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Over 100 Mexican cops arrested along US border

There's a new sheriff in town

Soldiers from the Mexican Army and Marines yesterday detained 110 police officers from three towns in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, for presumed affiliations with organized crime.

Arrested officers from the municipalities of Apodaca, Pesqueria and Mina were taken to the local headquarters for the federal Agency for State Investigations. According to an official source who requested anonymity, those detained will be investigated for alleged ties to criminal networks.  The suspects will be “tested” to see which of them will be allowed to continue in their posts.

Last September 113 officers from the town of Santa Catarina were detained by the military for investigation; 53 of them remain in captivity one year later. Mexican federal forces have carried out similar operations in other states, resulting in the complete dismantling of some police departments.

Mexican president Felipe Calderon has stressed professionalization of police forces as one of the fundamental pillars of his strategy against organized crime.  Among other goals, his administration seeks to form new state police units with higher standards to replace smaller municipal forces.  According to official data, Mexico currently has approximate 2,000 police forces, of which over half (1,060) have 20 officers or less.