Mexico disbands entire police force in top port

December 21, 2011 - 4:26 PM

VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) — A Mexican state plagued by drug violence has disbanded the entire police force in the major port city of Veracruz, and officials say the Navy will take over.

The Veracruz state government says it's part of an effort to root out corruption from law enforcement and start from zero in the city of Veracruz.

State spokeswoman Gina Dominguez said Wednesday 800 police officers and 300 administrative employees were laid off. At a press conference, she said they can still apply for state police jobs but must meet stricter standards.

Armed marines have barricaded police headquarters and Navy helicopters were flying above the city where 35 bodies 35 bodies were dumped in September. It was one of the worst gang attacks of Mexico's drug war.