Rosarito Honors Military For Helping Bring Crime Rate To Long-Time Lows

Published 30 June 10 12:03 AM

By Ron Raposa


This city in a Tuesday ceremony honored the Mexican military for its role in fighting organized crime, an effort that has helped bring crime in this city to at least a five-year low.


The noon event at City Hall plaza gave special recognition to Brig. Gen. Alfonso Duarte, commander of Army units that have helped local authorities from Tijuana to Ensenada in efforts against organized crime, including drug gangs.


Tijuana Mayor Jorge Ramos, Rosarito Mayor Hugo Torres, Baja Attorney General Rommel Moreno and US Consul General in Tijuana Steven Kashkett attended the ceremony, at which an audience of more than 400 filled City Hall plaza.


Crime in northern Baja declined by 10 percent last year and by 21 percent to a five-year low in Rosarito, where the crime rate continues a dramatically sharp decline through May of this year.


Rosarito Mayor Torres credits the military’s work for much of that, in conjunction with major improvements in city and state police departments. Rosarito, for example, has increased force size by about 50 percent while replacing more than half of its officers.


“We’re hoping that the successes of Baja can serve as a model for all of Mexico ,” Torres said. “The Army cannot do this alone; local agencies also must make improvements to make this work.”


Torres praised the military and Duarte for exemplifying courage, commitment and integrity.


Public safety and building an excellent police department were top priorities of Torres when he took office in December of 2007. One of his first actions was to appoint Jorge Montero, an army captain, as chief of city police. 


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