Durango governor claims La Laguna violent crime in down in last 10 days subject logo: MEX2013
Posted by: badanov

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By Chris Covert

Less than 10 days after most of their police force were eliminated, the municipalities of the Durango side of La Laguna are beginning to restart their security programs, even as political concerns about security in Durango and Coahuila states are being aired, according to Mexican news accounts.

A news report posted on the website of El Siglo de Durango news daily said that 40 police trainees from Durango state and four police agents from the Durango state Direccion Municipal de Seguridad Publica have volunteered to go to La Laguna to begin assisting in security operations.

The 40 volunteers represent more than half the class of 75 students from the Durango city based Academia de Policia, said Comision de Seguridad Publica Lidia Hernandez.

Concerns about security in La Laguna from Durango state legislators have increased in recent days, enough so that a meeting has been scheduled with Durango state Fiscalia General del Estado (FGE) or state attorney general Sonia Yadira De la Garza Rosso Antonio Fragoso and the state Chamber of Deputies Comision de Seguridad Publica del Congreso del Estado to address those concerns.

For his part Durango governor Jorge Herrera Caldera was quoted in a separate El Siglo de Durango news report posted Wednesday that the levels of violence which increased by 40 percent in December, 2012, have fallen back to pre-December levels, even with a near total lack of police protection in Ciudad Lerdo.

Governor Herrera said that the reduction of crime rates has taken place in the last ten days with the assistance of federal and state security forces in the area.

Meanwhile in Torreon, Coahuila a business group, Consejo Lagunero de la Iniciativa Privada (CLIP), has criticized Governor Herrera because Mexican Army forces from the 10th Military Zone are covering only the five municipalities of La Laguna, and requested that the governor accept patrols from the VI Military Region whose patrol responsibilities include the 12 other municipalities comprising the Coahuila side of La Laguna.

According to a news report posted on the website of yancuic.com news website, the group's leader, Eduardo Castañeda, said the request would place all of La Laguna under a single military command.

In previous iterations of security programs in La Laguna, the VI Military Region was assigned command of all security operations in the region before the security program, dubbed Seguro Laguna, was cancelled November 30th, 2012.

Castañeda charged that Governor Herrera has prevented army units from the 10 Military Zone from expanding its patrol area of responsibility to include municipalities on the Coahuila side of the area.

Castañeda also said it was impractical to deal with an army command hundreds of miles away, in this case the III Military Region in the port city of Mazatlan in Sinaloa, when the VI Military Region, based in Torreon just across the border, could assume patrol duties in the region.

Coahuila PAN state senator Guillermo Anaya Llamas criticized Castañeda's concern about the desirability of a single security command in La Laguna, charging that Castañeda was not interested in the problem of insecurity in La Laguna. He also characterized the security problem in La Laguna as "complicated".

According to the translation, Anaya Llamas was quoted as saying, "We see that the president does not have the slightest interest in solving the problem of insecurity in La Laguna."

Meanwhile the Durango Vice Fiscalia, based in Ciudad Lerdo, reported that a firefight between a combined security patrol and armed suspects took place on a road between Ciudad Lerdo and Tlahualilo Saturday afternoon, killed one armed suspect and forced a second suspect to surrender.

According to a news item posted on the website of El Contexto de Durango news daily, the patrol comprising Mexican Army, Polica Estatal Acreditable (PEA) and Direccion Estatal de Investigacion (DEI) units was passing near ejido Santa Cruz de Lujan when the patrol was fired on. Security elements dismounted their vehicles in response and then returned fire, killing one.

The dead suspect was identified as Manuel Arturo Meraz Gaytan, 23. Lucio Gonzalez Villa, 36 was detained at the scene. One .45 caliber pistol was seized and several packages of marijuana divided for retail sale were also secured.

The unit continued on its way to ejido Jauja where it came upon a vehicle with two unidentified dead men inside. Both men had been shot to death.

The report notes that combined patrols such as the one which fought the two armed suspects are now standard in La Laguna.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com

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