State security chief Capella State security chief Capella says Playa del Carmen could be worse than Cancún.

Playa del Carmen crime has international connections: security chief

'Playa worries us. It’s a large septic tank with very unfortunate institutional and social decomposition'

International criminal groups operate alongside powerful Mexican gangs in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, according to the state public security secretary.

To combat the former, Jesús Alberto Capella Ibarra said, authorities will need to work closely with their international counterparts.

He didn’t refer to any foreign criminal groups by name or specify the countries from which international criminals come. But he asserted that they contribute to the high levels of insecurity currently plaguing the Caribbean coast city.

“The situation in Playa del Carmen worries us, it’s a large septic tank with very unfortunate institutional and social decomposition [and] a decades-old criminal presence with criminals who have forced a lot of business owners to make extortion payments,” he said.

In light of a recent spike in violence in the resort city, including an attack on a bar last weekend that killed one person and wounded 11 others, the security chief said that state authorities cannot sit idly and wait for the National Guard to arrive in September or October.

Earlier this week, the Quintana Roo government took over policing in Playa del Carmen, a move that Mayor Laura Beristain Navarrete described as “a coup d’état against the autonomy of [the municipality of] Solidaridad and an unconstitutional act.”

But Capella defended the decision to send in the state’s single-command police force.

“A 200% increase in the number of executions has already been reported. How many more corpses did we have to wait for?” he said.

The secretary demanded that Beristain support the state government initiative, charging that division and conflict between the different levels of government provides “the perfect scenario” for crime to flourish.

“I invite her to leave the quarrel and politics to one side. Let’s concentrate on . . . security. I don’t see any distortion or annoyance among municipal police who, on the contrary, were anxious to feel support and certainty in their jobs and now they have that with me . . .” Capella said.

“In Playa we’re coming in with a significant number of state officers, with a re-engineering of the municipal police, technology and vehicles . . .”

However, the security chief conceded that restoring security to Playa del Carmen “won’t be easy,” stating “it’s a surgical matter of very large proportions, maybe bigger than . . . in Cancún.”

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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