Police officers in the Mexican town of Alvarado were recently stripped of their firearms and armed with slingshots and rocks instead, after most of them failed their control tests and were deemed unfit for service.
After only 30 officers of the 130-member police department in Alvarado managed to pass their control tests for the use of firearms, Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares, governor of the Mexican state of Verracruz, decided to strip the entire department of firearms.
The governor’s office has confirmed that similar actions have been taken in other municipalities, like Ixtaczoquitlan, Ciudad Mendoza and Pueblo Viejo.
However, some local officials have accused Yunes Linares of stripping local law enforcement of what little protection they had against the criminal organisations in Verracruz. In Alvarado, the officers were armed with slingshots and rocks.
Bogar Ruiz Rosas, the mayor of Alvarado, protested the decision to have his local police force disarmed by organizing a symbolic handover event where he issued police their new sidearms – slingshots and rocks.
During this event, Rosas argued that most of those officers who failed their control tests did so because the department is currently made up of mostly newly recruited officers.