by Conor Friedersdorf

The Los Angeles Times reports:

About 3,200 Mexican federal police officers, nearly a tenth of the force, have been fired this year under new rules designed to weed out crooked cops and modernize law enforcement, officials said Monday.

The housecleaning is part of President Felipe Calderon's crackdown on drug cartels, which includes overhauling the 34,500-strong federal police force.

An additional 465 federal officers have been charged with breaking the law, and 1,020 others face disciplinary action after failing screening tests, officials said. Facundo Rosas, a senior federal police official, said in a radio interview that the 3,200 dismissed officers were removed for substandard performance.

Gee, I wonder if any of these suddenly unemployed police officers with ties to drug cartels will wind up working for them directly. It's almost as if keeping them on the force and firing them are both terrible options, especially since their replacements will presumably be just as corruptible. There is a bizarre consensus among elected officials on both sides of the border that escalating a decades old drug war is preferable to ending it. The evidence for that proposition? 

There isn't any.

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