Police in another Puebla municipality have been relieved of their duties while they are investigated for connections with organized crime.
State police and federal armed forces took control of security in Tehuacán in a surprise move during a municipal police shift change early this morning.
At least 200 local police will be investigated due to an increase in criminal activity, Governor Antonio Gali Fayad said.
The state will conduct a review of all police officers to confirm whether the force had been infiltrated by organized crime.
Officers’ identities will be checked to ensure they are on the national list of police officers, their weapons will be inspected to determine whether they have been used in criminal activity and their status checked with regard to evaluation and trust tests.
Officers will return to duty following the successful completion of the evaluations, said the state’s public security secretary.
One municipal official challenged this morning’s action, accusing the state of violating the municipality’s autonomy. Miguel Ángel Romero Calderón said the state government could have provided support for Tehuacán’s security without putting on a show.
The state has conducted similar actions in three other municipalities — San Martín Texmelucan, Chalchicomula and Amozoc — in recent months. In Texmelucan the inspection turned up more than 100 police offers who were not official registered while in Serdán the review revealed 15 fake officers.
Petroleum theft, train robberies, homicides and extortion are the most common crimes in the municipalities whose police have come under the microscope.