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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

“Respectable” citizens offered Morelos governor Graco Ramirez a deal with organized crime

Mexican politicians? Everyone's a cynic.

The governor of Morelos, Graco Ramirez, claims to have received a "very clear message" from organized crime groups seeking a deal, but, by his own account, has made it clear: "I will not make a pact with any group."

At a press conference yesterday the state governor acknowledged that in recent days he has been invited to discuss the issue. In response, he decided to "deal with it openly" by telling the media.

“Some people – in parentheses very ‘respectable’ – invited me to have a sit-down and share a meal to find a resolution to the problem,” he said.

The desire to come to an accord is hardly a secret. Roberto Carlos Yáñez Moreno, a legislator with the local Social Democratic Party (Partido Social Demócrata, or “PSD”), has used social media to argue that a pact is necessary “for the good of all”.

Governor Graco Ramirez, who is with the left-leaning PRD, said that internal intelligence reports confirmed that criminal groups were bothered by the fact that "I have not made a pact with any of them, and I will not."

This, he said, was one reason for the recent rise in crime and violence. It may be why he recently upped his security detail.

The governor also expressed concern with vigilantism, as is being seen in parts of rural Guerrero, where local populations have taken the law into their own hands, even setting up popular courts in an attempt to control crime.

“Taking justice into your own hands can never be justified,” he said, adding that the hooded vigilantes in Guerrero presented “a bad precedent that must not spread.”

Specific to Guerrero, on January 31st, after being plagued by crime for weeks, community leaders in four municipalities in the Costa Chica region set up a “peoples court” and put 54 individuals on trial, including four women and three children.

The meeting in El Mesón, in the mountainous Ayutla de los Libres municipality, was under tight security and lasted over three hours, involving at least 500 people, half of them armed. At that hearing members of the self-defense movement simply presented the accused before the people, and it was agreed that on February 22nd there would be a second meeting, this time in the town of Tecoanapa, to deliver evidence, after which the court will issue its verdict.

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




Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
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