Publication Title

Democracy and Security

Document Type


Department or Program


Publication Date



Mexico, Mexico City, Police, private security


This study investigates the participation of the Mexico City government in the private security market through the Policía Complementaria (Complementary Police), a grouping of public police forces that provide protection to clients in exchange for a fee. By providing these forces with special powers and advantages, the state can outcompete traditional private security firms and profit handsomely. The state’s encroachment into the market for security raises concerns about democracy, inequality, and policing. Moreover, it challenges traditional conceptions about the relationship between the state and private security.

Copyright Note

This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Bates College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.

Required Publisher's Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Democracy and Security on August 29, 2021, available online:

Available for download on Wednesday, March 01, 2023