An investigation led by an elite group of former federal police officers who infiltrated the ranks of the police in Celaya, Guanajuato, the city that a year and a half ago was considered the most violent in the world, revealed that 150 officers were connected to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel (CSRL), the two most influential criminal groups in the state.
This was revealed by an internal investigation that 30 former federal agents began months ago in the bowels of local corporations, which concluded at the end of August with 150 municipal agents singled out for their alleged links to organized crime.
The executive secretary of the Guanajuato State Public Security System, Sophia Huett, confirmed that 150 elements had been discharged from the municipal corporations because “they were criminals in uniform. Somehow they got into the corporation and usurped a police uniform .”
“Not only is it enough that you discharge them, what has to be provoked is that those people who betrayed a commitment or, well, disguised themselves as policemen, go to jail. It was not just a matter of putting them aside, but that whoever betrays the vocation pays the consequences as a criminal, because it is nothing more than a criminal disguised as a police officer,” she pointed out.
The infiltrated elements discovered that several of their colleagues provided information to drug traffickers about operations against them and some were even part of their security group. “Most of the police in Celaya at the time were involved, I dare to say that several colleagues were uniformed criminals, that’s the right word,” one of the undercover agents told Milenio news.
However, another factor that could have contributed to the collusion of the authorities with organized crime, according to the results of the investigation, was the lack of funding and the scarce resources available to the police to deal with crime.
A municipal colleague said ‘well, I entered the force out of necessity, to have a job, we were neophytes in the police matter, they gave us a baton and that was our work instrument and it was to beat up people.
The agents who worked undercover had training in terrorism, drug trafficking, and cyber intelligence. Some were trained in the United States by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and others in El Salvador and Colombia. Some even participated in the capture of Servando Gómez Martínez, alias “La Tuta”.
According to an analysis by Insight Crime, an organization specializing in drug trafficking analysis in Latin America, another “incentive” must also be taken into account for police officers to decide to collaborate with criminal organizations. And it is that, in 2021, at least 53 agents were killed in Guanajuato, more than in any other state.
“Agents have been gunned down in their homes, attacked with explosive devices, and their personal information has been openly disclosed on government platforms,” the organization said.
“Some efforts have been made to improve the situation of the police. In 2021, the city of Celaya increased salaries by 3.5% for an average of just over $17,000 Mexican pesos, less than $1,000 dollars a month. Although this is more than the average police salary in Mexico, it is clearly not enough to make up for the killings, death threats, and continued lack of resources,” they concluded.
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