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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 August, 2003, 22:24 GMT 23:24 UK
Giuliani crime advice to Mexico City
Rudolph Giuliani in Mexico City
Giuliani dramatically reduced crime in New York

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has told Mexico City officials to spend more cash on police and crack down on corrupt officers in a bid to beat the city's crime-wave.

Mr Giuliani and his consulting firm were paid $4.3m by Mexican businessmen to suggest solutions to the kidnappings, murders and robberies that are rife in Mexico's capital.

Mexico City police chief Marcelo Ebrard said he would follow every one of the 146 recommendations and warned of a "very hard fight against corruption" in the force.

But crime experts fear he may struggle to find the 12% increase needed to implement the measures in an economy that is already floundering.

Mr Giuliani and his team - which include New York police officials - were hired because of their reputation for dramatically cutting crime in the Big Apple during the 1990s.

Mexico City - home to 8.5 million people - has one of the highest crime rates in the Americas and its police officers have a reputation for being corrupt.

The Mexico City authorities were advised to invest in better technology, decentralise decision-making and give greater powers to local police officers.

Lie-detector tests

Creating anti-graffiti and anti-noise units, and teams focusing on police corruption, youth delinquency and bank robberies were also suggested.

Officers are to get new uniforms and wages will rise from 8,000 pesos ($750) a month to 12,000 pesos ($1,100) - but they will also face drug and lie-detector tests.

Mexicans ride a stolen police car
Mexico City has one of the highest crime rates in Latin America
Mr Ebrard said he wanted to cut crime by a third over the next few years and reduce the number of street children.

He also acknowledged that Mexico City operated on a "different economic level" to New York, but promised a programme to improve the quality of life for his officers.

"Our goal is not to replicate what New York did, but to increase our overall security," he said.

But some are concerned Mexico City will not be able to afford the high costs involved.

"I don't know where the money is going to come from because the government of the capital does not have resources for reforms of this magnitude," said Ernesto Lopez Portillo, President of the Institute for Security and Democracy.

The recommendations, however, were welcomed by 47-year-old Mexican City street vendor, Rodolfo Barcenas.

"You have to try everything to see if something sticks," he told Associated Press.




SEE ALSO:
Giuliani targets Mexico crime wave
14 Jan 03  |  Americas
Mexico's drugs battle intensifies
03 Apr 03  |  Americas
Rebirth of a New York hero
13 Feb 02  |  Americas
Country profile: Mexico
10 Jul 03  |  Country profiles


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