Scene of one of this week's police shootings in Guanajuato. Scene of one of this week's police shootings in Guanajuato.

56 police assassinated in Guanajuato this year but arrests in just 7 cases

Police chief who asked for a transfer was assassinated on Wednesday

Fifty-six police officers have been murdered in the line of duty in Guanajuato this year but only 12 arrests have been made in connection with just seven of the homicides.

The impunity rate for police assassinations in 2018 consequently stands at 87.5%, meaning the alleged perpetrators have only been apprehended in one of every eight slayings.

None of the 12 detained suspects has been convicted or sentenced.

This year is the most violent on record for police murders in Guanajuato, where the total number of homicides has also spiked sharply to make the central Mexican state one of the most violent in the country this year.

There were 1,847 homicides in the first seven months of 2018, according to statistics from the National Public Security System (SNSP), more than double the 831 murders recorded in the same period last year.

Many of the killings are believed to be connected to the crime of petroleum theft perpetrated by gangs of thieves known as huachicoleros who, like drug cartels, engage in turf wars and also sometimes clash with authorities.

“We know that [the attacks on police] are due to the fight against fuel theft. That’s the heart [of the problem] and . . . obviously, it has an impact on life in our society,” said Guanajuato Governor Miguel Márquez Márquez.

The worst month for police homicides was January with 10, followed by May, June and August, all of which saw seven police slayings.

There have already been a further six murders of police this month and only March, with two homicides, has recorded fewer than five police deaths in a single month.

Among the locations where the homicides have occurred are Salamanca, Salvatierra, León, Irapuato, Celaya, Apaseo el Alto and San Miguel de Allende.

On June 1, six unarmed traffic police were shot and killed in Salamanca in the single biggest multi-homicide of police. No one has been arrested for the crime.

In Apaseo el Alto and neighboring Apaseo el Grande, state police officers deployed to the region fear for their lives following the double-murder Wednesday of a single-command state police chief who was stationed in the area. An officer who was with him was also killed in the the attack in the municipality of Villagrán.

“He [the police chief] had reported that he had received threats and asked for a transfer but as always happens, they didn’t give it to him. They told him that the only option was to leave [the force],” a state police officer told the newspaper Periódico Correo.

“What do the rest of us think? Well, in any moment they could kill us as well and there is no support from . . . the bosses.”

Source: Periódico Correo (sp) 

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