More than two months after the disappearance of 43 students which shocked the nation and sparked a major protest movement, Mexico’s under-fire President, Enrique Peña Nieto, has announced broad security reforms aimed at preventing the infiltration of local governments and police forces by organised crime.
Since taking up office in 2012, Peña Nieto has sought to play down the drug violence that has ravaged Mexico in recent years and divert attention to the raft of reforms his government has passed in the energy, telecommunications and education sectors.
But the disappearance and probable massacre of 43 trainee teachers in the town of Iguala in the crime-stricken state of Guerrero in late September has made it all but impossible for him to keep avoiding the issue. The fact that dozens of police officers are accused of kidnapping the students and handing them over to a drug gang under the orders of the Iguala mayor crudely illustrated the issue of corruption in local governments.
The students have not yet been found, although the government believes it may have located their ashes after suspects admitted to incinerating their bodies.
Hours before Peña Nieto gave his speech on Thursday November 27th, authorities in Guerrero discovered the burned and beheaded bodies of 11 young men dumped by the side of a road. It is not yet clear if the victims could have been some of the missing students.
“Mexico cannot go on like this. After Iguala, Mexico must change,” said Peña Nieto
The President’s plans would allow the federal government to replace local administrations if investigators find that they have been colluding with organised crime. But by focusing only on corruption at local level, critics contend, Peña Nieto ignores infiltration of state and even federal authorities by criminal gangs.
“Some of the worst instances of organised crime infiltrating Mexican governments have occurred at state level, in Michoacan and Tamaulipas,” Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope told The Independent. Mr Hope predicted the proposed measures would provoke conflict between local and federal authorities: “The mayors, especially in large municipalities, are going to put up a fierce resistance.”
Peña Nieto just recently dissolved the nation’s 1,800 municipal police forces – deemed most vulnerable to corruption – in favour of more centralised state forces, beginning in four of Mexico’s most violent states: Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan and Tamaulipas.
more recommended stories
US military to set up tents for migrants on southern border
Washington (AFP) – The American military.
Mexico to auction expensive sports cars seized from criminals
Mexico City (AFP) – Mexico announced.
Boys and girls sing the Mexican National Anthem in Maya language (VIDEO)
Lyrics that give us identity to.
Andrea kicks off the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season early
On Monday May 20th, a low.
“Chief Saidén is not going anywhere” (Mauricio Vila Dosal)
In relation to the rumors and.
Museo de la Luz (Museum of Light) breaks ground in Mérida’s La Plancha
On Tuesday May 21st, the National.
Cuba still welcomes American tourists despite Trump restrictions
VARADERO, Cuba (AP) — The battle.
Guatemalan teen dies at Border Patrol station, 5th minor to die in US custody in 6 months
PHOENIX – A 16-year-old boy diagnosed.
Cruise the ocean with gourmet food, craft cocktails and the best of the digital world
PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO — We’re.
Come to the Yucatan…
Standing barefoot on a wooden jetty.