MEXICO CITY – The Mexican government reached an agreement with officers opposed to the substitution of the Federal Police by the new National Guard after a week of protests, the Security and Citizens Protection Secretariat said Tuesday.
The secretariat said in a statement that a negotiating table was formed with representatives of the officers who disagreed with the demonstrations by their colleagues at Federal Police headquarters in Iztapalapa on the east side of the Mexican capital.
The deal also specifies that the officers will now end their strike, demonstrations and highway blockades.
The negotiating table made up of government and police representatives will be responsible for “continuing the process of transferring officers from the Federal Police to the National Guard.”
The government also committed itself in writing not to fire any officer, and that all agents, whether they are transferred to the National Guard or not, will keep their employment, salary, seniority and benefits.
The government published the list of institutions to which police who do not accept being moved to the National Guard can be transferred, such as the Federal Protection Service, the National Migration Institute, the National Missing Persons Commission and the National Anti-kidnapping Unit.
Starting this Tuesday, information tables will be installed at National Police headquarters and in 42 stations around the country where agents can learn the details about all these possibilities.
The government will also guarantee that those officers who wish to resign “will have the right to receive their severance pay.”
“Signatories of the Federal Police commit themselves to call on their colleagues not to blockade roads, highways, streets, avenues, expressways or bridges under federal jurisdiction, nor continue their demonstrations or neglect their duties,” the pact says.
In return, the government will rule out “reprisals” against Federal Police officers who have expressed their rejection of the National Guard.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a press conference that officers who refuse to accept the deal “are acting within their rights” and avoided “denigrating” those opposed.
The president confirmed that examinations will continue so that federal law-enforcement agents can transfer to the National Guard, while those who don’t make it can get “other employment like guarding government offices.”
“No one will be laid off,” the president said.
Though Lopez Obrador considered the conflict resolved, media reports said there is still a group of officers in disagreement who plan to take some kind of action this Tuesday.
The Federal Police officers opposed to the National Guard believe they will lose their labor benefits and are indignant to think that members of the military can join this unit without undergoing any examination at all.