Mexican government paid $10 mn for TV series glorifying cops

Mexico City: The Mexican government paid Televisa television 118.1 million pesos ($10 million) to produce and air a drama series glorifying the federal police, a daily said Thursday.

Through a request to the Federal Institute for Access to Information, the newspaper Reforma obtained documents showing that the Public Safety Secretariat, or SSP, originally wanted 13 episodes of 30 minutes each.

The series premiered in May and went off the air after only three weeks.

The SSP spent 95.4 million pesos to produce the programme and another 22.7 million pesos ($1.9 million) to put it on the national airwaves, according to Reforma.

A project of well-known producer Pedro Torres, the show sparked controversy by employing on-duty cops as extras and using federal police helicopters, vehicles and installations as props.

Four federal police officers are the protagonists of "El Equipo" (The Team) and each episode ends with the guilty party in custody.

A study released last November by the Monterrey Institute of Technology found nearly 99 percent of the crimes committed in Mexico go unpunished and that only 15 percent of reported offences are investigated.

"It is a series about the courage, effort and love of a team of men and women, federal police, who risk their lives every day to protect ours. They battle, they sacrifice and they devote themselves to one purpose: that good always defeats evil," the official "El Equipo" website said.