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11302 - Local policing and public evaluation in the context of violent environments

In the last decades in Mexico, particularly since 2006, some forms of crime and the phenomenon of fear of crime have been one of the central concerns of our society, but also, explicitly or implicitly, in the public and political agenda from the local to the federal level. Personal and social costs generated by an increasing crime problem (including some forms of complex crimes reinforced by extreme violence and amplified by the mass media, soundboard culture), as well as increasing individual and community demands for safety and security, have put a new critical eye on government institutions which, for a long time, worked with serious problems but were not under such a level of scrutiny: the police forces and law enforcement agencies, and the criminal justice. While on the one hand there is indeed a strong trend towards the militarization and the “mano dura” policy, this study focuses on the public evaluation of police performance through everyday activities carried out by local police forces and, more specifically, in those encounters between individuals and law enforcement officers in a complex environment of violence associated with drug trafficking, and a national discussion on the role that play and should play the municipal police in Mexico.    

Keywords: human rights, public evaluation, local police performance, police encounters

Author: Martinez-Solares, Veronica (International Organization for Victim Assistance, Mexico / Mexiko)

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