San Miguel still a safe city
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
In August, three events occurred in the city that caused uncertainty about public safety among some residents. Nevertheless, during the month three very prominent public officials visited San Miguel, and Mayor Nuñez noted that the dignitaries visited because they are aware that San Miguel is relatively safe and that the Public Security Department is doing a good job. President Felipe Calderón and his wife, Margarita Zavala, came to San Miguel for vacation. Two weeks later, Héctor López Santillana, the governor of Guanajuato, also came to relax, and later the minister of the Secretariat of National Defense also visited the city.
Three crimes in August
On August 6, an early morning burglary at a residence on Prolongación de Pila Seca was reported to the office of Public Security. When police officers arrived at the scene, they found two residents who said that the burglars went through the whole house and stole furniture and cash. A few days later, the couple left the country.
The district attorney of Guanajuato, Miguel Ángel Rangel Zendejas, confirmed the facts and commented that the victims filed a report at the Ministerio Público (district attorney’s office). He said that “even if they are not in the country anymore, the investigation will follow its course, and we will try to identify the persons who committed this crime.” He said that the investigators obtained some evidence at the residence that may provide clues for capturing those responsible and “the investigations will follow until the leads have been exhausted.” He urged expats to report crimes at the Ministerio Público. (For more information, read How to … Report a crime, page 6.)
The second event occurred on August 10. Two vehicles were set on fire at La Sombra Verde gas station, on the road to Dolores. According to a press release from the attorney general’s office and the Federal Secretariat of Public Security, the attacks, linked to organized crime, were retaliation for a confrontation between federal police officers and members of organized crime in Apatzingan, Michoacán, that had occurred earlier the same day. Similar events took place in municipalities such as Yuriria, Moroleón and Guanajuato, where a car was also set on fire. No one was injured in the attacks.
Early on the morning of Monday, August 27, a burned car was discovered in a rural community of the municipality. It was reported to the Public Security Department and later to the Ministerio Público. Rangel Zendejas told Atención a burned body was found inside the car, as well as fragments of bones from another body. The murders have not been linked to organized crime and the investigation is ongoing.
Politicians say San Miguel is still safe
Mayor Luz María Núñez Flores acknowledged that in San Miguel de Allende, as in any other city in the world, there is vandalism, but she cautioned that “some residents have exaggerated the facts of what occurred here.” She made it clear that even if those isolated events happened in the city, that does not mean that there are terrorists here. She said that “crime in San Miguel is below the national and state averages, and never has been higher than the average. The index of insecurity is very low.” The mayor also commented that in San Miguel there is a web page managed exclusively by expats who possess information given by the public administration every three months about the index of insecurity.
Núñez Flores said that the city is very secure and for that reason in August President Felipe Calderon and his wife, Governor Héctor López Santillana and Secretary of National Defense Guillermo Galván Galván visited the city. “We are doing a good job, so they want to come to the city,” she commented.
Mauricio Trejo, the incoming mayor, also remarked on public safety during a press conference. Trejo agreed that San Miguel is still one of the most secure cities in Mexico and invited everyone to keep visiting the city. He commented that to improve security there must be unification and communication among politicians and said that he has and will continue to have that communication with the senators representing Guanajuato, local and federal deputies and the governor. With them his administration will work to coordinate with the three levels of government.
Trejo has not yet formally introduced his cabinet, but he said that his director for Public Security has already been designated and is a person who knows the city, a person “of flesh and blood and the citizens will identify with him; his objective will be to combat minor felonies along with a security council that we will form.” Trejo also stated that “we do not want a scared population and to see soldiers patrolling the city; we want to see the children running on the streets, and we want to see people getting married in San Miguel.”
Look for an interview with Police Chief Carlos Godínez, as well as for follow-up of the second burned car case in our September 21 issue