Open warfare between Mexican police factions


Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

Hundreds of Mexican federal police officers from two opposing groups clashed in Ciudad Juarez over the weekend over allegations of corruption within their ranks.

On Saturday, a three-day protest turned into a riot between two opposing groups of the federal police department. The confrontation was triggered by corruption allegations against federal police Cmdr. Salomon Alarcon Romero. Alarcon’s critics say the commander has participated in kidnappings, killings and extortion in Juarez, which borders U.S. city El Paso, Texas.

The protest started Thursday after the arrest of an officer who critics say was falsely accused for drug crimes, the state-run news agency Notimex reported.

Local media said about 200 heavily armed officers — some wearing ski masks — demonstrated in front of the La Playa hotel, which houses some federal police offices. The group denounced Alarcon and other commanders as corrupt, while calling for a full investigation by the Mexican military into Alarcon’s alleged ties with drug traffickers. More than 100 supporters of Alarcon pushed back against the accusers, defending their commanders and deflecting misconduct allegations.

Several police officers suffered injuries during the protest, according to Notimex. Alarcon fled in an armored car…

The mayor has said in the past that a major contributor to the problems in Juarez has to do with Mexico’s judicial system…Many suspects who are arrested are never charged, Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz said.

“It’s just catch and release,” Ferriz said.

Ferriz is a very brave man. I think he sleeps in a bulletproof vest.

Folks I know in Ciudad Juarez hope he lives long enough to clean up the corruption in their city.

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