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Jalisco: Currently the Third Most Violent State in Mexico

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“Yaqui” for Borderland Beat

The state of Jalisco, Mexico. Currently, the third most-violent state in the nation. Nancy was ordered to alter data. It was the Public Ministry (MP) Department. The police rot in Jalisco hits bottom.

The lack of effective trust controls, shortage and cuts in resources for training and professionalization, and above all the impunity of those who commit a crime, are part of the main problems afflicting most if not all police corporations in Jalisco, according to security specialists.

Nancy Gómez had been in the Jalisco prosecution service for 12 years as a public ministry until in 2019 she refused to carry out the order of her superior to alter dates and data to free a person recently apprehended for aggravated kidnapping.

For refusing to carry out undue maneuvers in an investigation folder to achieve the release of a detainee and denounce her boss, not only cost her removal from office, but also a martyrdom in which she has not left for more than two years; being the victim of harassment, threats and persecution.

Corruption in justice institutions, as well as collusion and co-optation of municipal and state police have been a constant complaint in all the states of the country and, in recent days, especially in Jalisco, where the links between police and crime they have been exposed after recent violent events, such as the disappearance of the Villaseñor family in the Municipality of Acatic.

The high number of disappearances, clandestine graves, massacres and various atrocious acts keep Jalisco, governed by Enrique Alfaro Ramírez, one of the leaders who maintained confrontations and claims, along  with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as one of the epicenters of insecurity in the country. Photo: Diego Costa, Cuartoscuro.

Specialists in security and organized crime agreed that the qualitative upsurge of violence in Jalisco is generated by the normalization of it and because there is a lack of control, complicity or police ties with criminal organizations that operate with almost total impunity.

“Organized crime in our country cannot be understood without the participation, either by omission or commission, of the authorities of the different levels of Government. And this is proven not only by ministerial investigations, but by the work of historians, “said Edgar Guerra Blanco, research professor at the Drug Policy Program at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE). 

Guerra Blanco stressed that it is not by chance that this relationship between the police and organized crime is very evident in Jalisco, as he recalled that it is one of the states where, historically, organized crime began to become visible with the Guadalajara Cartel, so the the links between criminal organizations and the police have very strong historical roots.

“It is not something new, it is something that has been around for a long time, that is why it is so difficult to suddenly deconstruct these relationships or these porosities between crime and the Mexican State at different levels,” he added.

Anuar García Gutiérrez, doctor in law and director in Jalisco of the organization México SOS, commented that criminal structures have permeated all layers of society and seek police control. “The crime in Jalisco is no longer one that only trafficked in narcotics and is now very involved in business, government and control issues or trying to control the police.”

García Gutiérrez said that there is also a severe lack of control in the municipal and state police, from the incorporation of their elements to the supervision and review of those that are already active.

“I think that if they want the police to work better, obviously they have to be trained, but they also have to act with a strong hand from within the corporation; because many of them are infiltrated by organized crime,” explained the director of Jalisco SOS.

Rogelio Barba, a security specialist in Jalisco, said in an interview with the EFE agency that the links of the municipal and state police with criminal groups is “a systematic practice of criminal organizations, their operators in crime are part of the crime authorized, institutional crime. The collusion between the bad guys and those who should protect us is exposed, which leaves the citizen security scheme in a bad way, ” he said.

Insecurity in Jalisco:

Jalisco is the third state with the highest homicidal violence, registering a total of 454 victims of intentional homicide in the first two months of 2020. In that same period, there were also four complaints of victims of kidnapping and 106 for extortion. While of 41 murders of women, most of the files are not investigated with a gender perspective, since only 19.51 percent (eight cases) were classified as femicides.

Jalisco closed the year 2020 with a total of 2,621 victims of intentional homicide, just 1.65 percent less than in 2019, the most violent year of that entity in the last five years.

The resurgence of violence in Jalisco is more than quantitative, it is qualitative, experts explained, that is to say that the events are becoming more bloody: “Although it is true that some indicators could tell us that it is decreasing a bit, the truth is that Jalisco is one of the most violent states in our country ”, explained Edgar Guerra, from CIDE.

