Ciudad Juárez is in the crossfire of a war of words between the state governor and the city’s mayor.
The first shot was fired by Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral Jurado, who reproached the mayor for inaction in tackling insecurity.
Corral was speaking at a press conference yesterday about increased violence in the state and in the municipalities on the United States border, but his remarks focused mainly on Juárez.
“There’s an important coordination between police forces, [but] not the one we want. We long for a better coordination in Juárez. I would like to have a permanent, loyal and sincere ally in the municipal authority . . . but the truth is we don’t always have one,” said the governor.
Corral acknowledged that violence has increased in recent months throughout Mexico, “but Ciudad Juárez requires a greater commitment from the municipal government, and there is none.”
Despite stating he did not want to “enter the ring” in a debate of Corral’s statements, Juárez Mayor Armando Cabada Alvídrez declared that a stronger state police presence was needed in his municipality.
Cabada also stated that his administration has been fully committed to work with federal and state agencies in the fight against crime since he took office.
Every Monday morning at a “very early hour,” he explained, there is a meeting with representatives of the municipal police, the state Attorney General’s office, the federal Attorney General’s office and the State Commission for Public Security.
The goal is to exchange information and to define strategies in the fight against crime, asserted the mayor.
“To the governor I say with full respect that my loyalty is to Ciudad Juárez and all of its people . . . [insecurity] is an issue of major responsibility and we all have to demonstrate what it is we are doing.”
The mayor quoted data from the municipal Secretariat of Public Security that shows that so far during his term 106 alleged hitmen hired by local criminal organizations have been arrested as a result of intelligence and investigative work, thus solving 143 executions.
Corral became governor under the National Action Party flag in October at the same time as Cabada, who ran as an independent candidate after a decades-long career as a news anchor in a local TV station he owns.
During his press conference, the governor also took a moment to celebrate a success story.
He said the arrest of René Gerardo “El 300” Santana Garza, leader of the criminal gang Los Aztecas, was “perhaps the most important detention so far in my administration.”
Santana has been linked to “many acts of violence and homicides in Ciudad Juárez,” continued Corral, including the killing of an agent of the public prosecutor’s office and a police officer.
Arrested September 15, Santana is believed to have supervised the drug trafficking and extortion activities of 250 members of the gang, which is aligned with La Línea, the armed wing of the Juárez Cartel.
Source: Milenio (sp)