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Traffic Snarled by Police Demonstrations

By: Staff | Real Acapulco News - 06 November, 2010

(Acapulco, NA 6 November) Units of the city’s traffic police protested yesterday in the steps leading up to the Municipal Palace (on Cuauhtémoc by Parque Papagayo), to demand that arms and bullet-proof vests be issued to them as a protection against organized crime. The previous day four of their colleagues were murdered by drug gunmen in Vicente Guerrero Boulevard, near the suburbs of Renacimiento and Zapata. They were unarmed and unprotected from the attack. Demonstrators also asked for life insurance as a job benefit, so that their widows and children will not be left without support in case they die in the line of duty.

The police participating in the demonstration also demanded the firing of local Public Safety Director Héctor Paulino Vargas López, whom they accused of failure to send support to the traffic police who were murdered, after they had requested backup support over their radios.

From 11:00 am yesterday on, around 100 members of the Traffic Police corps arrived at the city’s office, abandoning the streets of Acapulco. Traffic snarled for hours along Cuauhtémoc and the Costera, and normally frisky bus and taxi drivers were left to their own devices, causing over 10 accidents in different parts of the city.

After 40 minutes or so of protesting, a committee was received by the Mayor, José Luis Ávila Sánchez, who spent about three hours with them in meeting. Then, at 2:45 the protesters left the city office to go punch out for the end of their shift. The mayor committed to supply the police with armored vests, arms, and to provide $500,000 pesos each to the families of their four fallen comrades. Protests are likely to continue until some sort of life insurance is provided for traffic patrolmen.

In a separate statement, the mayor expressed his deep regrets for the murders of the four policemen by criminal gunmen. In addition to arms and armored vests, the city will provide 20 new patrol vehicles and radios for patrolmen, all of which are expected to arrive by early December.

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