In a visit to Chihuahua to talk with local and military officials about the security situation in the state, Pres. Calderón acknowledged that the Mexican military is key in confronting the nation’s powerful drug cartels, but reiterated that troop deployments cannot be a long-term strategy for addressing drug violence that has hit Cuidad Juárez particularly hard over the past year. While lauding soldiers’ efforts in restoring order to the embattled city, he also called on local officials to step up the process of rebuilding the local police forces, currently under the control of the military.
For his part, Juárez mayor José Reyes Ferriz reports that advancements are being made in the process of evaluating and reforming the municipal police force. He says that the city of 1.4 million currently has 1,900 active police officers currently undergoing evaluations, and that he hopes for the number of “trustworthy” police officers to reach 3000 by the end of the year. 700 officers have recently left the force, he said, and are being replaced by graduates of the city’s new police academies. Reyes had said the previous week that troops will need to remain in the city at least until September, at which point municipal police forces will undergo a final evaluation to determine their readiness to take over security duties in the city. At that point, he hopes to begin to slowly draw down military control over public security in the city.
“Seguirá el apoyo del Ejército en Ciudad Juárez.” El Financiero May 7, 2009.
López, Lorena. “Acelerar recomposición de policías, plantea Calderón.” Milenio May 15, 2009.
Bustamante, Angélica. “Plantea Reyes a Calderón temas torales de Juárez.” El Mexicano May 16, 2009.