By RICARDO CASTILLO
The revolt of Mexico’s Federal Police against their new bosses, the National Guard (GN) commanders, was the culmination of tensions that had been in the making for a while now. (See my previous article on the issue “Trump’s Adamancy Sparks Frictions within National Guard.”)
On Wednesday, July 3, some 300 members of a total of 10,000 that make the up the Federal Police force took over the main facility in Mexico City, getting to the point of even roughing up their new National Guard commander Patricia Trujillo in their desperate attempt to get the attention they had been lacking until now.
Then, they went on to set up blockades on four different points of Mexico City to make their pleas public. By mid-afternoon, they were joined by mates that had been on duty during the morning and they came in uniforms and were even wielding weaponry.
While the main facility was taken by off-duty officers dressed as civilians, for the street blockades, the police officer all wore uniforms, but carried no weapons.
Their complaints include mistreatment from the new National Guard commanders, who they said “are soldiers and know nothing about treating policemen.” For some who were hurriedly assigned to migrant-stopping duties along the southeastern Mexico border with Guatemala, the National Guard gave them accommodations in the town of Arriaga, in a facility with one bathroom for all, no cooking facilities and, worst of all, no cell phone connectivity.
In their revolt/protest, the feds demanded that the government to guarantee they not lose their seniority – some with up to 22 years in the force – as well as having their ranks respected and receive bonuses (as they are used to) for risks taken in outing operations such as sudden relocation. Some complained of “discrimination” because they were deemed not in shape and even overweight, a product of their administrative jobs, mainly those stationed at the administrative center.
Activities at the main building came to a halt with the ensuing harassment of Commander Trujillo, who was finally allowed to speak to the media. After a brief meleé, the protesting policemen calmed down and formed a circle around Trujillo, who told the media she was asking to meet with her direct boss, Public Security and Citizen Protection Secretary (SSPC) Alfonso Durazo to explain to him the full list of demands made by the concerned policemen.
Later in the day, Durazo explained to the plaintiffs that all of their demands will be met in accordance with the law and that the National Guard command was not forcing anyone to resign, much less firing them.
“Your labor rights will be protected and you will be offered conditions to remain in the National Guard,” he said.
Durazo also explained to them that the nation is changing with the creation of the National Guard.
“No transition is easy,” Durazo told the rebel police representatives, as well as the media. “We’re talking about creating the largest (police) corps in history in terms of public safety,”
At this stage, the dismantling of the Federal Police had been talked about and contemplated in theory for a long time, but in practice, the lack of attention to their needs from authorities forced them to stage their public rebellion, which apparently was quelled by day’s end.