Federal forces take over police duties in capital of southern Mexican state

Chilpancingo, Mexico, Mar 3 (EFE).- The Federal Police took over law enforcement duties over the weekend in Chilpancingo, the capital of the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, after the municipal police force was dismissed amid complaints from the business community about the growing presence of gangs in the city.

About 300 Federal Police officers, supported by some 500 state police, assumed law enforcement duties in Chilpancingo on Sunday.

The officers are taking part in "Operacion Juntos Por Chilpancingo" (Operation Together for Chilpancingo), federal officials told the media.

The 200 municipal police officers who provided security in the city will undergo an "evaluation, certification and training process, with their labor and human rights being respected," Chilpancingo Mayor Mario Moreno Arcos said.

Federal Police regional commissioner Enrique Francisco Galindo took part in the ceremony at which the 800 federal and state police officers were officially handed control of law enforcement in the city.

Business leaders in Chilpancingo had been demanding a federal role in law enforcement in the city for two months, accusing municipal police of working with organized crime groups.

Gunmen attacked Pioquinto Dimian Huato, the state president of the National Chamber of Commerce, or Canaco, on Jan. 28.

The businessman's daughter-in-law, Laura Rosas Brito, died and his son was wounded in the attack.

Business Confederation of the Mexican Republic, or Coparmex, members have been targeted in extortion rackets by gangs that demand money and "make death threats," a Coparmex member said on condition of anonymity.

"The arrival of federal forces is the result of five months of work and meetings held by different sectors of society with the three levels of government," Citizens Council chairman Jaime Nava said during the event Sunday in Chilpancingo's main plaza.

The Los Rojos gang, which broke off from the Beltran Leyva drug cartel, operates in Chilpancingo.

The gang runs extortion rackets, stages kidnappings and steals cars in the city of about 200,000 people.