Friday, June 14, 2024

Mayor cites heat, bad eating habits among reasons for Acapulco violence

The mayor of Acapulco this week named hot weather and bad eating habits among the factors that cause violence.

Abelina López Rodríguez was responding to a question about crime rates in the Guerrero tourist city, where 20 people have been killed so far in 2022. “The heat can be a factor for violence [as can] bad eating habits. When someone has bad eating habits and eats more carbohydrates, they get energized,” she said.

However, she also mentioned some other factors more traditionally linked to violence. “Extreme poverty and the issue of gender can also be factors for violence, and lack of employment.”

The Morena party mayor also pointed to the record of her predecessor, Adela Román Ocampo, as a contributor. “I received the Security Ministry (SSP) with barely anything … zero certified police officers … there was an abandonment on the issue of security,” she said.

Guerrero state police in Acapulco
A joint federal, state and municipal initiative in November put more security personnel on Acapulco’s streets, and 600 more are due soon. SSP Guerrero/Twitter

The Guerrero tourist city has seen a spike in crime since López took office on October 1, but the mayor observed that there hadn’t been a single homicide in the last 11 days.

Following criticism of her remarks about the reasons for violence, López said she’d read a BBC article linking high temperatures to violence and offered an apology.

A security strategy called Refuerzo 2021 (Reinforcement 2021) was announced on November 8. The plan coordinates federal, state and municipal security forces to enable more patrols and establish road checkpoints in high-crime areas. But attacks on the workers most exposed to extortion multiplied: eight transport workers were killed, and three service workers were murdered on the beach in López’s first 100 days as mayor, the newspaper Reforma reported.

López said there were 100 National Guardsmen and 100 soldiers in the city and that she would call for more help from the federal Public Security Ministry.

Officials announced two weeks ago that more than 600 military personnel were to be sent to the city to bring crime under control.

There were 1,165 intentional homicides in Guerrero in 2021, according to data from the National Public Security System (SENSP).

With reports from 24 Horas and Sopitas

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