The violence in Zacatecas has left eight municipalities with little or no police.
Five of them – Monte Escobedo, Tepetongo, Apulco, Cañitas de Felipe Pescador and El Salvador – have no police, according to the newspaper universal.
Agents have abandoned their jobs due to high levels of violence in the northern state, where criminal groups such as the Sinaloa Cartel and the New Generation Jalisco Cartel operate.
Alejandro Arce Pantoja, a security official in Monte Escobedo, said the municipality had not had officers for 11 months. The municipal police chief, who previously led an eight-member force, was assassinated earlier this year, while the former mayor fled Monte Escobedo in May after receiving threats from organized crime.
Arce said the new municipal government wants to re-establish a police force but cannot find anyone interested in joining.
“… Being a municipal police officer is not attractive to people,” he said.
A state police detachment is currently in charge of public security in Monte Escobedo, located in the southwest of Zacatecas, on the border with Jalisco.
In Cuauhtémoc, where 10 bodies were left hanging from an overpass on Thursday, the six municipal police officers did not show up for work after learning of the gruesome discovery, Mayor Francisco Javier Arcos Ruiz said. He said one had resigned and the other five had asked to go on leave.
Arcos said universal that when told that the police did not show up for work Thursday morning, he went to the highway overpass to deal with the crime scene himself. He also said he was patrolling the streets of Cuauhtémoc on Thursday with Civil Protection personnel.
In Loreto, which like Cuauhtémoc is located southeast of Zacatecas on the border with Aguascalientes, the agents did not report to work this week. The town‘s police chief and two officers were kidnapped by armed civilians last week. All three were found dead Monday in Asientos, Aguascalientes.
In Villa Hidalgo, also south-east of Zacatecas but on the border with San Luis Potosí, several municipal police officers recently resigned due to threats from organized crime. The police station, which was attacked earlier this month, closed last week due to understaffing.
Zacatecas agents have good reason to fear for their lives. Thirty-five police officers have been murdered in the state this year, eight more than in 2020.
With reports from El Universal