CANCUN, Mexico – In the midst of a crime wave in Mexico’s Caribbean region, female Federal Police officers try to stay strong and in control to bring peace back to important tourist destinations such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen, while also remaining friendly.
“At first it is difficult for male officers to accept to work with you and they always say ‘I have never worked with women,’ but when they realize that you work hard and well, they begin to accept you and to treat you as part of the force,” Federal Police officer Yazmin Alvarado told EFE.
Since 2017, following the shooting at the Blue Parrot club in Playa del Carmen and the armed attack against Cancun’s Attorney General’s office, which each left several people dead, the number of police officers assigned to the state of Quintana Roo, in southeast Mexico, increased substantially.
Of the more than 800 Federal Police officers deployed in Quintana Roo, the number of women is just over 50.
This does not mean that female officers necessarily feel at a disadvantage, since they consider it a challenge and a personal commitment to work at the same pace as men.
Wearing makeup, a heavy uniform, a helmet and sunglasses, Alvarado admits that civilians also “find it strange to see women in this line of work, which is mostly for men.”
Some of the female officers include women who have studied law, management, communication, as well as homemakers who one day saw a Federal Police job announcement and decided to follow their instinct, their dreams.
The hardest part of becoming a police officer is the time spent away from family, especially when deployed to a far-off city, and more so for female officers who have children.
In that case, phones become a crucial way to communicate with their sons and daughters, to check their homework, to reprimand them if necessary and to send them all the love and kisses that they cannot give them in person.