Soldiers will focus on Culiacán and Mazatlán. Soldiers will focus on Culiacán and Mazatlán.

900 troops to combat violence in Sinaloa

Stronger military presence part of new security strategy

The state of Sinaloa, birthplace of many prominent narcos, is getting another deployment of federal forces in response to violence triggered by rivalry among criminal gangs.

The 900 soldiers will join 1,300 military police officers that have reinforced municipal police forces since January.

General Juan Ernesto Antonio Bernal Reyes said the soldiers concentrate their efforts in the municipalities of Culiacán and Mazatlán, addressing a situation that has killed 368 people so far this year.

The deployment follows an agreement between Governor Quirino Ordaz Coppel and National Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, said Bernal.

After the prison break two weeks ago of five criminals linked to the Sinaloa Cartel from a Sinaloa jail, Cienfuegos declared that the Army and the public were irritated by the incident.

He also said that one of the Army’s priorities would be to recapture escaped inmates, and that a shift in the state’s security strategy would bring a stronger military presence.

Earlier this week, the state’s deputy Attorney General  reported an increase in intentional homicides so far this year, from 246 during the same period last year to 368.

Martín Robles Armenta stated that increased violence caused by rivalry among organized crime groups has been seen since February in the municipalities of Culiacán and Navolato.

Among the casualties were two Culiacán municipal police chiefs: Eusebio Soto Sauceda was killed on February 19, and Alberto López on March 22.

There has also been a new deployment of military personnel in neighboring Sonora, but for different reasons.

Governor Claudia Pavlovich explained that the stationing of 1,000 military police was a preventive measure to “bulletproof” the state, given the violence registered in Chihuahua and Sinaloa.

The military will stay out of the cities and instead be deployed on access routes.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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