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The New AG Plans to Purge Police of Organized Crime

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 14 April, 2011

(Chilpancingo, AN 13 April) Alberto López Rosas, 56, is the newly confirmed Attorney General under Guerrero’s new governor, Ángel Aguirre Rivero. Yesterday he started work by promising a cleanup of the police. In this case, it is the criminal investigation force, which is under his supervision. He made the announcement only minutes after his swearing-in. He wants the so-called “judicial police” to be economically, politically and administratively independent of the executive, the bureaucracy, legislators and politicians in general. Only then can the cleanup be successful. For example, a corrupt politician, say a leader in one of the parties, can arrange to have available positions filled by candidates of their choosing, and of course, the choice will go to someone already committed to organized crime. Unless this situation is prevented, said López Rosas, the narcos will frustrate any effort to rid the force of their influence. But ending this system of patronage will be difficult, as it is embedded in the civic culture of Guerrero.

Without referring explicitly to his predecessor in office, López Rosas also declared his commitment “not to criminalize social struggles” and the review all arrest warrants that have been issued against leaders of popular movements. From 2002 through 2005 he was Mayor of Acapulco. He said that the six years from 2006-11 were difficult for him, as he was constantly persecuted by political enemy Torreblanca and accused of all manner of malfeasance and corruption while in office.

During the six-year term of Governor, Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo more than 40 political murders, beatings and maimings took place, including the assassination of Armando Chavarría, then the president of the state legislature. The cases were shelved and allowed to get cold. One obvious implication was that someone in the government had an interest in protecting the perpetrators. This has been a sore point between outgoing Governor Torreblanca and the press, at least the papers most hostile to him. When asked about this sensitive subject, the new attorney general said that he would make sure that the cases go forward in a professional manner, without political pressure of any kind. “I am committed to making criminal investigation a more transparent process. We only need to keep certain things secret, but in all our cases we shall be as open as possible.” He promised a public status report on the political murders as soon as possible.

López Rosas also said that the process of cleaning up the ministerial police would move forward apace. “We have the instruction from the Governor, and we have the support to achieve it.” He added, “We want to retain the Tiaguis Turístico in Acapulco and we want to stimulate tourism throughout all of Guerrero, and nothing will stop us.” President Calderón provisionally reversed the decision of Gloria Guevara, his controversial Secretary of Tourism, and said the Tianguis Turístico could remain in Acapulco on the condition that all levels of law enforcement be purged of infiltration by organized crime.

The new attorney general also expressed his conviction to work with the president of the Committee on the Defense of Human Rights and with members of the communications media to safeguard free and open expression in Guerrero under the new governor.