Mexico pledges anti-crime measures amid police killings, abductions

Other News Materials 22 August 2008 09:42 (UTC +04:00)

Mexico's government pledged to establish anti-kidnapping measures in cooperation with local authorities in an attempt to stem a crime wave engulfing the country, dpa reported.

After meeting with the country's provincial governors, top judges, mayors and lawmakers, President Felipe Calderon on Thursday signed an agreement to coordinate crime fighting across the nation on a day in which seven police officers were killed in Mexico.

He pledged to pass legislation against money laundering and provisions to locate the mobile phones of kidnapping suspects. He also promised to keep the public better informed about anti-crime measures and scour police ranks for renegade officers.

Kidnappings in particular have been on the rise in Mexico, Security Minister Genaro Garcia Luna said. In 2002, 504 cases where registered, but the number jumped to 785 in 2007. According to unofficial estimates, however, that number is believed to be significantly higher.

Kidnappings and blackmail are often organized out of Mexico's prisons, Garcia Luna said. There have also been a number of reports of police involvements in kidnap-killings.

Mexicans took to the streets after kidnappers in police uniforms snatched a 14-year-old boy in Mexico City and killed him this summer. It later became known that a police detective was involved in the plot.