The murder of three police officers in Zacatecas raises the alarm for violence against corporations in Mexico

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An element of the Army guards the area where three police officers were killed in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, on January 11.
An element of the Army guards the area where three police officers were killed in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, on January 11.GENARO NATERA (Cuartoscuro)

Three policemen appeared murdered this week in Sombrerete, Zacatecas, in northern Mexico, in a new event of violence against corporations, which leaves scandalous figures. Since the current government began, headed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 1,440 agents have lost their lives due to attacks by criminals, most of them at the municipal level.

According to the organization Common Cause, which began the count with the change of administration, Zacatecas stands out as one of the states most affected by the phenomenon. In 2020, at least 26 police officers were killed in the State. In 2021 there were 36 and in the first four weeks of 2022 there are already 11, the region with the most cases, followed far behind by the State of Mexico, with three.

In Sombrerete, a municipality that borders the State of Durango, the bodies of the agents appeared in a private car, a sand-colored truck abandoned on a road on the outskirts of town. State authorities point out that the bodies had wounds caused by a firearm. According to local press reports, their faces were covered with adhesive tape.

The mayor of the municipality, Alan Murillo, released a message of solidarity with the families of those killed and asked that “misinformation” about what happened not be shared. It is not even three weeks since Murillo gave recognition to veteran agents of the municipality for their “work and dedication.” Murillo then pointed out: “It should be remembered that Zacatecas was one of the states where the most police officers died in 2021.”

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Little is known about the possible causes of the attack, not even by way of rumor in the local tabloid press. One of those killed, Óscar Felipe Vera, was the deputy director of the municipal corporation, or at least he was until last November, according to official press releases. In the regional media NTR it is noted that Vera had left the post two weeks ago, although no reason is noted.

Whatever the cause, the attack reflects a dire situation. This same month, three other municipal police officers were killed in the town of Fresnillo, 100 kilometers southeast of Sombrerete, ambushed while on patrol. Before, between January 14 and 15, three others were killed in Zacatecas and Guadalupe, a municipality in the capital’s metropolitan area. All belonged to municipal corporations.

The situation of insecurity in Zacatecas transcends the police forces. In 2021, the entity registered 1,632 murder victims, according to the account of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, the highest number since there are records. According to the latest installment of the National Urban Public Security Survey, prepared by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, Inegi, Zacatecas capital and Fresnillo appear on the list of cities where a higher percentage of residents consider living to be unsafe. Fresnillo heads the ranking.

Executions in the style of organized crime, the appearance of bodies hanging from bridges and armed attacks between criminals and criminals against the population deepen a crisis whose size is growing. The challenges and challenges to public life follow each other, case for example of the abandonment of 10 corpses in front of the Government Palace of Zacatecas on January 6.

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The situation and any possible resolution also points to one of the prominent families of Morena, López Obrador’s party. The governor of the state is David Monreal and the mayor of Fresnillo, one of the most important municipalities, is his brother, Saúl Monreal. Both are brothers in addition to the leader of Morena in the Senate, Ricardo Monreal, one of the possible candidates for the succession of López Obrador.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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