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Mexico’s ‘Heavenly Police’ Turn to a Higher Power

Agence France-Presse
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July 7, 2017
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A member of the ‘Policia Celestial’ (Heavenly Police) wears the unit’s badge at the headquarters of the municipal police in Tlalnepantla de baz (AFP)

It sometimes seems there’s no hope for justice in Mexico, where ultra-violent drug cartels operate with impunity and graft reaches from the lowest levels of the police to the highest halls of power.

But one cop turned drug dealer turned born-again Christian says he has found the answer to rampant crime and corruption: Pray.

Leonel Guillermoprieto, a hulking giant of 37, is the founder of the “Heavenly Police,” an organisation dedicated to saving Mexico’s criminal justice system from its own sleaze via the gospel.

The group’s 5,200 members — retired and active cops and soldiers — wear uniforms resembling those of the federal police, but with a Bible and cross for a badge.

Instead of “special operations,” they run “heavenly ops,” visiting police departments across the country to preach and evangelise, on the theory that a God-fearing cop is an honest one.

It is an uphill battle in a country where experts say the police and government are awash in dirty money from the multi-billion-dollar narcotics trade, where more than 185,000 people have been murdered in the past decade, and where more than 90 percent of violent crimes go unpunished.

More than half of Mexicans perceive the police as corrupt, and the country ranks as one of the worst in the world for graft: number 123 out of 176 on watchdog group Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

Read the rest at Malay Mail Online

Related: Another Priest Killed in Mexico as Violence Against Christians Soars (Christian Today)

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