PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Q. Roo — Boosting its presence in Quintana Roo, the National Gendarmerie this week began operations in Playa del Carmen’s Solidaridad neighborhood to protect the holiday tourist season, and the crime-fighting force could expand operations to other municipalities, such as Tulum.
Members of the Seventh Division of the Gendarmerie met Thursday Dec. 3 with city officials to outline strategies of coordination, although the meeting between the commanders of the federal agency and the municipal police was very brief.
About 250 Gendarmerie troops hit the streets in Cancun last month to try to stem the wave of murders and assaults that have plagued the resort in recent months. Another 100 troops of the federal force have been assigned to the state of Yucatan, where they are helping local police in Merida, Progreso and Valladolid.
According to the guidelines of the Ministry of the Interior announced during the creation of the Gendarmerie by President Enrique Peña Nieto last year, its main focus is to act against the threat of organized crime.
However, Martin Estrada Contreras, director of the local police, said that there are no hot spots marked by the presence of high-impact criminal groups. According to the mayor, Mauricio Escalante Gongora, the presence of troops announced in mid-November is for preventive work.
Among the officers who arrived Thursday Dec. 3 at Solidaridad are men and women who are part of the tactical and response teams, although no response vehicles were present on this occasion.
Authorities said the Gendarmerie’s presence is to provide security to the tourist season in Playa del Carmen, and did not rule out going to other municipalities proposed by local and state governments, as happened in Benito Juarez.
Other divisions of the Gendarmerie are in Quintana Roo for coordinated surveillance.
According to municipal authorities, it is also expected that the security forces participating in these operations will include elements of Navy and Defense Secretariats, and state and municipal police.
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