Sunday, June 16, 2024

Cops without guns patrol Acapulco; disarming operation called ‘publicity stunt’

More than 90% of Acapulco’s municipal police returned to work yesterday just one day after federal and state forces took over policing duties in the resort city, disarming local police due to suspected infiltration by criminal gangs.

But the municipal police remain unarmed as army personnel and state authorities continue to review the 1,500 weapons they seized.

Officers were held for more than eight hours following the navy-led disarmament operation but after 10:00 pm Tuesday, those found to have no links to crime groups began to filter out of the Acapulco police (SSP) headquarters.

The newspaper Milenio reported that officers were patrolling the streets yesterday as normal, albeit unarmed, while administrative officials carried on with their usual work at SSP offices.

The city’s police chief, Max Sedano Román, who was also detained Tuesday, has also been released as has the city’s transit police director.

The other four commanders who were detained, including two for “probable responsibility in the crime of homicide,” remain in custody in a prison in Iguala and 18 officers are still under investigation.

The SSP headquarters were still surrounded by military personnel yesterday evening, Milenio said.

Acapulco Mayor Evodio Velázquez Aguirre yesterday reiterated that the municipal government would cooperate with investigations and support the military’s actions.

In contrast, Alejandro Martínez Sidney, president of the Confederation of Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Concanaco) in Guerrero, described the operation to take control of security in Acapulco as a publicity stunt that would have little impact on reducing crime.

“We are certain that it’s just a show for the media that won’t help at all to reduce the crime rates being recorded in the port [city], because with this measure the criminals just change their operational strategy and continue offending,” he told the newspaper El Financiero.

Martínez also said it was “suspicious” that the operation took place just four days before the mayor will leave office.

He said it was regrettable that due to this “dramatic” measure the United States government via its embassy in Mexico City issued an updated travel warning to remind U.S. citizens against traveling to Guerrero due to high crime levels.

Cruise ship companies will also remove Acapulco from their itineraries, Martínez added.

“If they really want to attack the infiltration of criminal groups, this operation should extend to the state Attorney General’s office, [other] prosecutors’ offices, the state [Secretariat of] Public Security, ministerial investigative police, the [National] Gendarmerie, the Federal Police and even the army and navy because they are also infiltrated and nobody is investigating them,” he declared.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Financiero (sp) 

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