Municipal police in San Nicolás de los Garza, a suburb of Mexico’s northern industrial hub of Monterrey, staged protests outside their precinct stations March 6 after three of their colleagues were shot to death and a fourth was gravely wounded in a dawn ambush on a patrol car. The protesting cops demanded better weapons, more bulletproof vests, and life insurance. “We want our rifles back,” was a favored slogan. City officials said the police have agreed to continue working “under protest” while talks are underway.
In June, Nuevo Leon state authorities prohibited municipal police forces from carrying personal cell phones, out of concerns they were using them to tip off traffickers about federal raids. Some municipal forces in the Monterrey area—including San Nicolás de los Garza—were also stripped of their assault rifles, following incidents of local police confronting federal agents as they tried to arrest drug suspects. (AP, Milenio, Milenio, El Universal, March 6)
On Feb. 28, four police stations in San Nicolás and other Monterrey suburbs were attacked with grenades, causing extensive material damage. The following day—March 1, dubbed “Black Monday” by the Mexican media—saw at least 35 presumably drug-related assassinations across the country: 13 in Sinaloa, 10 in Chihuahua, four in Querétaro, three in Guerrero (including the commander of the Tourist Police), three in Nayarit, and two Jalisco. (La Jornada, March 2; Milenio, Feb. 28)