Friday, June 14, 2024

CDMX borough chief issues plea for help from federal forces as insecurity worsens

A Mexico City borough chief has requested assistance from the army and the navy to combat insecurity in the capital’s historic center and inner suburbs.

In a letter sent to an army commander on June 19, Cuauhtémoc borough chief Rodolfo González said insecurity was a growing problem in the capital’s central core, specifically citing the occurrence of “extrajudicial killings, extortion, drug trafficking, people trafficking and kidnapping” among other crimes.

González said that the local Cuauhtémoc government “lacks the command and security forces to effectively confront the situations of insecurity that have arisen in recent days and weeks.”

He added that it was ready to work with the Mexico City government and security authorities of the federal government “to guarantee basic security conditions to the almost five million people who travel through, work in, visit or live in the borough of Cuauhtémoc.”

The newspaper Milenio reported today that residents and shopkeepers in the north of Mexico City’s historic center lobbied borough authorities to seek the assistance of federal security forces.

“For us the citizens, it is very complicated to report [a crime] at the Attorney General’s office because [by doing so] we become the objects of revenge from those we identify as our aggressors. Publicly reporting [a crime] puts us at a double risk. That’s why we ask for your support . . . and that security is provided to us. We are afraid,” their plea said.

In an April 13 letter sent to a navy vice-admiral, González referred to the interest expressed by “a group of shopkeepers” that the navy collaborate with local authorities in the “monitoring, surveillance and containment” of crime in Mexico City’s historic center.

“Today, we reiterate and formalize that proposal,” the letter said.

González also said that if the navy, in carrying out intelligence and operational work, detects “infiltration, collusion or links” of Cuauhtémoc government personnel with criminal groups, they should immediately be referred to the relevant authorities.

The borough chief pointed out that a lot of buildings of national importance — such as the National Palace, Supreme Court, Metropolitan Cathedral and Senate — are located in Cuauhtémoc, underscoring the need to ensure that it is not overrun with crime.

Beyond the historic center, González said that the neighborhoods of Morelos, Roma and Condesa also require special attention to combat the presence of organized crime and curb the incidence of muggings.

Mexico City recorded its most violent first four-month period of any year of the past two decades with 382 intentional homicides between January 1 and the end of April while a report released last year said that there are 20,000 places where drugs are bought and sold in the capital.

In an interview earlier this month, González stressed that all three levels of government needed to collaborate to combat crime in the capital and charged that the organized crime groups that operate in Mexico City are transnational.

The borough chief also urged Mexico City mayor-elect Claudia Sheinbaum to consider the proposal to seek federal security assistance in order to regain control of the capital.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Financiero (sp), El Heraldo de México (sp)

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