Military and Police

De-Policing Mexico and Gun Confiscation: Not What You Think

In this strange story that combines de-policing and gun confiscation, our neighbors south of the border may have completely skewed how we view these issues. Veracruz Governor Miguel Angel Yunes Linares has disarmed the city’s police force, a move that Mayor Bogar Ruiz Rosas of Alvarado in the Mexican state of Veracruz says is political retaliation by the governor, who belongs to a rival political party.

In response, Rosas offered a symbolic gesture: making sure there were plenty of media on hand to record the spectacle. In a mock ceremony, he armed his officers with slingshots and bags of small rocks. Now, we in the U.S., hell, in the rest of the world, may laugh at this Mexican dust-up, but there can be some obvious negative consequences for the cops and city residents.

According to The Guardian, criminals have committed some horrors in the gulf state of Veracruz over the past ten years. These include, “forced disappearances, mass graves containing the remains of hundreds of people, and the murders of at least 20 journalists.” Though there are some recent signs of improvement, Mexico is still one of the most violent countries on earth, recording thousands of murders every month.

Governor Linares contends he disarmed the cops because they are not yet accredited. Mayor Rosas acknowledged that most of the officers have yet to go to the academy. In fact, only 30 of 130 officers in Veracruz were “deemed fit for service.” But Mayor Rosas contends the governor is violating his autonomy for political reasons.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new for our Mexican cousins. Governor Linares’ predecessor, Javier Duarte is currently facing corruption charges. The former state prosecutor and public security secretary were also recently arrested. They’ve been accused of conspiracy to commit “forced disappearances.”

Ironically, according to Matthew Ross of, in response to Rosas arming his cops with slingshots and rocks, the governor has warned the city it would be illegal for the cops to continue patrolling while unarmed. He added the cops could face prosecution. Well, he’s the one who disarmed them!

Alvarado, VerCON RESORTERAS POLICIAS MUNICIPALES DE ALVARADO COMBATIRÁN A LA DELINCUENCIAEl Alcalde de Alvarado entrega RESORTERAS a elementos de la Policía Municipal y exige JUSTICIA, tras la orden del Gobernador del Estado, de despojar a los mismos de sus armas.

Posted by Alor Noticias on Sunday, June 24, 2018

Oddly enough, Ross writes that this is not the only case of Mexican police being armed with slingshots. In 2007, the Mexican Army disarmed some 60 Tijuana cops, confiscating their guns. The officers had been accused of gun smuggling and corruption.

So, though I write about the de-policing of America, defend cops who’ve been wrongly accused, and touch on gun issues, stories like this keep things in perspective. At least, I haven’t heard of any American cops being disarmed and issued slingshots and rocks. Well, not yet, anyway.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at

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