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New City Security Head Promises “a Great Commitment to Safety”

Campo de tiro

Izquierda a Derecha Verónica Agundis, General Hidalgo Eddy, Luis Alberto Villarreal, Susana Chauvet

General Rolando Eugenio Hidalgo Eddy

Secretario, General Rolando Eugenio Hidalgo Eddy

By Jesús Aguado

The Social Proximity Police is part of a community policing initiative that new Secretary of Security, General Rolando Eugenio Hidalgo Eddy is launching, which includes the addition of several police officers to patrol assigned neighborhoods daily. As part of their jobs, they will interact with residents and generally be more present to keep an eye out for Sanmiguelenses’ safety.

It’s a major commitment to security in San Miguel de Allende, said Hidalgo Eddy, and he promised that the initiative’s effectiveness will be proven by a future reduction in crime. “Mayor Luis Alberto Villarreal made the commitment during the mayoral race,” said Hidalgo Eddy.

With the new mayoral administration getting close to marking its first 100 days in office, General Hidalgo Eddy recently granted Atención an interview regarding the initiatives he is launching to increase security in San Miguel:

Jesús Aguado: You have worked across the country, and even in other countries. So, do we have safety problems in San Miguel?

General Hidalgo Eddy: The problems in San Miguel are very different from where I have been, since it is a touristic city. In general, Sanmiguelenses are good. They still greet you when you are walking down the street, and that is very unique. It does not happen in other parts of the country. In addition, we have residents from other countries that deserve to be attended to just like a Sanmiguelense.

It was very important to us to get the 911 emergency number up and running. Operators are working the lines and take the calls as soon as the phone rings. However, we have to work to prevent domestic violence since there are men that have beaten up their own mothers.

JA: If Sanmiguelenses are good people, who are the bad people?

GHE: San Miguel is a very unique city. Those who change the dynamic are from the outside. They come to town, rent a house—as “tourists”—and then spend their time robbing vehicles or houses. And nobody suspects them because they are tourists. But we are chasing them now.

JA: I understand that more police officers do not make for better security, but how are the numbers in terms of police officers?

GHE: We are increasing our numbers; that is the mission. And, actually, there is an open call for young people to join our corps.

JA: Will the 911 number be bilingual someday?

GHE: We are working to have bilingual personnel, and actually some of our officers speak English, and that will be a requirement. I can understand English.

JA; When will the Center of Communications, Computing, and Command be ready?

GHE: I do not want to give you a date. But we are now working to equip it. I also presented a proposal to the city council to integrate the areas that make up the Secretariat—Public Security, Civil Protection, and the Traffic Department—into the same building, but that has to be approved.

JA: Could you give me more information on the Police of Proximity?

GHE: Soon, Mayor Villarreal will announce several actions to prevent crime. At the moment I can tell you that the Police of Proximity will have nine vehicles and daily will patrol 19 neighborhoods. The cars will be different from a regular patrol car, and the officers will talk to the neighbors and protect them.

JA: Is it possible to eradicate crime?

GHE: A reduction of crime can be expected, and we are here to fulfill that. We have four entrances to the city—and four exits—and we are watching over them. We have different strategies (that I cannot share with you) that will bring good results in the months to come.

SIDEBAR

The General

Hidalgo Eddy is originally from the state of Nuevo León. He has been involved in the nation’s safety in one way or another for the past 48 years. At 14, he enrolled in Heroic Military College, later advancing to the Superior School of War. He has occupied different posts in the army and has worked throughout the republic. He was appointed a general by President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

His experience with national safety is vast, including working anti-organized crime assignments in the state of Sinaloa during the reigns of the notorious drug cartel leaders Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the Beltrán Leyva Brothers, and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. As commander of a regiment during that period (2005–2006), he petitioned the secretary of national defense to go back to Sinaloa and deal a death blow to the narcos’ crop fields. “I remember that the farmers who planted the drugs held a demonstration because we did not let them work. We exterminated their plants.”

After leaving Sinaloa, he was commissioned in a Mexican office in Russia for his safety. He then returned to México and was assigned to Sinaloa. However after a year and a half, he decided to retire, and President Felipe Calderón honored him with a medal. Later, he travelled the world.

Then, in 2008, he was offered a job working with Aguascalientes Governor Luis Armando Reynoso. The state was suffering a high number of kidnappings, extortions, and murders, as high as overall nationwide figures. Hidalgo Eddy worked there until 2014, when, again, he retired. “I worked with the PAN party governor and later with one from the PRI party,” he noted.

A video presented to this paper states that when Hidalgo Eddy left Aguascalientes, there had been zero murders in Aguascalientes and no extortion or kidnapping cases.

Later he was hired by the state of Querétaro, but due to health problems he went home. Then he ended up in San Miguel, thanks to Luis Alberto Villarreal’s offer, he said. “I have a major commitment to this city,” he told us.

 

BOX

This is from a report on crime in San Miguel de Allende, covering the period of October 10 to November 27, 2018—since the new mayoral administration took office. These numbers were provided by Hidalgo Eddy himself:

Robberies

Homes: 17

Churches: 3

Vehicles: 7

Arrested people

State crimes: 48

Federal crimes: 6

Arrest warrants: 4 (one of those arrested had an active arrest warrant for kidnapping in three states—Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Tabasco).

Recovered Items

12 vehicles (the number differs from the number of vehicles robbed because some recovered vehicles were stolen in other cities and found here).

22 people have been arrested for robberies.

 

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