Fuerza Conago personnel in Acapulco. Fuerza Conago personnel in Acapulco.

New force accused of rights violations

Fuerza Conago recovered 13 stolen vehicles in its first two days in Guerrero

 The deployment in Guerrero this week of the new interstate security force Fuerza Conago was not welcomed by some: complaints of harassment and human rights violations have been made by a non-government organization.

But one of the authors of the project says it is already producing results.

Colectivo Regeneración accused the force of ordering motorists and bus passengers to exit their vehicles and identify themselves with an official document.

“They were forced out of their vehicles and off transit buses and lined up in several rows with their IDs in their hands, in violation of several articles of the constitution,” said the group’s spokesman.

“What’s that about? What stolen vehicles are they looking for in buses?” asked Martín Hernández.

The first task assigned to the security force created by Mexico’s state governors was to pursue vehicle and auto parts thieves in Guerrero, where they arrived this week, supported by the Army.

About 500 police with experience in auto theft began operating Thursday and according to Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera, currently the chairman of the Conference of Governors, known as Conago, has already recovered 13 stolen vehicles and arrested 19 thieves.

But Hernández is concerned about what he sees as harassment.

” People forced off vehicles at gunpoint, stopping traffic . . . we don’t know when a state of siege was declared for them to force us to identify ourselves.”

He charged that Fuerza Conago was operating illegally because the constitution forbids the invasion of one state by another. As such, the new interstate force has no constitutional foundations and is “in violation of the law.”

Mancera said when the force was announced last month that it did not violate the law because it would operate under a collaboration agreement. Nor did it require federal approval, he said, although it would be in communication with the Federal Police and the Army.

Source: Reforma (sp), El Universal (sp), Periódico Central (sp)
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