Police force in the southern Mexico’s Acapulco city has been disarmed and placed under investigation on suspicions of ties to organised crime.
Mexico’s military arrested three top police officers in a massive ground and air operation around the Pacific coast city’s police headquarters, Guerrero state security spokesman Roberto Alvarez said on Tuesday.
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Two police commanders were arrested on murder charges, and the highway police chief for carrying unlicensed weapons, he said.
Municipal security secretary Max Lorenzo Sedano and his entire department are under investigation, he added.
“The decision implemented by the Guerrero Coordination Group was a consequence of the increase in crime that has been registered in the municipality, and the lack of action by the police to deal with it,” the government said in a statement after the security operation.
The state security ministry announced it would take over policing duties in Acapulco indefinitely.
The US issued a travel alert, asking its citizens not to travel to the area, due to the high level of crime and violence.
Acapulco in southern Guerrero state, once a glamorous beach resort, has fallen on hard times as entrenched drug crime has transformed it into one of the most murderous cities in the world.
Guerrero is a hub for opium poppy production and the scene of frequent violent clashes between warring drug cartels.
Translation:Members of the Navy disarm municipal elements and take Secretary Max Lorenzo Sedano inside the barracks, VO television, a local TV Channel wrote.
In July, the company Bimbo suspended its operations in certain parts of Acapulco due to the violence and insecurity in the area.
However, this is not the first time such an incident has taken place. Early this year 28 police officers were arrested in the town of Ocampo, Michoacan, for allegedly obstructing the investigation into the killing of a politician.
There were over 23,000 murders across Mexico last year, the highest in records going back to 1997, as rival drug gangs splintered into smaller, more bloodthirsty groups following more than a decade of a military-led campaign to battle the cartels.