The case of the three police officers murdered in the former Puentesiño brought to the table an issue considered taboo within the reality of the country’s police force and that is the illicit enrichment of the uniformed officers, the links they have with drug trafficking and the way in which which develops a whole context of complicity between criminal groups and police agents in the country.
For the Dr. in Criminology from the University of Barcelona, Juan Martens, the ambush carried out on the policemen who were in an investigation process, reflects in most cases the involvement with organized crime, since in most cases, the police force is part of criminal governance.
Dr John Martens
The specialist emphasizes the data collected within his career in criminological analysis in the north of the country, highlighting that a large part of the deaths usually occur when the uniformed officers do not comply with what was promised, when they have already been paid for what was agreed.
A study that the specialist made in this regard, called “Challenges in the context of armed groups”, with the support of Conacyt, Prociencia, the FEEI, among others, makes an exhaustive analysis of the way in which the crime scheme is handled mainly in the north of the country, with the consent of the authorities in charge of security in the area.
“In my community, we all live off marijuana, why are we going to deny, even us, the storekeepers, bartenders, we all depend on the business going well and that there are no interventions. Luckily with the locals (referring to the police) we have no problems because they also receive their share”, a professional from the Canindeyú area highlighted in an interview for the aforementioned study.
Drug traffickers, service station owners, and smugglers constitute the main groups that send a certain amount of money to the police, who, if they do not accept payment, are transferred from the unit in which they work. Other documentation stated that, to go to places where large sums are paid, the uniformed officer must make a transfer at the Comandancia to request his transfer.
“These phenomena, as they are hidden or taboo, which are done but not talked about, are investigated and documented only by qualitative techniques, they cannot be quantified. This is due to the fact that being crimes and remaining hidden, they work with key informants”, clarified Dr. Martens.
In this way, through the exposed data, it is possible to find the reason why, despite receiving incomes well below expectations, many police officers live in opulence and move around in the latest model vans, as in the case of the commissioner who was attacked by alleged assassins in Juan León Mallorquín.
In the departments of the northern part of the country there are communities and cities whose economies depend on illicit businesses, although particularly those linked to the cultivation and sale of marijuana. In addition, in these places, the activities mentioned are carried out publicly, without provoking social or institutional reaction of any kind.
Likewise, other illegal behaviors are naturalized, such as the occupation of public domain strips, whether for housing or economic enterprises, to which the municipalities even charge the commercial tax.
Finally, in relation to trust in institutions, the data indicate little trust in the institutions of the justice sector, with the majority indicating that they are unreliable or not at all reliable: Judges and Courts (62.5%), Prosecutor’s Office (57%), and the National Police (50%), being one of the regions with the highest levels of dissatisfaction with the complaints filed: theft in homes (91.7%).