Monday, October 20, 2014

Ten days before deadline for nationwide police vetting, federals seize local departments in Guerrero, Edomex

A six year plan to clean up corrupt police forces is still not over

Guadalajara -
Mexican Federal Police and army troops have taken over policing duties in 12 counties in Guerrero and one in Edomex (the state of Mexico), National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido García announced Sunday.

More such substitutions are expected, as municipal and county authorities prove themselves unable to enforce the law and contend with widespread drug cartel infiltration.

Many police officers under suspicion are being transported to the Sixth District Military command headquarters in another state to examine them for participation in "illicit acts," according to Rubido, and to protect citizens from law enforcement abuses. The commissioner said Mexico had solicited monitoring assistance from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).

The developments occurred three weeks after 43 university students detained by local police went missing in and around Iguala, Guerrero. Their fate remains unknown, but no one disputes that they were handed over to narco executioners in the service of Guerreros Unidos.

Almost two years ago leaders of Mexico's three main political parties pushed back the deadline for completion of trustworthiness and competency certifications of the nation's estimated 450,000 local, state and federal police officers.

The process, a linchpin of the drug war strategy implemented by former president Felipe Calderón, began in January 2009 and was supposed to end on Jan. 3, 2013. But local officials were far from finishing, so the federal congress moved the deadline to Oct. 29, 2013. Mexico extends time to weed out corrupt local cops. As that deadline loomed close, they postponed it yet again, to Oct. 29, 2014. The time consuming and expensive personnel evaluations include both polygraph examinations and extensive background checks.

As the nation seethes over the missing college students, and center right National Action Party (PAN) senators in Mexico City prepare to open debate in the federal congress this week over a rarely used legal procedure which would oust the left wing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) government in Guerrero, there will be few who support further extensions in local police vetting.

Even some PRD deputies are now urging resignation by Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero. "We believe in his honesty, and we know he's not working with organized crime, but we can't ignore the demands of many that he step down. Guerrero's governmental institutions are not functioning, and his decision to resign could begin to heal public anger, as well as aid the search for the missing," said one PRD senator who indicated he is ready to join a legislative effort to declare a political power vacuum in the Pacific coast state. Under Mexico's constitution, the federal senate could chose an interim governor from a list of three names offered by president Enrique Peña Nieto, who would replace Aguirre and then call for statewide elections. The interim governor would himself be unable to seek that post.

Over the weekend Guerrero's state court administrative office insisted that despite the presence of corrupt zones such as Iguala, the majority of its 81 counties are functioning normally. Judges there voiced opposition to any interference by Mexico City.

PRD's national chairman Carlos Navarette, whose term at the helm of Mexico's main leftist party began Oct. 5, resisted the call for a federal declaration of the "disappearance of lawful authority in Guerrero," arguing that it is a PAN ploy in advance of approaching local elections in 2015.

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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