05242022Tue
Last updateFri, 20 May 2022 10am

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Analyst lambastes stop & search strategy

The strategy of police officers making random searches of vehicles for weapons in the Guadalajara metropolitan area, referred to as “volantas” in Spanish, introduced in February, has been a rotund failure, one crime analyst says.

According to information obtained from state authorities by Spanish-language daily Mural, police officers seized a mere eight firearms from the searches between February 11 and March 16.

Governor Enrique Alfaro had originally said his Consejo Estatal de Seguridad (state security cabinet) would evaluate the effectiveness of the operation in a month, and provide details on the number of weapons confiscated.

But while authorities in mid-March heralded the operation as a “success,” they did not disclose the number of weapons seized.  Mural said it obtained the figure though a transparency law request.  

Marco Antonio Rico, a professor of legal studies at the University of Guadalajara, told Mural that the volantas fail to “impact the structures of organized or disorganized crime.” He called the measure “cosmetic” and in a cost-benefit analysis, “a major strategy defeat.”

The random checks were introduced under the slogan, “modulos seguros por una ciudad tranquila” (secure modules for a safe city).  One stated aim of the program was to reduce gun violence in the metropolitan area.  

Mural noted that during the first 26 days after the strategy was implemented, 44 homicides were reported in the Guadalajara metro area. 

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