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60 Police officers fired in Mexican resort city of Cancun amid mounting corruption allegations, deteriorating security

November 20, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
60 Police officers fired in Mexican resort city of Cancun amid mounting corruption allegations, deteriorating security

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At least 60 municipal police officers in Cancun have been dismissed from their positions since June as the city fights to maintain security in the popular tourist beach area in Mexico.

Some of the officers had been soliciting bribes from tourists and engaging in other criminal acts. The area is also subject to thriving cartel operations.

The announcements of the officers’ firing came during a press conference carried out by local public security director Darwin Pac Acosta. The security director attempted to minimize cartel violence and paint an image of security to maintain the number of tourists visiting local beaches.

Local press outlet La Jornada Maya reported that out of a police force of over 1,300 officers, Acosta and his staff terminated 60 of them.

The officers are alleged to have extorted bribes, among other criminal behavior. The officers were forced to resign or face a further inquiry. Several officers are being investigated by the state attorney general’s office for crimes.

The Public Security Director indicated at conference  that at least 60 policemen in Cancun have been dismissed since June

According to Breitbart Texas, Acosta’s statements indicated that violence has gone down in the area after security officials launched a new strategy in June.

The security conditions are primarily a problem with the perception of crime in the area is under the country’s average. However, when tourists and citizens are exposed to a crime scene, the perception of safety is destroyed.

The once quiet resort city of Cancun and the nearby area of Playa Del Carmen have seen a spike in violence that resulted in a travel warning issued by the U.S. Department of State in August.

Cancun saw 181 homicides so far in 2017. Only 61 murders were reported in 2016. In 2015 the city had 37 killings, and in 2014 the city had 21 homicides. Playa Del Carmen has seen 54 murders this year. Last year, the town reported 11 homicides.

Mexican law enforcement officials blamed the spike in narco-related murders to this year’s apprehension of Leticia Rodriguez Lara, the woman who is known as “Doña Lety” or “La 40.” She allegedly operated a criminal organization affiliated with the Sinaloa Cartel.

Her organization operated a growing network that transformed into an incredibly violent cell working in or near the lucrative tourist areas of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

Doña Lety’s organization was heavily involved in street-level drug dealing, extortion of bars and restaurants in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, and also conducted several attacks against rival groups or civilians who did not pay the charges that were demanded of them.

Following the arrest of the female drug lord and the apprehension of some of her allies, violence exploded as competing groups battled over control of the lucrative beach resort area and surrounding drug markets.

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