Police in CDMX: What's The Stance?

BY Dimitri Voulg

Police in CDMX: What's The Stance?
Photo by Will Ried


Remain calm!

Ironically, one of the main threats you may encounter on your trip to CDMX is police extortion; It’s no secret that the police are dishonest and corrupt. They tend to meander at parks, close to bars, and deserted streets in strategic neighbourhoods. If you have a run in with the police, here’s what to do…

If you haven’t done anything illegal, and they still approach with “routine inspections”, as they call them, know that these are 100% illegal. They should have a judicial order for doing so, according to Article 16 of The Constitution. However, they might insist if they think they can. Your safest option – if you don’t have anything on you – is to remain calm, as any agitation will lead them to accuse you of disrespecting them or “refusing to cooperate”. Calmly let them know you are aware that what they’re doing is illegal, and have someone record the scene to prevent them from planting any illegal substances on you. They should just go away without the need of giving them money.

It’s illegal to drink alcohol in public; avoid doing it or be extremely discrete. They pop out of nowhere. If they see you drinking or smoking a joint in public, they will try to make a big fuss of it with the aim of extortion. As explained by my friend Diego, 30, filmmaker and expert in dealing with these situations, the fastest way to get away is by remaining calm, apologising, saying you understand, and that you won’t be doing it again. This rarely works without having to part with a 200 pesos bill, but to avoid paying more than that, say you don’t have any more cash and your card is at home.