Thursday 31 January 2013

Who needs 60 bodyguards? The governor of Morelos, Mexico

A PRD supporter during last year's election

The left-wing PRD governor of Morelos, Graco Ramírez Garrido Abreu, has announced in an informal press scrum that he is doubling the size of his security detail.

Now the governor and his family will be accompanied by no less than 60 body guards – half of them employees of the state’s Ministry of Public Security.

That may sound like a lot, but at one point the previous right-of-centre PAN governor (2006-2012), Marco Adame Castillo, had 80 police officers protecting him and nine family members. In the final days of Adame Castillo’s tenure he pulled back to having only 12 body guards and four Humvees.

During last year’s campaign, which concluded on July 1, Graco Ramirez had six former military as body guards. They signed up in February. The PRD candidate had declined a state offer of bodyguards during the campaign, despite ongoing risks to his safety from organized crime.

Ramirez Garrido is now embroiled in the “Wal-Mart scandal”, in which the global retail giant allegedly bribed officials to receive favourable building permits. Specifically, he is accused of intervening in the permissions process for the construction of a store near the famed archaeological site in Teotihuacán, in the State of Mexico.  

He has since filed suit against the ex-head of Wal-Mart in Mexico, Sergio Cícero Zapata, citing the “moral damage” of the accusations.

Morelos is to the south of Mexico City. Its capital, Cuernavaca, is a popular bedroom community for the country’s business elite.

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com

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