Accession Number:

ADA549079

Title:

Mitigating Corruption in Government Security Forces: The Role of Institutions, Incentives, and Personnel Management in Mexico

Descriptive Note:

Technical rept.

Corporate Author:

RAND CORP ARLINGTON VA NATIONAL SECURITY RESEARCH DIV

Report Date:

2011-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

89.0

Abstract:

Corruption has been and continues to be a significant challenge for Mexico. There is a widespread belief that many government institutions -- perhaps none more than Mexicos police -- suffer from corruption, bribery, and a lack of accountability. At more than 400,000 officers across federal, state, and local levels, the police in Mexico play a critical role in enforcing laws, safeguarding the public, and maintaining order, but corruption, favoritism, nepotism, and a lack of professionalism serve to undermine these functions. Moreover, a growing problem with drug cartel activities and narcotics trafficking serves to exacerbate corruption and undermines police accountability, even as the drug trade makes the need for effective law enforcement more acute. Drug trafficking -- and the violence it engenders -- has become so severe that the government has turned to the other major component of Mexicos security forces -- the military -- to provide law and order. Although the public perceives that the police forces are among the most corrupt of Mexican institutions, the military does not share this dubious distinction. Compared with the federal, state, and local police, the military is viewed as more trustworthy and less corrupt. Nevertheless, there are concerns that the increasingly close relationship between the police and military and the role the military is being asked to play in countering cartel activity will expand opportunities for corrupt behavior. Recent administrations, from the federal government to local municipalities, have attempted various types of police reforms, all in an effort to promote professionalism. Anecdotally, success has been mixed. This report assesses the problem of corruption in the Mexican police and security forces -- and the options for police reform -- through the lens of economics and incentives.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE