AMLO’s Top Cop Backtracks on New Border Police Force in Mexico

(Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s incoming head of public security, Alfonso Durazo, said he is modifying the strategy he supplied in the past about plans to create a border police and instead will form a special force in tourism spots like Cancun hit by high crime.

Durazo told Bloomberg News about the correction after Mexican non-profits criticized the plan for a police force on Mexico’s southern and northern borders, saying it would cause an increase in human-rights violations.

Instead, Durazo said, a new specialized force will focus on bringing down crime in Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, which have been plagued by narco violence and are areas that contribute to one of Mexico’s largest sources of foreign income: tourism.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador appointed Durazo to head the nation’s public security ministry once he becomes president on Dec. 1 after winning last week’s election by a landslide. Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, has said improved economic conditions for Central Americans and Mexicans is the best way to deter immigration.

“I correct myself,” Durazo said. He said there’s still a plan to improve border security, but it won’t include a special police force.

He’d told Bloomberg last week that a border force would prevent immigrants from crossing into Mexico from Central America and be part of a larger humanitarian effort to improve conditions in the region to prevent migrants from heading north in the first place.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.