In a surprising move, authorities in Mexico wrested control of Acapulco from the police force on Tuesday. The Guerrero Coordination Group, comprised of various Mexican federal and state departments, oversaw the operation.
According to a statement, the overtake occurred due to growing suspicion of the police force being compromised by criminal elements.
Acapulco Police Force Disarmed
The operation culminated in the disarming and detainment of every officer in the Acapulco Police Department. While most of the officers are under investigations, two officials have been charged with homicide.
According to Roberto Álvarez Heredia, the Coordination Group’s spokesperson, the operation was rather far-reaching. The group was comprised of organizations such as the Marines, the federal and state police and overseen by the National Secretary of Defense.
The disarmament included “weapons, ballistic vests, cartridges and communication radios,” according to Álvarez Heredia.
Acapulco’s Fall from Grace
In the 1960’s, Acapulco was a favorite beach resort of many Hollywood-types. However, as the years wore on, the region became more dangerous due to the presence of warring gangs. Drug cartels, local gangs and general crimes rates have been a concern for some time. Last year alone, the seaside region has a homicide rate of 103 per 100,000. That’s the highest rate in Mexico, and one of the highest in the world.
Most recently, the region has been subject to travel advisories by US officials, advising citizens avoid the state of Guerrero. The ongoing and dangerous power struggle currently defines the region. Between the Guerrero Coordination Group, controlled by the Mexican government, and the various criminal elements, the region is far from safe at the moment.
What’s Next for Acapulco
The once-popular seaside resort is currently without a police department. All officers are now being subject to background checks and investigations. In the interim, the Coordination group will serve as the police force for the reason. That means that various armed forces including state and federal police have assumed control. Notably, this also means that the Marines are performing functions as police.