San Miguel emergency corps ready for Holy Week
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
The security and emergency forces are ready to receive more than 60,000 visitors during Holy Week, and they do not anticipate an increase in crime during that period.
Felipe Cohen, director of the Civil Protection Department, said that in San Miguel de Allende there are more than 1,800 hotel rooms—it is estimated that there is an equal number of rooms that are not registered—and all of them are booked, and there are waiting lists at some hotels. Cohen commented that in 2013 during Semana Santa there were more than 60,000 visitors and they are expecting that number will increase by 18 percent; this includes those visitors who do not book a hotel but stay with relatives. Cohen said that they are working to have a safe city in every sense to avoid accidents. He added that all the hot springs have been inspected and only four of them met the safety requirements: La Gruta, Xoté—with a capacityof 5,000 people— Loma Lagartija and El Cortijo. They will also put warning signs up at dams and lakes to warn people that swimming in those places is not safe.
The director of the Public Security Department, Arturo Yáñez Saldaña, highlighted that all the emergency and security forces are working together and more than 400 people will be working to provide security not just for visitors but also for locals. Federal, state and local police along with traffic officers will all be on duty here. He remarked that at certain times 100 percent of the officers will be working. He does not expect an increase in the crime indexes in the city; he explained that those coming for Holy Week generally do not cause problems, although he made it clear that the indiscriminate consumption of alcohol can change things.
Julián Villela, head of the Public Services Department, said that during Holy Week the production of trash rises from 85 to 100 tons, and for that reason in Centro the garbage trucks will pick up trash twice a day. That department will also be in charge of keeping Centro free of street vendors.
Eleazar Romero, head of the Traffic Department, commented that in the historic center there is space for 3,000 vehicles; 1,200 of them are in parking lots, including the El Cardo, which has space for 850 vehicles. Four parking lots will be prepared with space for 3,000 more cars, and the profits will go toward the municipal DIF. He advises locals not to use their vehicles during those days but to use public transportation instead, which during the processions will have limited routes outside the city center.