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Federal Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo has offered a guarantee that organized crime will eventually be defeated in Guanajuato, Mexico’s most violent state in 2019.
Speaking on Sunday at a ceremony to open National Guard barracks in the municipality of Pénjamo, Durazo acknowledged the high levels of violence in Guanajuato – there were more than 3,500 homicide victims last year – but asserted that authorities are “gradually” improving the situation.
“Unfortunately, the issue of insecurity won’t be solved from one day to the next. I don’t want to be pessimistic but the problem … grew over many years – decades – and dismantling all this is not easy,” he said.
According to a 2019 study by consultancy firm Lantia Consultores, 11 criminal groups operate in Guanajuato including the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, which are engaged in a bloody turf war in the state over the control of fuel theft, kidnapping and extortion.
Durazo described the dispute between the two criminal groups as “ferocious” but pledged that federal security forces would put an end to their operations.
There is a “historic presence” of federal forces in the state, including the National Guard, the navy and the army, he said.
“We’re going to solve the [insecurity] problem; that’s the important thing,” Durazo said. “Little by little, the number of [criminal gangs] is being reduced.”
Taking center stage at the inauguration ceremony among several military and government officials was President López Obrador, who said that 18 facilities for the National Guard have either been completed or are under construction in Guanajuato.