Mexico governor takes over local police

Jan 06, 2016, 5:05 AM EST
Cuernavaca, the capital and largest city of the state of Morelos in Mexico.
Source: Arturo Macias/flickr

The governor of Mexico's Morelos state, Graco Ramirez, has taken command of police services in 15 towns and cities following the murder of a newly-elected mayor on Saturday.

The BBC writes:

"The government will not be intimidated by organised crime," he said. The mayor, Gisele Mota, was shot dead at her home less than 24 hours after taking office in the town of Temixco. She promised to try to clean up the city, where problems associated with drugs and organised crime are rife. Her murder "is a message and a clear threat for the mayors who recently took office to not accept the police coordination scheme that we have supported and that is being built at a national level," said Mr Graco. Ms Mota, a left-of-centre former federal congresswoman, was shot dead on Saturday morning. Police shot two of the attackers and arrested two others. Several Mexican mayors were killed last year by alleged drug traffickers.

The Guardian reports:

Governor Graco Ramírez sent a post on Twitter blaming the murder of Temixco mayor Gisela Mota on the Rojos gang, which has been fighting a bloody turf battle with the Guerreros Unidos gang across the neighboring state of Guerrero. Their rivalry may have played a role in the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero in 2014. Some suspects told investigators that the Guerreros Unidos mistook the students for members of the Rojos and used local police under their control to capture them. Ramírez said at a news conference Sunday that the killing was a warning to local officials not to accept unified state control of police forces, a new system aimed at combatting corruption in local police forces. Mota – who was shot on Saturday, a day after she had taken office – had accepted state police control, though she had demanded traffic cops remain under local authority. “This is a message and clear threat to the mayors who have recently taken office not to accept the coordination plan and police framework that we have been promoting,” Ramírez said.