Tuesday, June 18, 2024

645 Chiapas bodyguards reassigned ‘to serve citizens’ rather than officials

The government of Chiapas has reassigned 645 bodyguards and 95 vehicles that were at the service of former and current public officials.

Newly-installed Governor Rutilio Escandón Cadenas said in a statement issued yesterday that the decision to reassign the state-paid security personnel is not only part of the government’s austerity program but also responds to “the social demand to return police to the streets so that they are truly at the service of citizens.”

The move, approved by the state Congress on December 31, will generate savings of 6 million pesos (US $306,000) a month.

The Chiapas legislature repealed two decrees approved by past governments including one passed in July 2017 that stipulated that former governor Manuel Velasco and his attorney general, Raciel López Salazar, were entitled to a personal security detail for 15 years in recognition of “services rendered to the state.”

President López Obrador, who largely eschews personal security, said last month that the arrangement was “an excess that shouldn’t be allowed.”

Escandón, who was sworn in as governor for the president’s leftist Morena party on December 8, has pledged that his administration will implement austerity measures while governing with efficiency, transparency and accountability.

During a meeting with his cabinet secretaries yesterday, the governor insisted on the responsible management of funds allocated in the budget in order to immediately address social inequality in the state and to work towards improving the quality of life of Chiapas residents.

The southern state has a large indigenous population and is the poorest in Mexico, according to a 2017 report by the social development agency Coneval.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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