Mexico’s most populous state believes that fighting crime demands a woman’s touch.
In a bid to curb rampant corruption and extortion within the state’s municipal police forces, the Mexico state – where around 93 percent of drivers believe they’re being fleeced by the police - mandated that only women are allowed to issue traffic citations.
In 12 of the state’s 18 municipalities, Gov. Eruviel Ávila asked that police stop enforcing traffic citations until the all-female force is implemented on the streets. The law was first introduced in 2012, but so far the municipalities have not complied with the all-female enforcement measure in the state of 15 million people.
"Today we have a regulation that is on the side of the people, which is on the side of the motorist, which thinks of him and seeks to prevent such abuses," Ávila said in a statement last week, according to MSN News. "We will act with a firm hand when a traffic element, state or municipal, abuses or attempts to abuse the motorist, and certainly we will apply the law and regulations to the fullest."
Corruption in Mexico’s police force – especially in Mexico City – is well known and driver’s have long complained of being solicited for bribes – la mordida or "bite” in Spanish – by police. Police will threaten drivers with car impoundment, more fines or arrest if the bribe isn’t paid.
Some Mexico City residents are skeptical that making a switch to an all-female transit force will make any diffidence.
"In principle, it’s likely that the measure will work," said Carlos Velasquez Pineda, a taxi driver from one of Mexico City’s sprawling suburbs. "But with time, if the supervisors or bosses aren’t strict, it’s all going to go back to how it was."
Mexico is following on the heels of Peru’s national police force, which implemented a similar measure in 1998 after a study revealed that women are more honest and disciplined in the line of duty.
Only time will tell in Mexico if that is true. But for now, let’s just hope that Jodi Arias, the Arizona women convicted of murder on Wednesday, doesn’t get a job with the force.