Annual Trends

David Coronado, head of the Violence Laboratory of the Department of Sociology at the University of Guadalajara, agreed that violence has evolved and exemplified that not only are people murdered, but now they are deprived of their freedom and in some cases the perpetrators dump the bodies of their victims in unpopulated areas, rivers or near their homes, but in many other cases they secretly bury them or otherwise disappear them, which is an even more cruel violence.

The real dimension of these forms of violence is not yet reflected in the crime incidence data, since in terms of disappearances the black figure is high, according to various analysts. In addition, the bodies found in clandestine graves are not counted in the statistics of intentional homicides reported by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP).

Jalisco closed the year 2020 with a total of 2,621 victims of intentional homicide, just 1.65 percent less than in 2019, the most violent year of that entity in the last five years Photo: Fernando Carranza, Cuartoscuro

“I am convinced that the current security crisis that we see in Jalisco is not only due to the presence of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) but also that this organization, like all cartels, is going through these processes of fragmentation and diversification of its activities and that is why we see cases that are not necessarily linked to drug trafficking (such as the disappearance of people) that may or may not be directly linked to the CJNG, as we remember that this cartel has a strong presence in the state and practically nothing moves in this territory if not with the permissiveness of the CJNG”, Edgar Guerra explained.

Jalisco is the state with the highest number of bodies found in clandestine graves with a total of 433 bodies, that is, 42.96 percent of the national total. In addition, it is also the entity with the highest number of missing persons, at least 12, 343 from 1964 to April 14, 2021.

Disappearances, according to data from the National Registry of Missing and Uncharted Persons (RNPDNO), rebounded as of 2017 and it was in 2019 that the highest peak occurred with a total of 2,053.

“Suddenly we put ourselves in the first place in disappearances in the country, I think that the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Disappeared has a great lack of resources, materials, humans, technology, the lack of approved federal protocol for the search for people: sometimes they have been told many who have had to wait 72 hours to arrive for the searches, when the protocol says that the first 24 hours are the most important, and all this goes hand in hand with the lack of resources that Jalisco was left with ”, indicated Anuar García.

                                                     Disappeared Persons in Jalisco

Impunity,  Another Factor:

The impunity that is reflected from the prosecutors when conducting bad investigations and in the judicial powers that do not resolve cases is another great problem for insecurity and violence in all its aspects.

Nancy Gómez Figueroa, the Public Ministry agent who denounced corruption in the Jalisco Prosecutor’s Office, pointed out in an interview with SinEmbargo that her case is one of many that are a sign of impunity. Her story is not unknown in Guadalajara, because in previous weeks she released and various media replicated the recording and her complaint against her then boss, Marco Antonio, who had asked her to alter data so as not to prosecute the arrest of a detained minor for the crime of kidnapping.

The lawyer said that at that time she appealed to the Attorney General of Jalisco with the false belief that she would have help, but this did not happen and it was only the beginning of a series of harassments and grievances that, she said, began with isolation and workplace harassment, then the removal from her position came and later escalated to the fabrication of crimes.

Gómez reported that she also filed the due complaint with the Jalisco Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, but the only thing she has obtained, far from justice or a due investigation, has been the weight of all the Prosecutor’s mechanisms have turned against her. She also took her case before the State Human Rights Commission, but no instance has guaranteed an adequate investigation.

Desperate to find justice and looking for her case not to be repeated with one or another official, she presented before the local Congress a request for a trial against the Attorney General, Gerardo Solís Gómez, and the Anticorruption prosecutor, Gerardo de la Cruz Tovar, for labor harassment, gender violence and corruption.

Those responsible for the threats, aggression due to gender violence and constant harassment have not been punished. Her complaints have not been successful and, in contrast, she is the one who fights against the tide, first against the removal from her position and now to defend herself against false accusations and crimes that have been fabricated.

