Some serious allegations being lodged against the police chief in the Mexican city of Queretaro, where female officers are protesting: “I trained to be a police officer, not a showgirl.”
Two officers have complained to the state’s human rights commission, saying that Chief Rolando Hidalgo Eddy is subjecting them to “attractiveness inspections.”
Department superiors were apparently using this humiliating selection process to search for the right candidates for a new female unit in the touristic town center of Queretaro — a prosperous manufacturing hub about 130 miles north of Mexico City.
A representative supporting the women says the young, female officers were singled out for an inspection, during which their male superiors commented on their appearance and weight.
Maricruz Ocampo told The Guardian that one woman who was pregnant, but had recently lost her child, was told she was “paunchy.”
The allegations coincided with a strike this week by city police– who are demanding the resignation of Chief Hidalgo — a retired army general who was hired by a new mayor last year.
In a previous job he held in the state of Aguascalientes, Hidalgo reportedly formed a unit of attractive female officers, “who went about their duties wearing high-heeled boots, tight clothes and lots of lipstick.”
The stunt got national attention several years ago when the women appeared in a photo with the Mexican president. That state, however, abandoned the project last month because, according to analysts, it made “no impact on security.”
Security analyst Jorge Kawas says, “It is definitely discriminatory, and there’s no evidence that by hiring ‘attractive women’ they will do a better job than anyone else.” Despite such evidence, officials in other parts of the country, like Acapulco, recently started a tourist police force of pretty, young, female officers.
What’s even more troubling is that the allegations against Hidalgo come as the country deals with an increase in sexual violence. Sexual harassment allegations have also surged within the police dept., Ocampo said. The fear is that the human rights violations inside the force “are going to eventually move toward the public,” she said.
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