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Michoacán state police and federal forces are patrolling Zamora. Michoacán state police and federal forces are patrolling Zamora.

Federal, state forces take control of Michoacán municipality

Links found between Zamora's police and organized crime

Police and the military have once again taken over policing duties from a municipal force suspected of having links to organized crime.

Last Tuesday, officers from the municipal police of Acapulco, Guerrero, were disarmed and ordered off the job and this week their counterparts in Zamora, Michoacán, suffered the same fate.

The decision was taken during a meeting in Zamora of the Michoacán Coordination Group, which is responsible for coordinating security efforts by the armed forces and federal and state police.

Governor Silvano Aureoles Conejo told those present that “we will not allow Zamora to be an alcove of criminal groups.”

He also assured Zamora Mayor Martín Samaguey, who dismissed 600 officers, that the municipality would be fully supported until peace is restored for all residents.

Police were also let go this week in Lázaro Cárdenas, where local authorities dismissed 400. However, there was no word on whether federal and state security forces would provide security in that municipality.

Before traveling to Zamora, located about 170 kilometers northwest of the state capital Morelia, Aureoles revealed that the Zamora police chief was suspected of having links to the Caballeros Templarios criminal organization, known in English as the Knights Templar Cartel.

The police chief, whose name was not revealed, is accused of being an associate of Servando Gómez Martínez, a former Caballeros Templarios leader who was arrested in February 2015.

According to the state Secretariat of Public Security, Zamora is currently going through its worst-ever crisis of violence and insecurity.

Statistics from the National Public Security System (SNSP) show that Zamora is one of the 10 most violent municipalities in the country, in terms of per-capita homicide rates.

Over the past two years, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), considered Mexico’s most powerful and dangerous criminal organization, has taken control of the municipality, according to a report published today by the newspaper El Financiero.

The newspaper reported yesterday that one issue for the both Zamora and Lázaro Cárdenas is that local authorities are tied to the Morena party while the state is governed by a Democratic Revolution Party administration.

The two have their differences.

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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