By Chris Covert
A total of 81 disgraced municipal police agents in La Laguna resigned their jobs Thursday despite being offered training and tests that could have reinstated them, according to Mexican news accounts.
Last Friday 158 municipal police agents and clerks from Gomez Palacio and Ciudad Lerdo in Durango were detained after disarmed by a Mexican Army unit, placed on six buses and then transported to Centro de Readaptacion Social Numero 1 in Durango city to face investigation and possibly charges. Among those detained were the Secretaria de Seguridad Publica (SSP)or police chiefs of Gomez Palacio, Victor Hugo Cordero and Ciudad Lerdo SSP Andres Balderas Perez.
According to a news report posted on Animal Politico website, however, 64 municipal police agents remain in detention with the two SSPs facing charges and with six other unidentified municipal police agents under arrest warrants. A total of 91 police agents were released Wednesday.
The 91 police agents were offered as a condition or retaining their employment, military training by the army as well as confidence tests by the Mexican Army,but, apparently all refused. The Mexican Army is currently operating La Laguna's 066 emergency system, and operates patrols in the area.
It has been reported in Mexican press that an undisclosed number of military and police operatives have been deployed to La Laguna to aid with a security situation which has been characterized as deteriorating, including Mexican Army, Naval Infantry, and Policia Federal.
|Diputado Rodriguez Ochoa|
Thursday, according to a news item posted on El Siglo de Durango news daily, a Durango state deputy, José Antonio Rodriguez Ochoa, said that La Laguna has been forgotten and abandoned by state authorities.
According to the news report José Antonio Rodriguez Ochoa said: "The state of Durango state is not acting with the strength that such a complicated situation requires."
The deputy als referred to a recently passed Ley de Extincion, or Law of Forfeiture, the resources of which have not been diverted to use in confidence and control tests used to decide whether a police agent can retain his or her job.
According to a news item posted on the website of Yancuic news agency about ten clerks and police agents appeared at the Gomez Palacio Palacio Municipal or city hall Thursday to inquire about their employment status and any possible severance. According to the municipality human resources director, Jose Herrera, police agents asked about reassignment in other areas of the municipality while the security situation is normalized.
Herrera was quoted as saying a severance of MX $2,000.00 (USD $158.25) was offered for voluntary resignations, and that was all that could be discussed. The subtext in the news report is that Gomez Palacio may not have sufficient funds to offer severances to all the resigned police agents.
Meanwhile in Durango city Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto visited Durango state Thursday to promote his latest social initiative, the Cruzada Nacional contra el Hambre, or National Campaign against Hunger before he leaves for a tour in South America.
According to a news report posted on the website of El Siglo de Durango, President Pena Nieto said in a brief radio interview that he was "aware"of the situation in La Laguna, and that violence may not be quelled but in the medium term. In the interview Pena Nieto failed to specify a time frame for ending violence in La Laguna.
According to a news item posted on El Universal news daily President Pena Nieto is planning to attend a meeting of the Communidad de Estados Lainamericanos y Caribenos (CELEC) or Community of Latin American and Carribiean States to held in Santigo in Chile. President Pena ia also planning a brief visit to Uruguay.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com