It is often argued that one of the main barriers to effective policing in Mexico is the poor salaries paid to officers. This can lead to a lack of motivation and, in the worst cases, a temptation to resort to corrupt practices in order to boost income.
In a move that was first announced last year by the Agencia Metropolitana de Seguridad (AMS), police officers in the nine municipalities that comprise the Guadalajara metropolitan area (AMG) are set to receive equal pay – with a base rate of 17,000 pesos a month – as of this month.
The nine municipalities are expected to pay at least half the wages of the officers, while 100 million pesos in funding has been set aside in the 2018 Jalisco state budget to cover the remainder.
However, Marco Valerio Pérez Gollaz, the AMS’ general administrator, says this sum is insufficient and at least another 36 million pesos is required to balance the books.
In addition, two of the smaller municipalities that make up the AMG conurbation say they cannot afford to dip further into their finances to contribute to the new wage structure.
The 75 police officers on the payroll of Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos currently receive an average of 7,000 pesos a month, while the 22 officers in Juanacatlán earn 6,220 pesos.
The mayors of both municipalities say they will not be able to pay the required wage of 17,000 pesos without special funding from state or federal coffers.
The nine municipalities that make up the AMG are Guadalajara, Zapopan, Tlaquepaque, Tonala, Tlajomulco, El Salto, Juanacatlán, Ixtlahuacán and Zapotlanejo. The total number of municipal police officers is 5,380 – the majority of them in Guadalajara and Zapopan.