CAMPECHE — The murder of a student from the Campeche College of Science and Technology Studies (CECYTEC) perpetrated by vandals last week in a city park has sparked a new crisis for the administration of Alejandro Moreno Cardenas and demands of the citizenship for heightened security.
But the governor and police officials said the April 11 murder was an isolated incident, and Campeche remains ranked as Mexico’s safest state.
The murder occurred minutes before eight p.m. April 11 in the Concordia colonia park. The victim, Kevin Tucuch Pool, 17, arrived on a motorcycle accompanied by a friend to meet his girlfriend when they were intercepted by a group of about 15 vandals who intended to rob them.
Tucuch Pool resisted the assault and was stabbed several times. Three hours later he died in hospital.
Although the State Preventive Police arrested two of the suspects, one of 19 and another of 16 years of age, the incident aroused public outrage, and through social networks there have been calls for seeking out the murderers to lynch them.
After the victim’s funeral, his schoolmates called for citizens to participate in a march to demand justice for Kevin and security in the state.
There have been complaints and criticism against the governor and his security cabinet, which only twelve days ago showed off 89 new leased police vehicles, with an investment of 89 million pesos for the Secretariat of Public Safety (SSP) and Attorney General Office (FGE).
“Campeche is the safest state in the country,” insisted the governor, while the Secretary of Public Security (SSP), Jorge Argaez Uribe, said, “Yucatan should be concerned, because it is not Yucatán, but Campeche, that is the most secure state in the country.” Of tha new vehicles, 50 were patrol cars for SSP.
In social networks some citizens have begun to incite others to take justice into their own hands, have criticized that the new and “luxurious” police units operate only in visible areas like the malecon and the city center, avoiding entering the colonies where more crime and insecurity exist.
Neighbors of the park where the tragedy occurred, reproached the authorities by saying they have long sought, without being heard, that the poor lighting of the area be remedied, policing is sent and trees and underbrush be cleared.
“How the hell are we not going to be pissed off with the fucking government?” one commenter wrote.
The opposition Morena party leader, Manuel Zavala Salazar, lamented the murder of a young student, and said the case bares the inability of the state government to protect Campechanos.
He urged the governor to move beyond triumphalist speeches and take seriously and responsibly the issue of insecurity.
“It is outrageous that the prosecutor Juan Manuel Herrera Campos and police officials focus on suppress artisans, hawkers and political activists, but when it comes to structural issues such as the violence in the state, they show incompetence and without a formal strategy to solve this problemthat has become more acute,” he said.
He warned that it is essential to pay attention to all types of violence and not “turn a blind eye” since the silence and denial can fall into the danger of starting a process of normalization of violence.
“We hope that Alejandro Moreno reconsider and understand that we are not the safest state and that his security cabinet has failed. We sympathize with parents and family of Kevin. Not one more murder,” he said.
The outrage came to the local Congress, where the deputy Ernesto Castillo, state leader of the PRI, used the platform to “friendly call not to ‘make political hay’ of what happened”.
“The governor has said: let’s work together without distinction of parties for the security of Campeche. It is true that things happen in Campeche but we cannot in any way generate a state of psychosis because Campeche is still the safest state in the country,” he said.
So far in the six year term of Moreno Cardenas, which began last September, there are already several high-impact crimes that have occurred in the state. Most are unresolved.
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