Mexico troops take over for 3 police forces in Morelos state
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican military assumed control of policing Saturday in three municipalities of the central state of Morelos and was conducting a review of their firearms, munitions, personnel and equipment.
The intervention affects the municipalities of Cuernavaca, Jiutepec and Yautepec. Such federal takeovers of local policing typically happen when there are concerns about possible criminality or corruption within the ranks.
The state government said in a statement that the measure aims to strengthen policing and ensure “trustworthy security forces.” Federal police and army troops will be handling security for the time being.
The takeovers took place a day after authorities confirmed the kidnap-murder of a medical student who was the daughter of a Cuernavaca university administrator. The woman was reported missing Dec. 13 and her body was later discovered in Yautepec. Two suspects were detained in Cuernavaca.
Authorities did not say whether the takeovers and the woman’s murder, which attracted media attention, were linked.
Morelos has been stricken by violence and gang activity in recent years, and the U.S. State Department recommends travelers reconsider visiting the state because of crime.
Cuernavaca is Morelos’ capital and largest city, and Jiutepec and Yautepec are towns on its outskirts.
A previous version of this story was corrected to show that the woman’s body was discovered in Yautepec.