Wednesday, June 12, 2024

State takes over policing in Mexico’s wealthiest municipality

Nuevo León state police assumed responsibility for policing duties in Mexico’s wealthiest municipality Saturday after a request for help from the mayor.

State Secretary General Manuel González said the state police takeover of San Pedro Garza García, part of the Monterrey metropolitan area, followed a request for assistance from Mayor Miguel Treviño de Hoyos.

He explained that the state will remain in charge of security while municipal officers are subjected to control and confidence testing.

“The decree . . . that will be published says that [the takeover] is temporary, it doesn’t establish a time frame. The reality is that we think that it’s going to take about a month, a month and a week maximum, to carry out an analysis of the control and confidence tests. We will seek to do it faster in order to be able to return to normality soon,” González said.

“We think that it’s a very healthy attitude on the part of the mayor; for him to decide to [ask us] to come to help, to review and diagnose, together with him, the condition of the police force,” he added.

For his part, Treviño thanked the state government for its prompt response. He said his request followed a preliminary analysis of the municipal police force carried out in the months since he was sworn in as mayor at the end of October.

That analysis, he said, allowed us “to arrive at the conclusion that it was pertinent to ask the state [government] to support us in checking that the entire force is clean.”

The mayor, who won last year’s election as an independent candidate, said the decision to ask for assistance wasn’t related to incidents of violence in recent days, including the burning of vehicles.

Nuevo León Public Security Secretary Aldo Fasci Zuazua said the army will also collaborate with state police to carry out security duties in San Pedro Garza García while the confidence tests are applied.

Responding to news of the takeover, former mayor Mauricio Fernández Garza defended the performance of the municipal police force during his three-year administration from 2015 to 2018.

He said that in October, the month he left office, San Pedro Garza García was ranked by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) as having the lowest perception of insecurity among residents of all municipalities in Mexico.

“. . . The effort of the major [former San Pedro security secretary Antonio Lucas Martínez] in controlling the [municipal] force and in coordinating with the military was extraordinary. He was recognized by civil associations for the extraordinary results,” Fernández said.

He added that “what the people perceive, feel and believe” about security in the municipality, as expressed in opinions given to Inegi, gave San Pedro Garza García the best security perception results in Mexico’s history.

In addition to being the country’s wealthiest municipality with a per-capita GDP of more than US $25,000, San Pedro Garza García was last year deemed Mexico’s most livable city in a survey conducted by polling firm Gabinete de Comunicación Estratégica.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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