The mass resignation of the police force in two small towns in Chihuahua, Mexico, is a reminder of the pressures faced by local police in the rural and isolated areas most affected by organized crime.
Chihuahua state Attorney General Carlos Manuel Salas confirmed that on August 19, the entire municipal police force of the towns of Guadalupe and Calvo resigned from their posts, reportedly after receiving threats from organized crime. Salas did not specify how many officers in total made up the force, reports Univision.
The military and the Ministerial Federal Police, the investigative arm of the Attorney General's Office, have been deployed to fill the void in security, Salas said. He added that the government will seek to negotiate with the police to convince them to return to their jobs.
According to Proceso, the resignation came after several months of struggle between the town’s police and the Sinaloa Cartel. On May 19, cartel members executed the town’s head of public safety, Eleazar Salas Martinez. Then, between July 26 to July 29, cartel operatives stole the weapons of the police officers, forcing each officer to pay about $760 for the weapons to be returned.
InSight Crime Analysis
This is the second mass resignation of a police force in Chihuahua in little over a month. On July 17, the entire municipal police force of San Francisco de Conchos resigned, citing a lack of support from the state amid threats from criminal groups.
Along with Tamaulipas and Sinaloa, Chihuahua is among the top three states in Mexico most affected by violence related to organized crime. As these police resignations show, the pressures of violence and corruption can be too much for poorly paid municipal police officers, who are often forced to choose between accepting bribes or risking death at the hands of the cartels.