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A show of force in Playa del Carmen by state police, who arrived last night in a convoy of 30 patrol vehicles. A show of force in Playa del Carmen by state police, who arrived last night in a convoy of 30 patrol vehicles.

State takes over security in Playa del Carmen after weekend shoot-out

State police arrived Tuesday night to join local police under single state command

The government of Quintana Roo has taken over policing in Playa del Carmen but the mayor calls it “a coup d’etat.”

Governor Carlos Joaquín González announced that a single-command state police force would assume responsibility for security in the municipality of Solidaridad, effective yesterday.

The announcement came after one person was killed and 11 were wounded in a gunfight at a Playa del Carmen bar on Sunday night.

Joaquín said he was acting in accordance with the state constitution and responding to the “emergency situation” in Solidaridad.

He also noted that the single-command model has obtained positive results in other municipalities where it has been implemented, “significantly reduced the levels of corruption and collusion of authorities with criminal groups.”

State security chief Capella, left, and Governor Joaquín.
State security chief Capella, left, and Governor Joaquín.

In Solidaridad, the governor charged, local authorities have been unable to work as a team.

Public Security Secretary Jesús Alberto Capella Ibarra is now in command of Solidaridad’s municipal police. He said late yesterday there have been 92 homicides in the municipality so far this year, up from 31 last year.

Although the local chief of police said he was prepared to work with state authorities under the single-command system his former boss, the mayor, was not supportive of the state’s action.

Laura Beristain Navarrete declared that the move was “a coup d’etat against the autonomy of Solidaridad and an unconstitutional act” and would take legal action against it.

She claimed Joaquin’s decision was based on “mean-spirited interests” and was an attempt to usurp her authority.

Source: Milenio (sp), Novedades Quintana Roo (sp)

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