The police force in a notorious Mexican city was provided with slingshots and stones to replace their firearms taken away the state government.
The force was disarmed after only 30 out of the 130 members on the Alvarado city police department passed the control test. The Veracruz state public secretariat had to take the absolute step of stripping the officers of their weapons after almost 100 were deemed unfit to for service.
However, Mayor Bogar Ruiz Rosas protested against the state officials’ decision in rather creative way.
Labeling the decision to take away police force weapons “a political agenda,” Ruiz Rosas replaced the taken away weapons with slingshots and stones, in a symbolic protest.
“This can only be understood as something political and we have to be prepared to do work in a professional manner,” he said in a ceremony where he provided officers with slingshots.
Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares, the Veracruz state governor, who belongs to a rival party said the police force’s weapons were taken away because the officers were not qualified. Ruiz Rosas claimed the police department, mostly consisted of new hires, which was probably the reason for so many officers failing the test.
The decision comes amid a string of murders in what is panning out to be Mexico’s bloodiest elections to date.
The town’s local public security secretary Oscar Gonzalez Garcia resisted an arrest as federal officers were stopped by a shield of local police officers preventing them to carry out orders, regarding his involvement in the murder.
Federal agents backed down, only to return later with reinforcements and arrested Garcia and the police officers that protected him.
The state of Veracruz has been the site of terror in past few years, including disappearances, mass graves and murder of 20 journalists.
Replacing guns with slingshots may not be the best of ideas in a town laden with crimes but at least the state government recognizes the need for responsible gun acquisition, rather than giving authorities a free hand.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images