Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Mexican State's Anti-Corruption Plan: Hire Female Traffic Cops"--Shared by Leili

The Mexican government, struggling against rampant corruption, have fired their traffic cops and hired only women to replace them. According to the article, the police believe that "women are more trustworthy and take their oath of office more seriously. They don't ask for or take bribes." And yet, apparently at least one female traffic officer has already been reported as "threatening to impound [a driver's] car unless she paid a bribe." Hmm, I guess not every woman is exactly the same . . .

Trustworthiness might not be the primary concern for the officers in charge of hiring, either. " Ecatepec Police Chief Carlos Ortega Carpinteyro says the biggest challenge has been finding women who "portray the right kind of image." "We get too many short and fat ones," he explains. Yikes . . . The state also has yet to authorize these women to issue tickets--at the moment they can only blow whistles or give warnings.

To me, it's an odd take on corruption. It seems silly to hire people based primarily on their gender, and I wonder where they get their belief that a group of women will be any more trustworthy than a group of men--individuals are individuals, and should be hired as such. But there is something to say for trying a fresh start. It could also prove a thought-provoking experiment, especially considering Mexico's track record when it comes to women's safety. I've read several reports over the years about large numbers of women being kidnapped and killed in various parts of the country, but I was shocked to discover that, according to the UN, Mexico is first in the world in the number of violence attacks against women. It will be interesting to see what impact having an all-female corps of cops will have on Mexico city.


  1. resident Mexican here to comment! :) As someone with some insight into Mexican corruption I'm actually in favor of hiring female cops--
    What we've had up until now, clearly has not been working. Mexican machismo culture has resulted in an extremely brutal, corrupt, violent police culture-- dominated by men. ( a female friend of my fathers in mexico was severely beaten up, and threatened with gun by male police officers. And i can't help thinking that this could have been avoided if she'd been surrounded by female cops. instead. Of course, we should ask ourselves why is dominance so linked with manhood? Why do we teach men aggression instead of empathy? It's because of these social norms, that men end up being more violent than women. I think that's definitely a phenomenon that needs to be addressed-- redifining masculinity ESPECIALLY in Latino culture-- where machismo is so freaking rampant.

  2. I absolutely agree, Ana. In fact, I'm going to do a quick post about it!