By James Blears
Approved by Mexico`s Congress in March and inaugurated just days ago, The National Guard recruits come from ex army, ex police and former navy security. The initial size of the force will be 70,000 but their ranks will soon double.
Yet Mexico`s Federal Police don`t want to be incorporated and absorbed into this new organization. They`re demanding the status quo and have been holding rallies in Mexico City as well as blocking highways and bridges. In a signed petition, they`re demanding wage rises and a union.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says that ten thousand Federal Police Officers have already voluntarily transferred to the National Guard. Those who`ve failed fitness tests or are too fat, can stay where they are for the time being, and join other security details like immigration. Security Minister Alfonso Durazo says officers joining the National Guard will retain rank, pay and bonuses. Total integration into the National Guard will take about two years, but it`s already an established fact.
Mexico is plagued by an ongoing fourteen years drug war which has claimed more than quarter of a million lives. Few of its crimes are ever resolved.