Tuesday, March 16, 2010


The police here in Torreón have been on strike for three days. (They want their new boss to resign, angered at, among other things, his not allowing a wounded patrolman to be treated at a private hospital.) The idea was surely that in this time of chaos, Torreón needs its cops more than ever, so the mayor would quickly relent and send the chief packing. Instead, this dispute feels more like a coach on the hot seat threatening to quit. Please, go ahead!, the fan base shouts. The police haven't been on duty for half a week, and the city feels no different whatsoever. (State police cruisers are also patrolling, though less of them.) I participated in a conversation last night in which the topic was whether the city would be any more or less violent if the municipal police disappeared forever, which is, at the very least, a sign that their performance is not widely appreciated.

Evidently, the mayor is planning to fire 80 of the striking officers, which may be the correct move but is worrying because some of them will likely find their way into illicit occupations.

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