Mexico City police will bolster their presence in seven boroughs with high levels of crime.
The city government has identified 141 high-crime “red zones” in Álvaro Obregón, Cuauhtémoc, Gustavo A. Madero, Miguel Hidalgo, Iztapalapa, Xochimilco and Tlalpan.
Additional police and more than 500 extra police vehicles will be deployed to all seven boroughs, Mexico City authorities said Monday.
The “Priority Quadrants Reinforcement Program” will ramp up security across 126 quarters of the city where the crime hot spots are located. Organized crime groups operate in the areas and conduct illicit activities such as drug trafficking and the operation of clandestine beer bars known as chelerías.
About 40% of all crimes committed in the capital occur in those quadrants, according to Mexico City Police Chief Omar García Harfuch.
At an event on Monday to launch the new security program, he said the initiative will make citizens feel safer and its results will increase people’s trust in the Mexico City government.
Government Secretary Martí Batres said on Twitter that the program will operate under the principles of police proximity to citizens, investigation, attention to the causes of crime and respect for human rights.
“There will be 520 new police cars at 126 points,” he added.
Among the criminal groups that operate in the boroughs of concern are La Unión de Tepito, El Cártel del Cigarro and Los Malcriados 3AD as well as organizations affiliated with criminal figures known as El Duke, El Güero Fresa and Juan Balta, and Colombian extortionists.
Neighborhoods where police will increase their presence include Santa Fe and San Ángel in Álvaro Obregón; Tlatelolco, Roma and the capital’s historic center in Cuauhtémoc; and Cuautepec, Aragón and Lindavista in Gustavo A. Madero.
Mexico City was the 12th most violent state in Mexico in the first seven months of 2021 with 621 homicides. Violent confrontations between cartels are rare in the capital, but some multi-homicides, including a brazen 2018 attack in a square popular with tourists, have been linked to disputes between criminal organizations.
In addition, Chief García was targeted in an armed attack last year allegedly perpetrated by Jalisco New Generation Cartel gunmen. He was wounded in the attack, which occurred in an affluent Mexico City neighborhood, while three people were killed.