President-elect López Obrador has pledged that federal, state and municipal authorities will work together to combat insecurity in Guerrero.
López Obrador made the commitment yesterday after holding a “very productive” meeting with Governor Héctor Astudillo in Acapulco.
“We’re going to work in a coordinated way on the issue that people are very worried about: that of security and violence. We’re also going to ensure that there is order, that there is coordination and the Mando Único [a single-command policing system],” he said.
“We also agreed to join forces, we’re going to work in an organized manner . . . There will be unity between the Secretariat of Defense, the Secretariat of the Navy, the Secretariat of Public Security, the state government and the municipalities,” the president-elect added.
Guerrero, a large opium poppy and marijuana-producing state, recorded the third highest number of homicides in the first eight months of 2018 behind only Baja California and Guanajuato.
Federal and state police and the military took over policing duties in Acapulco last week after the entire municipal force was disarmed due to suspected infiltration by criminal gangs.
Last year, The Washington Post described the resort city as Mexico’s murder capital.
Violent crime, however, afflicts many parts of Guerrero including state capital Chilpancingo, the notoriously dangerous Tierra Caliente region and the Montaña region, where poppy cultivation has driven the economies of many communities for decades.
In Chilpancingo today, the mayor lamented that security efforts were hampered by a shortage of resources. Antonio Gaspar Beltrán said the municipal police force consists of just 120 officers, 580 short of what it needs.
He said a request for more funds will be made to the federal government. The municipality of Chilpancingo has a population of at least 200,000.
Guerrero is one of Mexico’s most impoverished, a fact that López Obrador recognized yesterday.
He said that his government will aim to stimulate economic development in Guerrero to help people “to get ahead” and reaffirmed his commitment to move the federal Secretariat of Health to the state.