Female police officers in Mexico have issued complaints against their male supervisors for forcing them to undergo “attractiveness inspections“ before they are selected for a new all-woman police unit.
The procedure has caused outrage among female police officers leading some to complain to the state’s human rights commission.
The Independent reports:
Male officers conducting the inspections singled out young female officers in the Mexican city of Queretaro and remarked on their weight and appearance, Maricruz Ocampo, of Coincidir Mujeres, an NGO helping the women, told the Guardian.
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Two officers have since complained to the state’s human rights commission.
Documents shared by Coincidir Mujeres on their Facebook page included testimony from one of the Queretaro police officers who said: “Like cattle, we went through several ballots… The atmosphere was filled with rage, helplessness, frustration, sadness.”
The statement also mentions “degrading treatment”, “lack of respect” and “a clear violation of our rights”.
“The women said, ‘I trained to be a police officer, not a showgirl,’” Ms Ocampo said.
The accusations have surfaced during a strike by police in Queretaro calling for the resignation of police chief Rolando Eugenio Hidalgo Eddy, who took up the role last year.
In his previous role as a police chief in Aguascalientes, Hidalgo Eddy set up a similar team of female officers who wore high-heels and tight clothes while on duty.
The all-female police squad garnered international attention when they appeared in a picture with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in 2013.
This squad has recently been scaled down and their uniforms changed to standard police attire, Mexican newspaper Excelsior reported.
Acapulco has also started a tourist squad of attractive female officers this year. Acapulco’s police chief Manuel Flores told the Mail Online: “Visitors numbers have dropped since the local gang wars began… we had to think of a way to inspire confidence in the tourists, and our new faces on the street are not only responsible but very eye-catching.”
Ms Ocampo says there has been a rise in sexual harassment allegations within the police and raised concerns “that the human rights violations inside the force are going to eventually move toward the public”.
Queretaro Police told the Guardian that there were no plans to form such a female unit. They did not comment on the allegations of harassment, adding they would wait for the human rights commission’s investigation.
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