Mexico's new rural police: Same old problems?

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Associated Press

Posted on May 19, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Updated Monday, May 19 at 3:34 PM

APATZINGAN, Mexico (AP) — A new police force made up of former vigilantes fighting a drug cartel already faces some of the same problems as the disbanded local law enforcement agencies it is replacing in western Mexico.

The federal government acknowledges that the new rural police force in Michoacan state is being given uniforms and powerful weapons with minimal background checks and virtually no training.

The government also says that it's relying on recommendations from former commanders of the "self-defense" groups about whom to deputize. Those are the same people who rose up to fight the Knights Templar cartel when local and state authorities wouldn't.

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