Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mayor Clara Luz Flores: A woman with a mission to defeat organized crime

Saturday, August 20, 2011 |

The young female mayor of the Monterrey suburb of Escobedo told Efe that organized crime can be defeated in her city and throughout Mexico, although she acknowledged that the attacks she has suffered after purging the local police force have made her fearful.

"Of course I'm afraid. It's just that I have the opportunity and the privilege to transform that fear into actions," said Clara Luz Flores, who was elected in 2009 for a three-year term.

The pregnant mayor began her tenure by purging her entire municipal police force, a move that has endangered her own life and that of her family members.
"The toughest problem we all have in Mexico, including me and my family, is crime," she said, blaming that situation on the "corruption among the authorities."

"My own (police) department threatened me when I tried to clean it up. The day of my inauguration, several municipal officials were stopped by police patrols with rifles they shouldn't have had, and that's when the threats began," Flores said.

The cops "wanted to keep working like they had been," in other words, at the service of organized crime, said the mayor of a city of more than 350,000 inhabitants that is part of the metropolitan area of Monterrey, capital of the northeastern state of Nuevo Leon.

"One of the steps I took was to purge 100 percent of the police force" and put a military man at the helm, said Flores, who recalled that a few weeks later she was the target of an armed attack while traveling in an armored SUV.

Several others would follow. In the most recent incident, a group of suspected cartel hit men set fire to one of her bodyguards' SUVs while it was parked outside her home.

"First, the ammunition that was inside the SUV began to explode, but then emergency management officials informed us we should leave the house because a lot of smoke was getting in, which is very toxic. At that moment, I was very afraid for my baby," Flores said.

But the threats and attacks did not affect her decision to rid the police of organized crime influences.

After purging the force, she doubled the new officers' salaries and provided them with bulletproof vests, housing assistance and access to medical services.
She also implemented a program designed by the police force of Castellon de la Plana, Spain, that prioritizes ongoing officer training and seeks to expand citizen participation in security efforts.



The mayor said criminal actions by Los Zetas, considered Mexico's most violent drug cartel, have decreased in Escobedo and the incidence of some crimes has fallen by up to 70 percent as a result of the measures she has adopted.
She said she is convinced the wave of violent crime that has left more than 40,000 people dead in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 can be brought to an end.

"What I want to show is that it can be done. If things changed for the worse, they can also change for the better. If there's a will, there's a way," she said, noting that the current high level of violence in Nuevo Leon did not exist four years ago.

A total of 1,200 organized crime-related murders have been committed in that state so far this year, up from 263 in 2009.

The violence tied to a turf war between the Gulf cartel and its former allies Los Zetas began to spiral in 2010, when 828 deaths were reported.

EFE






Additional links:

Narcos pidieron controlar la seguridad en Escobedo: alcaldesa









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11 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know who is doing her stats but from what I read, Nuevo Leon is the most violent state in Mexico right now. She did right with the salary increases and that is what it will take to reduce corruption in Mexico but increasing salaries from $600 to $1200 a month is for sure not a cure. And hiring ex-military implies inbred Sinaloa influence. Cartels will pay them and additional $2000 for being a look out. She will probably end up like the young girl that became the police chief in a rural town near Juarez. She will be in the US begging for asylum. More than likely though, she will get shot like the other female police chief in the state of Chihuahua. But purging 100% of the police force, damn, that really is shooting first and asking questions later. I guess she said, "you are all guilty because I said so" and tuff luck if you are a good guy. Wow, what would happen in the US if a mayor did this. Mexican men generally do not like women with strong personalities. Y'all think this pretty Latina is "going to get those Zetas in line? I'm not gonna be hanging out with her and if she loves her kids, she better send them to grandma's house.

Anonymous said...

She's cute. I hope she don't get hurt.

Anonymous said...

At least she try and in my opinion right way.

Anonymous said...

I would think that all the police in that town were on the take...she got balls and alot of Mexican men could learn a lesson from her...get off your ass and take back your country from the drug scum....

