|English | Español||March 10, 2014 | Issue #67|
Mobilization in Tepoztlán Expels Local Police Chief
The Case is Part of a Recent Wave of Mobilizations Against Police in Mexico
By Fernando León
Lucino Fuentes Bahena, ex-Tepoztlán police chief.
Foto DR 2010 La Unión de Morelos.
Later, Fuentes Bahena was removed from his position in Jiutepec after a protest from subordinate police officers. The police protest was held over their chief’s alleged link to drug trafficking groups that he was supposedly protecting. His dismissal as chief of police in Jiutepec occurred in September 2008, and now a little more than a year later he is again being fired from his position, this time in the town of Tepoztlán.
However, the people of Tepoztlán know how to manage their own security. Between 1995 and 1999 the town was governed by the customs of the people. During those four years Tepoztlán declared itself an autonomous municipality and expelled all the authorities—including the police—after they joined forces with real estate companies to try and build a golf course in the town. At that time the security of the town was dependent upon the residents, and according to some of them, there has never been a safer period.
This time, on October 30, the people mobilized to close the highway to Cuernavaca and all of the entrances to the town in response to the police corruption. During the mobilization they forced the Institutional Revolutionary Party mayor, Gabino Ríos Cedillo, to fire Fuentes Bahena and his subordinates, many of whom were ex-police from Jiutepec. Tepoztlán will continue to have some police officers, but they are subject to supervision by the residents themselves.
The mobilization against the Tepoztlán police is happening as other places in the country are organizing for similar reasons. Perhaps now the people will relive Tepoztlán’s golden years when there were no crimes because there were no police to cover up or defend the crimes.
- The Fund for Authentic Journalism