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Mayor Ramos Mayor Ramos asked crime gangs to respect the lives of Valparaíso residents.

Zacatecas mayor pleads with crime gangs to stop killing innocent people

'If you must live recklessly fighting for an incomprehensible cause, please do so at a distance'

A Zacatecas mayor is begging crime gangs to leave innocent citizens alone.

Eleuterio Ramos, the mayor of Valparaíso, directed a public message to criminal groups this week.

“I am a man of law, convinced … that the strength of the institutions of the Mexican state is the best route. I never thought it would be necessary to say it … I’m going to emulate the president of the republic and beg the leaders and members of organized crime groups that they respect the assets, the personal integrity and the lives of Valparaíso residents,” Ramos said.

“If you all have decided to live recklessly, fighting for an incomprehensible cause, permanently risking your life, do so at a distance from the communities and our families,” he continued. “Respect our desire to move forward with work, with effort, promoting values and guaranteeing a harmonious coexistence.”

Ramos also called on residents to avoid associating with criminal groups as much as possible, avoid addiction and keep a productive attitude, so that the community can keep moving forward.

His discourse included a request to the federal and state governments as well: he “respectfully called upon” the government to “achieve real coordination” to address the problem. From his perspective, the strategy so far has not been successful.

At least 11 communities in the Valparaíso municipality have been abandoned by residents in the face of threats and attacks by organized crime. Recently, fear of gangs has left a number of municipalities in Zacatecas without a police force in a state plagued by violence. And with 96 homicides per 100,000 residents as of October, the state is the most violent per capita in the country.

President López Obrador announced a new security plan for the state two weeks ago in which another 460 federal troops are being deployed.

With reports from Milenio

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