Anonymous said...

Wow, I wonder what her thoughts are on what happened to Mayor Nava. She will be in the US in a week if she is not already here asking for asylum. She has spit in the face of satan, he will show no mercy.

@ 8:14 Am...You dumb ass. What do you expect the men to do? Revolt with rakes, hoes, and broom sticks. They would be powerless against the military, federal police and cartels and that is who they would face. She doesn't have balls, she has a big mouth that will cost her and her family their lives.

A Mexican politician better know his/her enemy well before they make any moves. She did all this stuff from a Mayors position. She is not a Governor who has state police protection. And the military will only be there for a while before they move on.

Yes, she is pretty, smart, and delivers the right ideas. Her approach is to brash and will not be tolerated by her enemy. She spit in satan's face. If she doesn't run like the female police chief outside of Juarez, she will be next Sundays Pizzole Soup. The most ruthless of all is Z 40. He has been known to wipe out towns and kill anyone that has ever spoken to his enemy. She is firmly in his sights.

Anonymous said...

when you think about it its not a bad plan. talk shit to cartels survive some attacks and then come to the us to seek asylum.

Anonymous said...

@11:44, You are the problem. Spit in satans face? No, she spat in the face of a bunch of little dick beaners making tons of money off of addicts, and even more from extortion and kidnapping their own people. Maybe you should call them "Satans little retarded nephew". No doubt they are evil people, but to be truly evil takes an intellect that most of these guys lack. And yes, take up rakes and shovels. Take up anything you have. Everyone in Mexico knows someone who is in the Cartels, and they don't say shit. Even the guys hacking up bodies sign their names on their little posters. This shit wouldn't fly in the US for two reasons. One, most in the US love this country and the freedoms it affords everyone, including THE ILLEGALS WHO SUCK IT DRY. Second, we are armed to the teeth. It's impossible to pull this shit off in a wide spread rampant way, when every hillbilly has more AR-15's than the bad guys! Those of you who dramatize what these tacky sons of bitches do, need to get your heads checked! Rise up Mexicans, and take your beautiful country back!!

Anonymous said...

@Anon 11:44
Maybe she, like me, believes that there are things worth dying for. Trying to rid your community of predatory scum would to me be one of those things. It seems a slightly more ballsy position than to be willing to die for the few pesos that these predatory scum pay to bribe a policeman to dishonor themselves by protecting scum rather than innocent civilians. Just saying Mexico seems to be a country short on honor at the moment and long on greedy scum so maybe they need a few martyrs to inspire them. Perhaps musicians will compose odes honoring them in the future.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:20 PM...I do like the way you think. I have been following cartels since 1997 when I was following the serial killings of women in Juarez. I do get a little brash with my predictions. You talking about her being willing to die for something she believes in was a very valid point. Thank you.

@6:39 PM...Why are you trying to talk as if you are John Wayne, "tacky sons of bitches." and spit, spat, what is really the difference other than I have never heard anyone say they spat on someone but I have heard I will spit on them lots. What is the derogatory "little dick beaners" comment about. That shows you are a racist trailer park trash country bumpkin that we all know to skip their posts. Oh yea, now I remember, John Wayne did say spat in one of his movies. Hey, why don't you and your hillbilly buddies take your AK 47s to Nuevo Leon and tell Z 40 what you think of him. Do it! I'm sure he would run.

Anonymous said...

She and her family are in my prayers. May she walk with mighty angels. God bless her for the courage to stand for her country, her values and morals, and for the future of the children of Mexico.

El_Regio said...

Those of you comparing this woman to the police chief apparently have no clue that there is a difference between the two. Also worth mentioning is that one is the leader of a well established municipality and the other is just a police chief of a hole in the wall dirt town. Clara Luz has round the clock security that accompanies her everywhere, which is not suggesting they won't attempt to take her life. The Mayor of Garcia NL has had 2 attempts on his, yet he continues to go after the cartels, unlike other mayors in the area.
So please get your facts straight.

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