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Cancun municipal police officially stop work, secretary of public security says not giving in

Cancun, Q.R. — After the threat of a strike by Cancun’s municipal police, the state secretary for public security says they are not going to yield to pressure from the police officers.

Jesús Alberto Capella Ibarra, head of the State Secretariat for Public Security, says those police officers are only trying to maintain privileges and irregularities they’ve experienced for many years. What we really want is a change and a transformation in the safety and quality of life for the people of Cancun, he said.

Cancun municipal police began their work stoppage Tuesday morning. Capella Ibarra says that the attitudes of the police remains unchanged, pointing out that with the support of the federal agencies, patrolling in Cancun is being conducted as normal.

“Yesterday we had 27 state units in a first stage generating a police presence when the daily average of municipal patrols is 30, so there is not much difference,” he said adding “We are still prepared, designing the security and surveillance operation for Benito Juarez with the elements we have, both in the federal and state areas.”

He says that the work stoppage by the municipal police was not a surprise. “It was part of the risk because of the transformations that are being promoted.”

Municipal president Mara Lezama along with governor Carlos Joaquin have a goal to thoroughly transform the police institutions and return their members to those with the dignity that should never have been lost.

“That is our vision, but we find barriers of another nature and attitudes that are surely based on the distortions that have been built up in this institution for years,” Capalla Iberra said. “I hope that we will soon have better results and there will be a change of attitude by the unemployed elements.”

Part of their demand is the dismissal of Jesus Abarca, however, Mara Lezama said that Jesus Abarca will continue in office after he was forcefully pushed out of the building by more than 100 municipal police that were demonstrating.

She acknowledged that they do not yet know exactly what the reason was for the demonstration and stated that “it is a group, nothing more.”

Capella Iberra condemns the work the stoppage by the municipal police and in social networks said that “they will not tolerate such behaviors” adding that their behavior is serious and that legal and disciplinary regime is not negotiable.

The Tourist and Municipal Transit Police of Cancun are not part of the work stoppage. They have dissociated themselves from the protests initiated by the municipal police and continue to fully comply with their established services, said the State Secretariat of Public Security.

In a statement, the agency said that the protests of the municipal police are derived from profound changes made in terms of discipline, confidence assessment, operation and relocation.

“These events only lead to an institutional setback with police without training and without commitment to ensure the welfare of the citizens of Benito Juárez,” the unit added.

On Monday, more than 100 municipal police began a demonstration at the Public Security and Traffic Secretariat of Benito Juárez, forcefully removing a commander from the building and threatening a work strike.