Friday, June 21, 2024

Cleaning up Sonora’s municipal police forces is just the beginning: Durazo

The federal government plans to initiate a nationwide campaign to identify and dismiss municipal police officers with links to organized crime.

Speaking  in Hermosillo, Sonora, on Monday after an announcement that five municipal forces in that state will be purged of corrupt officers, Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo said the government has already identified the municipalities where intervention is required.

He described the cleaning up of police forces in Sonora as a “pilot program” that will be evaluated after three months before it is implemented in other states.

“Intelligence work indicates that there is complicity, links, penetration of organized crime in some security forces . . .” the secretary said.

Durazo explained that officers who fail to pass control and confidence tests will be dismissed and replaced temporarily with armed forces personnel so that municipalities are not left without an adequate local police force.

“. . . Personnel that do meet the requirements will be trained or re-trained. In other words, [it’s a matter of] getting them to adequate standards of professionalization in order to be able to provide security services,” the security secretary said.

Durazo said that while the purging process is taking place, municipal forces will be placed under military command.

“Why a navy command, a military command? Because if we’re going to purge [officers], we need complete confidence in the people in charge of the security forces. Once they are professionalized, the security forces will return to local command,” he said.

Durazo said that criminal gangs across the country attempt to infiltrate police forces.

“All the organized crime groups make an effort to get into security forces but the president has made it very clear that there will be a very clear line that separates organized crime from the uniformed forces. There will be no uniformed crime, we’ll purge the security forces . . .”

In Sonora, where homicides increased by more than 50% in the first seven months of the year, state Security Secretary David Anaya Cooley said the presence of federal security forces is needed to “weaken” organized crime groups.

Official statistics show that there were 679 victims of intentional homicide in Sonora between January and July, a figure that includes 17 police officers.

“The deaths of these police officers are still under investigation,” Anaya said before asserting that some of the slayings were “without a doubt” linked to police complicity with organized crime.

Source: Milenio (sp), Excélsior (sp), Reforma (sp) 

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