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Mexican all-female tourist police force
All-female tourist police to protect visitors in Acapulco
Jun 30, 2011
A help-wanted ad in the Mexican Pacific state of Guerrero is drawing rebuke from some women's rights groups.
In effect, the ad says:
Wanted: Women ages 18-26, who are at least 5-foot-5 and whose weight is proportional to that height. Must have good physical and mental health. Knowledge of English is a plus.
The job? A new, all-female tourist police force proposed for Guerrero's most popular visitor destinations, including Acapulco.
"The idea is to have a police force comprised of only women, preferably beautiful ones," said Ramon Almonte Borja, head of the state's public security secretariat.
In addition, he said the tourist police would wear attractive uniforms to distinguish themselves.
"We are designing a gorgeous uniform that can distinguish us like the police in London, for example, so that Acapulco can have an additional visual attraction to what we already have," Almonte said.
The want ad says that there are 52 openings for the police force, but a security secretariat spokesman Oscar Gatica told CNN their attitude is to wait and see how many women apply.
"We're indignant" over the news, said Blanca Rico, executive director of Semillas, a women's rights group in Mexico City. "Once again women are put in the stereotype of being decorations."
The state's idea for a tourism police discriminates against women who do not fit the physical mold they are looking for, she said.
What should matter is how professional they are and how capable they are of being police officers, not how they look, Rico said.
While his boss said he was looking for "beautiful" women, Gatica said that applicants don't necessarily have to fit that qualification. What they are looking for is a uniform look to their personnel, he said.
In addition to the age, height and weight requirements, the police force is looking for women without any tattoos and no piercings other than the ears.
The tourist police will not be armed, and their function will be mostly to deter crime and to act as a guide for visitors, Gatica said.
For her part, Rico said she couldn't believe that a public official like Almonte could be so crass.
"One would never imagine male police officers being selected for their looks," she said.