PROGRESO — Elements of the elite federal Gendarmeria joined state and local police in the hunt for low-level drug dealers on Progreso’s west beach area over the weekend.
The Gendarmeria officers, who were patrolling the Progreso malecon over the weekend after arriving recently in Yucatan to crack down on organized crime, took action in the afternoon Sunday Nov. 22, when they received a report of drug dealing in the west beach area.
Municipal police received a report that in the west beach two people were conducting a drug sales operation, so they went into the beach, but the alleged drug dealers fled.
The federal police, who were on the fishing pier, also received the report and went to the beach area, where they met with municipal and state officers, but found no one.
A boat operator described the alleged drug dealer and customer, and said they fled to the west. The drug case was reported at 5 pm Sunday.
About the same time, in the CTM hotel, located in the west beach area, state and munipal police carried out an operation of investigation after receiving a report of someone screaming in a hotel room. Three agents entered the hotel and went through all the rooms, but found no foul play.
The federal Gendarmeria, an anti-organized crime force created by President Enrique Peña Nieto last year, arrived in Yucatan earlier this month. The presence of about 100 Gendarmeria officers in Progreso, Merida and Valladolid is intended to try to maintain Yucatan’s relatively low crime rate in the face of growing organized crime activity in the Peninsula.
At the same time, about 200 Gendarmeria officers hit the streets in Cancun to try to stem the tide of murders and assaults that have plagued Quintano Roo this year. Many of the murders have been attributed to organized crime groups who are fighting a turf battle for control of Cancun’s drug trade.
In Progreso, the Gendarmeria presence is felt on the malecon, where several federal agents patrolled the tourist area and talked with tourists and beach goers. They explained that their presence is to strengthen security in the port city.
At the time the Gendarmeria agents roamed the boardwalk, many passersby were still on the beach. Some bathed, others were sitting on the sea wall or in the beach palapas.
Visitors who viewed patrols passing thought they were an anti- drug operation, but officials clarified that they are criss-crossing the city to tighten security.
Source: Diario de Yucatan
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