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State police inspect weapons belonging to Zongolica municipal police. State police inspect weapons belonging to Zongolica municipal police.

State police in Veracruz disarm, relieve from duty 40 municipal officers

State authorities have intervened in a least nine municipal police forces this year

State police in Veracruz took control of two municipalities on Wednesday, disarming and relieving from duty at least 40 municipal police officers.

Law enforcement from Papantla and Zongolica will be sent to the state capital Xalapa for reevaluation.

Veracruz authorities have intervened in at least nine municipal police forces this year, and taken control of at least six.

Papantla and Zongolica are both locally governed by the Democratic Revolutionary Party. The party’s state leader, Sergio Cadena Martínez, believes the Morena state government’s intervention was tied to politics, and Sunday’s elections.

“This is clearly an intimidating and desperate act that seeks to try to suppress the spirit of citizen participation … It’s a cowardly government, a government that is afraid, and takes advantage of institutions,” he said.

Zongolica has one of the largest community police forces in the country, which continues to operate. It is composed of 1,200 elected, local indigenous people, who patrol unarmed.

Sources: El Universal (sp), El Sol de Orizaba (sp), El Mundo de Orizaba (sp)

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