Crime and Violence

Guerrro’s new public security chief

Major Valentin Diaz was named director of the Guerrero State Ministerial Police on October 7th. Diaz is a native of Veracruz and retired air force major who spent the past year as commander of the Delicias precinct for the Cuidad Juarez municipal police force. Diaz’s past position in Cuidad Juarez was part of an overhaul of the previous police force in which all new officers who received military training were instated. The mayor of Cuidad Juarez, Jose Reyes Ferriz, hoped to see changes in the municipal police force in both skill and equipment as he sought military training, better arms, and technological equipment support from the United States.

Prior to Diaz, Erit Montufar Mendoza was the director for the past 6 years in the extremely violent southern state of Guerrero. The Montufar administration was under criticism for various past controversies, including the arrest of an environmental activist, tensions with the Revolutionary Army of the Insurgent People (ERPI), and the assassination of various politicians, most notably the former President of the Guerrero State Congress, Armando Chavarria. On October 1st, the Guerrero State Ministerial Police were accused of assaulting organizers of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution during a public demonstration. This incident that included the accusation of assault against Chavarria’s son may have been the breaking point of support for Montufar.

The installation of Diaz, as a former military leader over a civilian police force, is part of a recent trend in Mexico. There has been an increase in militarization as more active duty or retired military personnel are instated as heads of civilian policing, as seen most recently in the states of Guerrero and Guanajuato. This move toward militarization is in hopes of a more disciplined police force and strong attack on violence and crime. Recently, just in Guerrero there have been murders of journalists, army officers, a former treasurer of the Ranchers Union, mass shootings of women, decapitations of criminals, and a strange case of missing taxi cab drivers. According to the news source, Frontera NorteSur, much of this rising violence, especially in the states of Chihuahua, Guerrero, and Guanajuato, can be attributed to mounting economic issues. These three states have endured economic collapse of local industries tied to U.S. and world economies that have eliminated jobs in legal economies and created more incentive for the rise of illicit economies.


“FNS Special Report: Majors, Militarization and Missing Money.” Frontera NorteSur. October 15, 2009.

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