During an interview of the governor Alfredo Del Mazo with Ciro Gómez Leyva about the promise of making the State of Mexico the safest state in the country, the governor said that currently the entity has “around 20,000 state police officers”.
According to the Executive Secretariat of the Public Security’s National System, the police personnel in the state and municipal governments (until November 30th, 2014) was up to 73,361 elements, being the 2nd entity with more police elements in the country, after Mexico City.
However, this data is not enough to determine if Alfredo Del Mazo is telling the truth, since the numbers mentioned above include state police as well as the elements of each of the 125 municipalities in the entity. This without considering also that the information showed in the site of the Executive Secretariat of the Public Security’s National System is quite outdated for over 3 years.
Now, according to the information from the association called Causa en Común (Common Cause) related to the police semaphore applied to the State Commission of Civic Safety of the State of Mexico, by 2015 there were 20,418 state police elements working in the 12 operative offices in which the entity is divided.
This number is a little closer to what the governor said, however, it must be carefully considered since it was released in November 2015, so almost 2 years ago.
Maybe some of the most recent reliable data are the statistics about police and transit officers made by the INEGI and dated on July of 2017. The only graphic that mentions the number of elements, shows that the State of Mexico has a rate of 446.7 elements in every 100,000 inhabitants.
However, this is not enough either to determine the number of state police elements since in the statistics, transit officers are being included.
The same happens with the statistics made by the INEGI in “Human resources in institutions of public security and justice”, from which the only one that involves a scheme per federal entity, does not bring clarity to the topic since it only shows numbers of agents or prosecutors of the state public attorney in every 100,000 inhabitants.
Due to this and the lack of information about the number of active elements in the state police, there is no other choice than considering the data given by Causa en Común, since it is the only one that shows information about the topic quoted by Alfredo Del Mazo.
This research gave completely unexpected results although its conclusions are worth to analyze.
In the first place, it would seem too simple to get a record of the number of the active elements of the state police in the entity, at least in the ambiguous sense of the idea as it was exposed by Del Mazo and Causa en Común. However, something that we did not count on at the moment of writing this article was with the great number of police corporations that exist, not only in the entity but in the whole country. There is the Federal Police (with its several divisions such as ministerial; judicial; road, among others); Financial Police; Migration Police; Gendarmerie; Rural Police; Auxiliary Police, among many others.
As it can be seen, the spectrum of possibilities to set the number of active elements is pretty wide and, in cases like these, it can result complicated.
This might be worrying too in terms of transparency, since there is no trustworthy record as INEGI’s that allows to have a structural control over the numbers in the police corporations, their work remains, as it happens with many cases of corruption that surround these ones, in complete darkness.
In the same way, it is disturbing at some point that the site of the State Commission of Citizen Security of the state does not have any link of information that can clarify this matter, plus its main section shows itself incomplete, perhaps because of the structural changes that the governor projects in the Commission, for example, the fact that he wants to turn it into a Secretary.
Now, about the topic of this Fact Checking, Alfredo Del Mazo said, literally, that the State of Mexico counts on “around 20,000 active state police elements”, apart from municipal ones, that is to say he didn’t give a correct number. And after the only source that mentions the topic of the state police elements and it is the most updated that could be found which says there are 20,418 state elements, it was demonstrated that the governor was not so mistaken when he gave such numbers.
Based on the only source which we could verify what was said by Alfredo Del Mazo, we can consider it as QUASI TRUTH. This because the governor did not deliver an exact number, but his approach is quite close to reality.
Causa en Común. Semáforo del Desarrollo Policial en México 2015: Estado de México.
http://causaencomun.org.mx/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/EdoMex-Sem%C3%A1foro-2015.pdf checked on September 21st 2017.
Comisión Estatal de Seguridad Pública. Cobertura territorial.
http://ces.edomex.gob.mx/cobertura_territorial checked on September 21st 2017.
Grupo Fórmula. Construiremos uno de los estados más seguros; primeros resultados en diciembre: Del Mazo. Con Ciro Gómez Leyva.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR3OX2E9fzY checked on September 18th 2017.
INEGI. Estadísticas a propósito de los policías y agentes de tránsito.
http://www.inegi.org.mx/saladeprensa/aproposito/2017/agentes2017_Nal.pdf checked on September 20th 2017..
INEGI. Recursos humanos en instituciones de seguridad pública y justicia.
http://www.beta.inegi.org.mx/temas/personal/ checked on September 21st 2017.
Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública. Policías por Entidad Federativa.
http://secretariadoejecutivo.gob.mx/voces-estatales/voces-policias.php checked on September 20th 2017.