Federal security forces have increased patrols and their community presence in the municipalities of Empalme and Guaymas, Sonora, the Secretariat of Security and Citizens Protection (SSPC) said Wednesday.
The communities are the test areas for a pilot project begun on September 2 that temporarily replaces municipal officers who do not pass control and confidence checks with armed forces personnel.
The SSPC stated that marines, National Guardsmen and state police have reinforced vigilance in high-crime areas, as well as in areas where drugs are presumably sold.
Additionally, security personnel have increased their community presence with vehicle patrols and officers on foot around schools and in town centers in order to deter crime.
“In coordination with municipal police we have set up drunk driving checkpoints and vehicle search points in various locations of the city. We have tightened the response time for the activation of a code red and optimized the sectorization of the municipalities with immediate response groups,” said the SSPC in a press release.
In Empalme, citizens have been in mourning since September 10 after criminal gang hitmen took a man from a house before setting it on fire with molotov cocktails, killing an 8-year-old boy and seriously injuring two other occupants.
As part of the agreements with the local police forces, the SSPC is currently carrying out evaluations to purge corrupt officers.
Beginning September 30, local police will also attend training in human rights, crime prevention, protection and the moderate and rational use of force.
“The government of Mexico reaffirms its commitment to maintain the effort and deployment of all its capabilities, and also reiterates that the coordination of responsibilities of the three levels of government will allow for a significant decrease in crime rates,” said the SSPC.
In early September, National Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval stated that Sonora’s homicide rate was soaring due to a 40% shortage of police.
Source: Reforma (sp)