The state of Tamaulipas has announced a new security plan to address conditions that have made the city of Reynosa one of Mexico’s most violent.
The 656-million-peso (US $36.6-million) United for Reynosa Plan (Plan Unidos por Reynosa) will be directed at high-crime areas of the city that are lacking in services and security.
Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, who announced the plan yesterday, said 135 million pesos would be invested in 662 specific actions, such as cleaning up streets, opening full-time schools and recovering public spaces, in the city’s 53 neighborhoods.
The first target area will be the southern part of the city where 117,362 people live in 27 neighborhoods, “a densely inhabited area with poor public infrastructure, low quality of services and insufficient and abandoned public spaces,” the governor said.
The second area is in the north and encompasses the downtown area and 26 neighborhoods where 19,022 people live. It also takes in the city’s commercial zone, where the most crimes are reported.
The other 521 million pesos will be allocated to build medical facilities, community centers, a justice center especially for women and upgrading roads.
“The United for Reynosa Plan is a different model of directly addressing the problem of public security in different areas [of the city], where prevention is one of the most important factors,” said the governor, explaining that it will involve the state and and municipal governments, along with local businesses, non-governmental organizations and society at large.
The plan has six basic components: public security, social well-being, economic development, urban infrastructure, the appropriation of public spaces and social coordination.
García said his administration wants to “reconstruct the social fabric.”
“Reynosa is a thriving city, the most populated [in Tamaulipas] and where the most jobs are created. Society and government must move it forward,” he said.
García said the actions planned for Reynosa have already been implemented and proven successful elsewhere in the state.
The most recent National Survey on Urban Public Security by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) found that just under 90% of Reynosa residents felt unsafe. Reynosa is also considered one of the 50 most violent municipalities in the country.
Governor García said the two main areas of focus were chosen because they lack basic services and the presence of authorities was virtually non-existent for many years.
A process of reconciliation and peace was never part of the War on Drugs plan, which led to a spiral of violence, to the detriment of quality of life for the people of Reynosa.
He said violence in the streets, as well as domestic violence, was left unaddressed for many years.