State police have detained & disarmed the entire police force of a town in western Mexico where a mayoral candidate was killed .The Michoacán state police force said "all the officers of the Ocampo municipal police force were detained for [an] internal affairs investigation." pic.twitter.com/emVpMoZdkV— Trad American Angel™ (@RightWingAngel) June 26, 2018
The entire police force in a Mexican town was arrested over the assassination of a mayoral candidate.
All 28 officers comprising of Ocampo town’s police force were cuffed and questioned in an internal investigation regarding the murder of local mayoral candidate Fernando Angeles Juarez.
Juarez campaigned against corruption before he was killed at his residence by unknown shooters.
The police officers, with their hands cuffed behind their backs, were potentially being investigated for code of conduct violations and involvement in Juarez’s murder.
Juarez’s death was the latest in the string of assassinations leading up to Mexico’s bloody general elections. In the past 10 days, three politicians including Juarez have been killed, with one, Omar Gomez Lucatero, murdered on the same day.
Lucatero was murdered in the rural town of Aguililla where drug gangs are on the rise.
Following the bloody murders, Ocampo’s police force of 28 and their local public security secretary Oscar Gonzalez Garcia were arrested by federal authorities.
“All of the officers are being interviewed in accordance with the law,” a secretariat of Public Security statement said.
Garcia was accused of Juarez’s murder by local authorities. His involvement in the fatal attack was only firmed, when he resisted an arrest as federal officers were stopped by a shield of local police officers preventing them to carry out orders.
Federal agents backed down, only to return later with reinforcements and arrested Garcia and the police officers that protected him.
Following his untimely demise, Juarez’s party called out the government to provide protection to candidates in what has proven to be Mexico’s bloodiest elections so far, with 120 candidates murdered in all local contests.
Juarez’s nephew, however, accused his uncle’s opponent, Osvaldo Maldonado, for the murder, who vehemently denied any involvement.
Some security analysts believe the increased violent attacks could be a result of record number of candidates competing in the elections. More than 15,000 candidates are campaigning for over 3,400 posts available.
“Secondly, this speaks to the changes in criminal groups. With the evolution of crime, it becomes much more important to gain control over territory, over local governments,” said Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope.
However, local police being complicit in crimes could to be a valuable asset, with gangs using the authorities as look outs while they commit offenses like fuel theft.
This pairing-up with the local security authorities could lead gangs to kill candidates that may oppose to theses practices and forbid them if they attain power and the increasing numbers of murders and assassinations certainly support this theory.
Ever since the government’s crackdown on drug traffickers in 2006, Mexico has seen more than 200,000 people be killed.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez