In light of a series of violent clashes between police and organized crime in the coastal city of Guaymas, Sonora, Mayor Sara Valle Dessens is asking the city’s residents to avoid congregating in public places.
The latest violence started on Friday afternoon when armed civilians fired their weapons at a Guaymas police station, wounding a police officer.
Then on Saturday, armed men ambushed officers who were buying fuel at a gas station. One officer was killed and three others were wounded. An employee of the gas station was also hurt.
On Monday morning, a group of individuals wearing masks hung a banner near the Jesús García Corona primary school in Guaymas. It bore the names of several men who are allegedly responsible for violence and crime in the city and urged the federal government to take action against the supposed criminals.
It read: “Dear citizens of Guaymas, here are those who are truly responsible for the wave of violence in the port, those who kill every day and poison our children with drugs . . .”
Police quickly removed the banner.
The warnings from the mayor came the same day that tens of thousands of National Guard troops are being deployed around the country, including 1,800 in the state of Sonora.
Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich Arellano said the federal troops will support the efforts of state and municipal security corporations to fight crime and violence.
But General Luis Rodríguez Bucio, commander of the new security force, is warning Mexicans that a decline in violence and insecurity may not come as quickly as some would like.
“Because of the magnitude of the task, it’s important that we ration our short-term expectations,” he said. “However, in the medium and long term, our expectations for the National Guard are very high.”