A new security strategy went into effect last weekend in the six most violent municipalities of Guerrero, the state with the distinction of having Mexico’s highest homicide rate.
The intergovernmental security operation has been designed to guarantee public security in the municipalities that report the highest crime levels.
Originally, only five municipalities —Acapulco, Chilpancingo, Iguala, Coyuca de Benítez and Chilapa, where 68% of the state’s homicides have been reported — had been considered for the program, said Guerrero Coordination Group spokesman Roberto Álvarez Heredia.
But a sixth, Zihuatanejo, was added at the last minute after an increase in criminal activity.
The six municipalities will see mixed-base operations, meaning that they will be manned by a combination of officers from federal, state and municipal forces, 75 personnel in total.
“These forces will also include elements from the federal Secretariats of Navy and Defense, the Attorney General’s office, the Federal Police, the Gendarmerie; along with the state prosecutor’s office, the Secretariat of Public Security and the preventive police forces from each municipality,” said Álvarez.
So far this year, the five original municipalities have recorded over 800 homicides. According to data from the National Public Security System, Chilpancingo, the state’s capital, has reported more than half of those, with 554.
Yesterday, during the official presentation of the state’s security strategy, Governor Héctor Astudillo announced that a joint patrol unit consisting of Army, Navy and Gendarmerie personnel was already making rounds in the tourist zone of Acapulco.
The governor acknowledged that criminal acts in that particular zone of the city “are of high impact in people’s perception, especially among visitors.” Patrolling that area will be “supplemental” as the operation will focus more on neighborhoods such as Progreso, Ejido, Bella Vista and Colosio among others, which have been identified as trouble spots.
The new strategy will also take command over 600 Defense Secretariat officials who are already in Acapulco.
“The strategy is just beginning . . . but we expect the number of homicides to drop,” Astudillo said in a ceremony held after the premiere of a Mexico-United States-Bulgaria film called Welcome to Acapulco.
It is the second security strategy to be announced for Guerrero in the past 11 months.
The latest is part of a broader, nationwide program which will concentrate its efforts on the 50 most violent municipalities in the country.