said Hernández Gutiérrez.
Problems with police in Quintana Roo are not limited to Tulum. The issue is worsened by the inability or unwillingness of the police to tackle serious issues such as corruption, kidnapping, and murder.
A poll conducted by El Financiero in 2020 found that 80% of people in Mexico do not trust the police to conduct themselves in a respectable and honorable manner.
On average, police officers in Mexico are paid 11,000 pesos a month, approximately 550 USD.
According to Animal Politico, approximately 40% of police officers in Mexico are responsible for paying for much of their own equipment such as boots and bulletproof vests.
“There is no political will to strengthen police forces in Mexico. Politicians are quick to point out their failures, but do not properly equip them or offer sufficient training,” said Luis Barrera, lawyer and founder of Mexico’s human rights commission in Mexico City.