The importance of effective controls over witness protection programmes has been highlighted recently by the killings of two police confidential informants in Mexico city in the space of just two weeks.
As reported by Associated Press, Edgar Bayardo was shot in Starbucks, Mexico City on 1st December whilst Jesus Zamboda Reyes was found hanged on 2oth November. Both were co-operating with the police to provide information against Mexican drugs gangs.
If police forces want to realise the true benefits of confidential informants, it is imperative that they are provided with adequate protection. The social and fiscal costs of allowing police informants to be taken out by the offending gangs are hard to over emphasise. Not only does it make the police force seem powerless, it reduces the chance of witnesses and informants cooperating with the police in the future.