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Governor-elect Promises Calderón a “Clean” State Police

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 17 March, 2011

(Mexico City, El Sur 17 March) Governor-elect Ángel Aguirre Rivero committed to president Felipe Calderón yesterday that in the fight against organized crime his first priority will be cleaning out corruption in the state police, as well as modernizing and training a more professional force. The two met yesterday in the presidential residence known as “Los Pinos.” The governor-elect’s party, the PRD, has long demanded such a reform from the current governor, Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo, and from PRI government before him.

According to El Sur, a newspaper with an editorial policy strongly antagonistic to the current governor, the state police has been used “as a repressive force, not at the service of the public, but rather to carry out the bidding of those in power.” It adds, “The many pending and unresolved cases of assassinations of politicians, journalists and those struggling for social justice have been treated with disdain, in favor of letting the criminals get away with impunity.”

The increase of violence in the state of Guerrero now makes the upgrading and cleaning up of the state police forces a top priority, and one that puts the liberal governor-elect on the same page as the conservative president of the country. The lamented the recent news of so many drug-related murders in Zapata and nearby communities, especially the killing of a 60-year-old grandmother and her two granddaughters in what was seen as revenge murders.

In a related story, the state secretary of public safety, retired general Juan Heriberto Salinas Altés, released his study that in three months, the dispute between competing drug groups has taken the toll of 160 executions and murders. The cruelty of the crimes, according to the general, shows that the motives are to instill terror in their rivals. He cited especially the “Cartel Independiente de Acapulco” or CIDA. Guerrero is in fourth place among the Mexican states for drug-related violence, due largely to the production of marijuana and to its status as Mexico´s largest grower of poppies. According to the general, three organized criminal groups are vying for hegemony in Guerrero. Two of them are of local origin, and are the ones that have been causing the majority of the violence and terror. “For lack of strong leadership, they are confronting each other, and this is creating a lot of victims of violence,” he said.

The general added, “The counter force against the criminals is comprised of Federal Police, the Army, the Navy and the State Police,” he said, “and we are getting results: 300 have been arrested, including six local drug bosses, and we have confiscated 200 weapons.”