MEXICO CITY (AP) — Medical regulatory inspectors in Mexico have earned such a reputation for corruption that starting Sunday they will be required to wear body cameras to protect themselves from inappropriate behavior.
The federal health regulatory agency deployed the first body cameras in the Gulf Coast state of Campeche on Sunday.
The agency, known as the Federal Commission for the Prevention of Sanitary Risks, has been so riddled with corruption in the past that employees physically hid applications for new drug approvals unless pharmaceutical companies paid bribes to get new drugs approved. Your medicines.
At one point earlier this year, the corruption, which reportedly included employees demanding bribes from health care facilities in exchange for not closing them, became so severe that Marines entered agency offices in the Mexico City to eradicate offenders.
The agency said the body cameras would also protect inspectors from any potential acts of intimidation.
The agency said in a statement that the body cameras, which would record inspectors as they interact with health professionals and businesses, “have the primary goal of promoting integrity in federal public servants and promoting the prevention of discretionary acts.” .
Bertha Alcalde Luján, a senior commission official, said the body cameras were also meant to protect agency staff “who are often subjected to intimidation during their duties and, in some cases, wrongfully accused.”