Broken windows in Mazatlán on the weekend. Broken windows in Mazatlán on the weekend.

Businesses question inaction by police over Mazatlán looting

Six businesses, three homes were targets of thieves

The failure of police to make any arrests during a looting spree in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, on Saturday has been questioned by the city’s business community.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, thieves broke into and ransacked six businesses in the center of Mazatlán including a pharmacy, a pawn shop, a convenience store and a Telcel mobile phone distributor. Three homes were also looted.

Jesús Sandoval Gaxiola, president of the Mazatlán Chamber of Commerce, said it was worrying that authorities appeared to have taken no concrete action to respond to a wave of violent crime that has afflicted the city in recent weeks.

Thieves smashed store windows and broke locks during a similar looting rampage at the Alameda shopping center last month, he explained.

Sandoval said the private sector has contributed to security efforts in the city and even donated two police cars. However, he claimed that the municipal Secretariat of Public Security hasn’t shown the same level of commitment to combating crime.

The business leader said that the Chamber of Commerce has written to Security Secretary Ramiro Lizárraga Medina to demand the development of new strategies to tackle insecurity in Mazatlán.

Municipal secretary José de Jesús Flores de Segura said he has asked Lizárraga to meet with members of the business community to jointly draw up a security plan for the city with a particular focus on the downtown area.

The official said that rising insecurity is the result of a lack of municipal police officers and that authorities have been forced to ask the state police and the army for assistance.

On Sunday, the Sinaloa public security secretary announced that the government planned to send 400 state police officers, including 100 members of its elite force, to Mazatlán.

Cristobal Castañeda Camarilla also said that construction of a new state police base and barracks in the resort city will commence in the coming months.

The additional deployment of state police will bolster security in the south of Sinaloa and in the industrial corridor between Mazatlán and Durango, the secretary explained.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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