The governor of Guerrero has declared that the arrest of fake cops in Zihuatanejo was part of a larger operation designed to take away the control of a local crime boss over the police force.
But the police chief takes a different view.
Héctor Astudillo Flores claimed that the leader of the Viagras gang, identified only as El Cadete, “infiltrated” the municipal police force, named himself chief and “started bringing in people to work as police officers.”
The governor said the information came from a tip but the source could not be revealed for security reasons.
He said the state and federal governments knew “for several days” of El Cadete’s infiltration and that when they were ready to crack down on the criminals posing as cops they knew they would have to arrest genuine officers along with them.
They had to proceed as they did, he continued, because otherwise an internal cleansing of the Zihuatanejo municipal police would not have been possible.
El Cadete allegedly headed the Zihuatanejo police department for 10 days.
As straightforward as the governor’s account might sound, the Zihuatanejo police chief — assuming he’s the real one — thinks the entire thing was a mistake, and that the 20 police officers being held in an Acapulco jail do not belong to any criminal network.
David Nogueda Salmerón asserted that he knows well all the police officers under his command, and that no gang leader was among their ranks or had taken over the department.
He said all of them are known as well by Mayor Gustavo García Bello, who has spoken in their defense.
The ones arrested have worked for the force for over 15 years, “and we can’t understand the reason for them to be suffering like this. We hope for a good outcome.”
“It is absurd that [state authorities] claim there were people from outside because it is the state and the federation that keep staff records. They take all their personal information, they even take prints from their most intimate parts, and now they say they didn’t belong to the corporation,” Nogueda complained.
The police chief also said it was a lie that police officers were extorting local business owners.
Federal and state forces have assumed responsibility for the security of the municipality.
Source: Milenio (sp)