Mexico disarms local police in Pacific tourist destination
Posted 11:39 a.m. Wednesday
Updated 11:41 a.m. Wednesday
MEXICO CITY — Federal and state authorities have detained 60 people and disarmed local police infiltrated by organized crime in the Pacific coast tourist destination of Zihuatanejo, state authorities said.
Guerrero state security spokesman Roberto Alvarez said authorities also detained and disarmed 42 men who were uniformed and carrying weapons, but weren't accredited police officers, and three actual police officers were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of links to organized crime. He said an additional 15 officers who had failed confidence tests, but were found to still be armed, were also detained.
Relatives of some of the detained men protested and clashed with soldiers outside police headquarters.
The army and state police will take over public safety duties in the city until the entire police force can be investigated, Alvarez said.
"I believe there is a big weakness with municipal police and I believe mayors have to take more responsibility for their police," Guerrero state Gov. Hector Astudillo said Wednesday in an interview with Milenio television.
Zihuatanejo has been hit hard in the past year by the violence that has engulfed much of the state.
Through the first quarter of 2017, the city's 30 murders were double what they were during the same three months last year.
State police and the military have taken over policing duties in a number of cities around the country where local police were disbanded because they were so thoroughly infiltrated by organized crime.