Jose Gonzales, 67, second from left, of Las Cruces, N.M., holds up an American flag during a news conference organized by immigrant advocates at the Capitol in Santa Fe, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011, who want New Mexico to keep a law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. Immigrant advocates came to lobby state lawmakers as lawmakers began a special session Tuesday on redistricting. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
Tuscon, Arizona – Only 22 percent of law enforcement agencies in New Mexico are complying with the regulations established by a state law to prevent racial profiling, according to a study released Thursday.
The report, published by the NAACP of New Mexico and immigrant advocacy group Somos Un Pueblo Unido, revealed that the majority of those departments are not complying with the basic requirements established by the law approved in 2009.
The regulation says that police departments must update their rules, publish them and make them available to the public.
Also, they must keep forms available so that people can file complaints if they think they have been the victims of racial discrimination.
The head of Somos Un Pueblo Unido, Marcela Diaz, told Efe that her organization is currently working on several racial profiling complaints made against police departments in New Mexico, one of 23 states that has a law prohibiting discrimination on ethnic grounds.
"This doesn't mean that the agencies are discriminating, but how are we going to know that it's happening if we don't have lists or policies so that the community may make complaints?" Diaz asked.
She said that it is very important to support this type of regulation on the local level to establish procedures whereby the community can complain, something that she says creates a bond of confidence between the minority communities and the police departments.