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Cancun purges corrupt officers, creates new system

Cancun, Q.R. — The day after Cancun mayor Mara Lezama Espinosa announced a new strategy for the city’s traffic division, the head of public safety reported the dismissal of eight agents.

Eduardo Santa María Chávez, the Benito Juárez Municipal Public Safety and Transit Secretariat, says eight agents have been dismissed for failing exams. He said that the eight who were separated from their positions were part of the first group of agents to be evaluated, adding that after two months of training, they will not be a part of the group of 140 new officers.

The new officers are part of the city’s strategy to improve citizen relations as well as offer a new image. Lezama Espinosa considered a “radical change” in the uniforms including a QR Code, camera and new badge so people can identify the agents in order to improve service.

“The badge and the QR code will serve as identification and, with the cameras, the citizen knows that they are recording everything and there is reliable proof whether or not you committed the offense, whether there is abuse or not,” she explained stressing that officers who fail to turn on their cameras will be sanctioned. She says that there will be zero tolerance for any incident of proven irregularity.

“We have invested in providing them with technological tools, in a new corporate identity for better recognition by citizens, in new uniforms, in a renewed Breathalyzer Operation, all for the efficient performance of their work,” she explained.

She said that those who choose the practices of abuse of power and extortion have no place in the government she heads. As of this date, agents will return to the streets with a better attitude and aptitude to exercise their function of protecting citizens. “Benito Juárez City Council will not tolerate any action that stains its name,” she said.

The 140 who did pass exams will take to the streets of Cancun equipped with surveillance cameras and a QR Code on their uniforms. María Chávez says that next week, another 150 agents will begin the evaluation and training process. The new officers are being hired after the city’s purge of corrupt officials.

The purging of corrupt officials has been an ongoing task. In July of last year, 16 Cancun officers were fired for acts of corruption. This year, another five police officers in Tulum were removed from duty after they were found stealing from a store they were sent to investigate for a robbery.

In January, 18 Puerto Aventuras officers were dismissed for corrupt practices. In February, Capella announced the dismissal of 130 officers with another 100 under investigation. In March, a Playa del Carmen officer videoed taking a 200 peso bribe from a citizen was fired. In October, the Attorney General announced the dismissal of another 86 officers who they say, were found participating in illegal conduct.