MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The Mexican government has forced the resignation or sidelined more than 1,000 immigration officials over allegations of corruption and other irregularities, a senior official said on Friday.
As part of an administrative modernization plan, the National Migration Institute (INM) installed video surveillance systems at its offices that have since detected irregularities that ranged from immigration officials extorting migrants, to workers sleeping on the job.
INM chief Francisco Garduno said “more than 1,040 INM public servants have had to resign or have been subject to an internal review. The majority have resigned because we have a video camera system at all our stations.”
The videos show alleged acts of extortion and corruption, he said.
Tens of thousands of migrants, mostly escaping rampant violence and entrenched poverty in Central America, traverse Mexico every year in an attempt to reach the U.S. border. Along the way, many fall victim to organized crime and are kidnapped or killed.
Human rights organizations say the migrants are also preyed upon by corrupt public servants that extort them.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has made rooting out corruption one of the cornerstones of his administration.
Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Noe Torres; editing by Grant McCool
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