October 1, 2008 in Nation/World

Mexico Congress gets security bill

Associated Press

MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Tuesday sent a sweeping security initiative to Congress aimed at weeding out police corruption and streamlining the exchange of information on criminals.

With drug gangs dumping bodies near elementary schools and staging grenade attacks on Independence Day revelers, Calderon urged lawmakers to swiftly approve his proposal so that “police can serve the people and not criminals.”

Calderon said the package of reforms would reduce corruption among security forces and improve coordination among federal and local governments.

The initiative was drawn up a few weeks ago with the help of Mexico’s 32 governors.

It includes the creation of a national database on criminal activity. It also works to strengthen and standardize police training and to create a system of controls to ensure officers continue to meet minimal quality and anti-corruption requirements.

Calderon also promised to crack down on criminals who use police uniforms or badges.

In Mexico, criminals often dress in police uniforms, setting up fake checkpoints to kidnap people and barging into homes.

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