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Federal agents take control of law enforcement in Acapulco on September 25

Reports indicate that the army, marines, and federal police took part in a coordinated security operation to take control of Acapulco’s Public Security Secretariat (SSP) due to is suspected ties to organized crime. Four high-ranking officials suspected of homicide and illegal possession of firearms were arrested. Additionally, federal agents disarmed municipal policemen pending further investigations. A local spokesperson from Guerrero’s government published a statement expressing that every local policeman would be evaluated. While federal elements will temporarily take over law enforcement responsibilities, authorities have not yet announced a date for the military to leave Acapulco. Moreover, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico published a statement maintaining its advice for U.S. citizens not to travel to Guerrero state due to high prevalence of crime.

Guerrero is considered Mexico’s most violent state, recording over 2.500 homicides in 2017, including 953 in Acapulco. The city is considered a battleground between opposing criminal groups and cartels, accounting for rising levels of violence, including gruesome executions. For instance, between September 17-19 nine individuals were killed in the city, two of which were reportedly found dismembered. Although federal intervention could potentially improve security in Acapulco during the upcoming weeks, it is presently unclear whether such action will yield results in the mid-run. Federal authorities have recently ordered similar interventions in locales in Puebla and Michoacán amid criminal investigations involving local security services, yet these operations have not necessarily improved the security situation.

Those operating or traveling to Mexico are advised to avoid traveling to Guerrero state, including Acapulco, given the overall poor security and rising numbers of homicides.

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