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Disgruntled police in Cancún boot out the chief on Monday. Disgruntled police in Cancún boot out the chief on Monday.

Cancún to adopt single-command policing; officers end strike

Local government will cede control of police to the state

Cancún has agreed to cede control of its police force to the Quintana Roo government and join its single-command policing system.

Announcement of the decision today comes just three days after police officers in the resort city went on strike to demand the removal of Cancún’s top cop, whom they accused of mistreating them and having links to organized crime.

The mayor of Benito Juárez, the municipality where Cancún is located, said the police returned to work yesterday after talks were held between authorities and the striking officers.

Mara Lezama explained that the agreement with the Quintana Roo government meant that not only would state authorities be responsible for the security strategy in the Caribbean coast city but also for the training and management of the local force.

In addition, they will be charged with identifying and removing corrupt police from within the force’s ranks.

“We have taken a decision together: from today it will be the state government and in particular the Secretariat of Public Security that is responsible for executing the [policing] strategy so that peace and tranquility is restored to every part and every block [of Cancún],” Lezama said.

“It will also be the responsibility of the state secretariat to inform the municipal government and citizens about the progress, actions and results in these matters,” she added.

Lezama also said that not only will the new mando único, or single command, agreement ensure that municipal and state authorities are on the same page with regard to the security strategy for Cancún but would also allow them to combine human resources and finances.

“My main commitment is to return security and peace to the municipality and today I am committed to doing what is necessary to achieve it. Let it be clear, we are not relinquishing the tasks that correspond to us,” she said.

Lezama, who took office for the leftist Morena party on September 30, said the municipal government will also focus on implementing programs and policies that prevent violence.

Cancún police chief Jesús Pérez Abarca was forced off the job Monday by angry officers who physically pushed him out of the city’s police headquarters.

Lezama said today that the incident was “unacceptable and under no circumstance can it be repeated.”

State Public Security Secretary Alberto Capella attributed the work stoppage to opposition against a move to carry out a “cleansing” of the municipal force to remove corrupt police.

The mayor said the municipal force was made up of a lot of brave officers but that there are also some who are resistant to change and acted illegally to demonstrate it.

“We deeply regret that . . . this group of police brought their daily activities to a halt to argue against a range of dissatisfactions . . .” Lezama said.

Source: Reforma (sp) 

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