Thursday, 11 November 2010

Mexican town kicks out police chief

PEOPLE power in the Mexican town of Tepoztlán has seen the local police chief kicked out after an increase of violence, reports Narco News.

The mayor of the town, which is located 80 kilometers south of Mexico City, removed the police commander and seven of his subordinates after a mobilization from residents.

Now the security of Tepoztlán is in the hands of citizen brigades, bringing back a period from the 1990s when the crime rate was lowered dramatically due to the departure of the police.

Between 1995 and 1999 the town was governed by the customs of the people. During those four years Tepoztlán declared itself an autonomous municipality and expelled all the authorities—including the police—after they joined forces with real estate companies to try and build a golf course in the town.

At that time the security of the town was dependent upon the residents, and according to some of them, there has never been a safer period.

This time, on October 30, the people mobilized to close the highway to Cuernavaca and all of the entrances to the town in response to the police corruption.

During the mobilization they forced the Institutional Revolutionary Party mayor, Gabino Ríos Cedillo, to fire Fuentes Bahena and his subordinates, many of whom were ex-police from Jiutepec. Tepoztlán will continue to have some police officers, but they are subject to supervision by the residents themselves.

The mobilization against the Tepoztlán police is happening as other places in the country are organizing for similar reasons.

Says Narco News: "Perhaps now the people will relive Tepoztlán’s golden years when there were no crimes because there were no police to cover up or defend the crimes."