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Read all about it: An honest cop is cleaning up Tijuana

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Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 12:00 am

Tijuana and San Diego are a single metropolis welding together Mexico and the West Coast.

Corruption and drug violence are major impediments to Mexico's economic success and its ability to employ, feed, educate and house many of its citizens. These economic failures are what drive millions of Mexicans to look for work and hope in American towns like Lodi.

When I lived in Mexico in 1978, corruption in government and business were widely accepted and meekly criticized. Denouncing corruption then was like complaining about the weather — a useless exercise.

Since then, drugs, drug money and drug violence have accelerated, creating fear among millions of Mexicans — to say nothing of thousands of San Diegans. Now, finally, some Mexicans are doing more than talking about corruption. President Felipe Calderon is on a crusade to clean up police departments throughout the republic.

In Tijuana, he appointed former Army officerJulian Leyzaola to be Secretary ofPublic Safety and ordered him to hold the city'spolice accountable for public safety and betrayal of their duty.

On Dec. 21 we front-paged a story about Leyzaola. He has fired and jailed many corrupt cops. New, honest officers have begun arresting and even gunning down some of those in the drug trade. But the drug lords are pushing back and many cops have been killed by paid assassins.

Our paper doesn't have the space for the entire 2,700-word story by AP's Elliot Spagat. In fact, we had to cut the abridged version of Spagat's work. But those who know how important it is to have honest institutions in Mexico will be riveted by this report.

Click here to see the complete story and photos which AP published Dec. 20, 2009.