The mayor of Tepalcatepec, Michoacán, where nine presumed hitmen of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel were killed in clashes on Friday, repeatedly refused offers of security support from the state, according to government officials.
Michoacán authorities told the newspaper El Universal that Felipe Martínez Pérez refused to sign agreements to certify municipal police and to send state police to Tepalcatepec on five separate occasions.
But the mayor says it came down to a lack of funds to pay for it.
Mayor Martínez – who this week accused both state and federal authorities of leaving the municipality to fend for itself – said he refused to sign the agreements because the state government was asking for around 350,000 pesos (US $17,800) in exchange for its support.
That amount, Martínez explained, represents about 35% of Tepalcatepec’s entire annual security budget of just over 1 million pesos.
“What happened is that [they wanted] to charge us 35% of the security fund, and if we pay that how are we going to get by? That’s the problem,” he said.
The mayor also said that federal authorities have asked the municipality to provide land for the construction of barracks for the National Guard but he claimed that a lack of resources made it impossible for his government to comply with the request.
“We don’t have the money,” Martínez said, explaining that municipal authorities haven’t found anyone willing to donate or lend land to the federal government either.
“. . . It’s not that I’ve denied [the request], it’s just that there’s no way [to satisfy it],” the mayor said.
Source: El Universal (sp)