Two more police officers in Chilapa, Guerrero, were murdered on the weekend, bringing to four the number assassinated this month in one of Mexico’s most violent communities.
The operations director of the municipal police and another officer were reported missing late Saturday by relatives after they failed to return to their homes.
The two had left Chilapa Saturday morning to attend a weekly class in Chilpancingo where they were studying for their law degrees.
Their dismembered bodies were found Sunday morning in Chilpancingo inside the vehicle in which they had been traveling.
Chilapa’s police chief was assassinated April 5 and another officer was shot and killed five days ago just 50 meters from the municipal police station.
The municipality, located 54 kilometers east of Chilpancingo, has been enveloped in gangland violence since the Ardillos and Rojos gangs began fighting over territory four years ago.
At least six security operations have been implemented, but with little effect. In one of those, in 2016, 3,500 military personnel and 250 police converged on the community, a municipal security force deployment unmatched by any other in Mexican history.
A report by El Universal earlier this month said nearly everything has been tried to combat the violence but everything has failed.
Chilapa was one of 50 municipalities targeted by the federal government for a special strategy. An evaluation by the non-profit México Evalúa found that eight months later Chilapa have moved up 15 places to become the fourth worst municipality on the list in terms of homicide numbers.
Before the strategy was implemented, it was 19th. And it has since been named by another, non-profit security-focused organization as having the second highest homicide rate in Mexico — 191 per 100,000 residents.
The director of the Centro Morelos human rights organization says there has to be complicity between the authorities and the crime gangs. Manuel Olivares cited the February kidnapping of seven people, five of whom were artisans from Veracruz.
They were taken from the center of the city without anyone moving to stop them. And later their dismembered remains were transported in plastic bags by vehicle to a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, which is currently patrolled by 500 soldiers and nearly 100 police.
How could that happen in a community with such a sizable security force, he wondered.