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Mexico City's new police chief, Omar García. The city's new chief, Omar García.

Mexico City police chief quits after just 10 months

His replacement is a former senior officer with the Federal Police

Mexico City Security Secretary Jesús Orta Martínez announced his resignation on Thursday after only 10 months in office.

Orta made the announcement in a statement posted to Twitter on Friday.

“Over these 10 months, through consistent, deep efforts, we’ve been able to give the police the capacity it needs to address insecurity in the city,” said Orta.

Orta’s tenure was marked by several high-profile cases, including the murders of Norberto Ronquillo and Leonardo Avendaño. Crime statistics in Mexico City also continued an upward trend during his 10-month tenure.

In May, the city’s attorney general described the situation as “a crisis.”

The Mexico City government said Orta resigned for personal reasons, but the Citizens’ Movement party said that he was pushed out because his security policies had not been successful. In a press release, the Citizens’ Movement celebrated his resignation.

“Allowing Jesús Orta to spend more time in a position with such importance for the residents of the city would have been an even more serious mistake,” they said. “And even though removing him was the right decision, it is worrying that the removal happened without a recognition of the former secretary’s failure to guarantee security in the country’s capital.”

Orta has been replaced by Omar García Harfuch, the head of the Mexico City investigative police. He was sworn in as chief on Friday.

“Omar García Harfuch is the right person with the police experience needed to develop new police capabilities and return peace to the city,” said Orta.

The grandson of the man who was national defense secretary during the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre, in which security forces killed at least 300 students, García, 37, started his law enforcement career in the Federal Police in 2008.

In 2009, he was among a group of Federal Police officers that was investigated by the United States government for involvement in crime, according to information released by Wikileaks.

According to the magazine Proceso, his name turned up in connection with the Guerreros Unidos crime gang, suspected in the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero in 2014.

His contact information was found in a notebook belonging to gang leader Sidronio Casarrubias.

García has been decorated twice by the Federal Police for merit. He has a degree in law and a master’s in criminal law.

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

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