The level of impunity in Jalisco is 96.2 percent, where only four out of every 100 crimes are punished, according to the study “Findings 2019: monitoring and evaluation of the criminal justice system” by the organization México Evalúa.

“In addition to the fact that there is coordination between the federal, state and municipal authorities to work together and if you add it to the fact that the Judiciary has a very low level of effectiveness against criminals, it is a perfect storm for that organized crime can act with total impunity ”, commented Anuar García.


Police Decomposition:

At dawn on April 14, municipal police in Puerto Vallarta arbitrarily beat and detained the father of a girl who was the victim of sexual abuse by a former official of this corporation, as shown in a video released on social networks by the activist Sandra Quiñones. Three policemen were dismissed from their post for the attack, authorities confirmed a day later.

The suspension of the three preventive elements in Puerto Vallarta as well as the involvement of seven police officers for the forced disappearance of a family in Acatic are just two of the latest events that have exposed the decomposition of the police in Jalisco.

Edgar Guerra said that the problem with the police is that there are multiple and lax mechanisms that fail, inappropriate, unprofessional, there is obviously a shortage of financial resources to pay the police and also of resources for professionalization, organization, and accountability.

For his part, Anuar García reiterated that there is a serious lack of control in the integration of the police, which is recorded from the entry of the agents’ income. He exemplified that in the selection processes one of the first filters is the polygraph exam, but that is not a reliable test.

“Many bad elements remain and many good elements leave because we are using a test that is a fly in the air and we have that big problem. On the other hand, there are police officers who are disapproved of yet  continue to work ”, he stated.

Those responsible for such disorganization are local and regional authorities, specifically the State Public Security Coordinator and the State Public Security Secretary, who are “those who have to pay attention to purify the police and to make them more efficient.

“The direct control of the municipal police is the Municipal President of each city council, but they have an agreement with the State, the State Public Security can intervene at any time to take control of them, the problem is that when The Jalisco state police have intervened, because they just send them to take courses and no results are obtained.

Authorities Take the Ball:

Another serious problem is that the authorities, both state and federal, blame each other and no one takes responsibility. State authorities, where appropriate, to apply controls and the federation to strengthen preventive and state corporations.

“The Governor himself has called the President to come to attend to the security issue, but they forget that the first respondent from the municipality is the one who has social proximity and intervenes in any type of crime, that is the practice. The second to respond is the state, we have here the State Police and the famous Metropolitan Police that also does not work because it does not have resources, but effectively they would have to intervene. Later it is the National Guard, which by competences does have to deal with the issue of organized crime, but the truth is there are no intelligence actions to dismantle the groups that are dedicated to organized crime, ” García added.

The activist said that the National Guard has not been the solution either, as he assured that this recent body of federal forces already averages at least 7,500 elements in the state, but in practice it only averages 3 arrests a day.

Nobody wants to fight organized crime as such, he insisted. “The Governor called on the Federation to intervene and the Federation washes its hands. The National Guard does not arrive at the events that are of high impact and among the citizens we are the ones who are suffering from these high impact blows and the inefficiency of the authorities and it is seen that there will be no answer, no less before the elections that await us in June ”.

“I am not saying that there are no current efforts by the state and federal governments to try to dismantle this symbiosis between crime and the police, the point is that it is a complex historical problem and it is not such a simple task,” said Edgar Guerra.

The CIDE investigator said that there are several elements that must be taken into consideration regarding failures in the police, however, he considered that the main reason is that there is no political will to undertake a thorough reform of the police force, an issue that has been raised for ten years, but that was also put aside.

“A true reform project has not been taken up in the justice system in general, but in particular the police training and the strengthening of all the processes that lead from the entry of a police officer until his or her eventual exit,” he commented.

The lack of effective trust controls, shortage and cuts in resources for training and professionalization, and above all the impunity for those who commit a crime, are part of the main problems afflicting corporations, according to specialists.

“So, we have a police that we do not trust, poorly professionalized, without resource, without training, without controls, without accountability mechanisms and we have a policy that does not have the will to reform this,” concluded Guerra Blanco.

Sources: Sin Embargo


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