A municipal police director and 13 agents in Chihuahua were arrested last week in Ciudad Cuauhtémoc after their facilities were raided by state investigators.
Director Efrén Peñaflores Rodríguez was arrested along with 13 others, primarily members of his personal security detail, according to local reporting. They were accused of various administrative irregularities and possessing firearms without the proper credentials. The raid occurred on November 28. The director locked himself in his office and refused to open the door at the time.
During a press conference on Tuesday, State Security Director Oscar Alberto Aparicio Avendaño said Peñaflores Rodríguez and his personnel would not be able to return to work because none were registered in the National Public Security System, which requires police to complete a state accreditation.
The weapons certification process was put in place to prevent unqualified personnel from becoming police officers via improper or corrupt hiring practices.
Breitbart News reported extensively on the volatile area around Ciudad Cuauhtémoc–plagued by violence from El Nuevo Cártel de Juárez and the Sinaloa Cartel. The combatants are engaged in a bloody turf war, leading to numerous murders and attacks on police elements. In October, six decapitated bodies were dumped in the nearby rural mountain community of Creel. In November, Breitbart News reported on the kidnapping, interrogation, and murder of a Cuauhtémoc municipal police officer which was videotaped and released on social media. The footage is believed to be part of the ongoing war between El Nuevo Cartel de Juárez/La Línea and the El Cartel del Tigre, which is a cell of the Sinaloa Cartel. Breitbart News reported on the both of the criminal groups, including the capture of Julio Cesar “El Tigre” Escarcega Murillo, who was the leader of El Cartel del Tigre and previously served as a former Cuauhtémoc municipal police officer from 2004-2007.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org