jueves, febrero 09, 2006

The New Zihuatanejo

I don't know what happened to my previous post about the crime wave and the New Zihuatanejo, but it was an angry message expressing my discontent with the municipal authorities and denouncing the pollution, land thievery, chaotic development, ecocide, corruption, and general deterioration in the condition of our bay, beaches and environment. In short, I was angry about the deteriorating conditions, including the increase in narco-related murders and the use of hand-grenades in attacks against police. Anyway, the day after I wrote it there was a supposed grenade attack on the house of the municipal director of public security at a home he rents in Ixtapa not far from my mother's home. The current director is an unpopular political appointee named by the mayor, but in reality he was handpicked by the state's secretary of the government (who is arguably the second most powerful public servant in the state). Two grenades were thrown over the wall of the director's house just minutes after he had left around 10:00 at night. Strange coincidence! Unfortunately he forgot to let the policeman guarding his residence in on the plan and the policeman was hurt. It is noteworthy that the house was the home of an alleged narco who was murdered there last year and found floating dead in his pool. The son of the home's owner was also murdered in a shooting in broad daylight at the lagoon "Las Salinas" near a police station and the Navy base, but no one was apprehended in either murder. Maybe that has something to do with how a police chief can afford to rent a million dollar luxury home? Just have the owners offed? Local perception is that this event was not what it appeared to be, but instead was staged, probably by the intended "victim" himself, to make it appear that he is a target of the narcos instead of one of their collaborators, thus enhancing his credibility, with the added bonus of making him appear brave by continuing to reside in the same house. Several strange facts of this event are what lead to this perception, including the history of the house's previous occupant. First, the fact that the director had left just before the event at a late hour on . It wasn't reported if he had family living with him who also accompanied him, which would be stranger still at that hour of the night, but other than the policeman there was no one else on the property or in the home. Also, it was reported that when the Mexican army's explosive experts, who were inspecting the scene of the event and gathering evidence, tried to enter the bedroom of the director since it overlooked the area of the explosions, they were prohibited by local officials. Most strange was the report 2 weeks ago of the arrest of 9 gunmen in 4 cars apprehended by the police and army at a checkpoint in Ixtapa. The director allegedly tried to release 2 of the gunmen, but an anonymous call by one of his policemen alerted the army who rushed to the police station to demand the presentation of all 9 detainees to the judge for charges. Fortunately the army got its way. However, two of the 4 vehicles seem to have disappeared, too. We can only hope the military steps in and takes over local public security and that the government finally gets serious and purges all the corrupt police and judges so that Mexicans stand a chance in the fight against organized crime.

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