Improving Mexican Policing

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Being abducted by gunmen, held for weeks or months in horrific conditions and then forced to pay colossal sums to be freed has been the grim reality for thousands of Mexicans in recent years. But finally, after kidnappings reached a record level in Mexico in 2013, the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto launched a national campaign against the crime, led by the “anti-kidnapping tsar” Renato Sales. 

Over the last 20 months, Sales has focused on building up anti-kidnapping units at both state and federal level and breaking up gangs specializing in the crime. The efforts appear to have had some success, with reported kidnapping going down 17 percent in 2014, and then 31 percent in the first half of 2015, according to police departments. In late August, Sales was promoted to become Mexico’s new federal security chief, thanks to these results.

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