Sonora’s Police Shortage Causes Concern In Mexico
Neighboring Sonora, Mexico, has seen increasing rates of violence in recent months. At the same time, local police forces are facing a shortage of officers.
During a visit to Sonora last week, Mexico’s Defense Secretary Luis Sandoval acknowledged a deficit in Sonoran police forces.
"We've identified that there's approximately a 40 percent deficit in state police," he said.
Officials in the Sonoran coastal city of Guaymas say there are 70 unfilled positions in that city alone. Guaymas police have been repeated targets of deadly attacks in recent months leading to a slew of resignations since March.
Sandoval promised to help address the deficit by increasing the number of Mexican National Guard troops and federal police deployed in Sonora. And the military and navy are taking over leadership in five local police departments because of suspected infiltration by organized crime.
But some worry sending in federal forces isn't enough to solve underlying issues of violence and organized crime affecting the morale of local police. They say more effort needs to be made by local and state authorities.