One of the most neglected aspects on the current debates on the limited reach of statehood in Latin America is the role of the police forces. By avoiding a view that analyses the (mis)behavior of this institution simply in terms of dis-functionality, this article tries to demonstrate that in the case of Mexico the seemingly "defective" nature of the police forces contributes to a "positive" outcome: In a political system overdetermined by the interaction of central & peripheral political forces, the relative autonomy & factionalism of the police allows this institution to adopt itself to the dynamic results of the negotiation processes between these forces & even to function as an articulation channel within them. The overall results of this situation are the maintenance of the structural stability of the Mexican form of statehood & the production of insecurity by the politically tolerated acts of police abuses for the majority of the Mexican population. References. Adapted from the source document.