Political Fallout From the 62 Police Arrested in Tijuana

In Mexican towns, the chief of police serves at the pleasure of the mayor. The current chief of police of Tijuana is Julián Leyzaola Pérez, a retired Mexican army colonel. The current mayor of Tijuana is Jorge Ramos, whose term is up this December. The mayor-elect is Carlos Bustamante.

As soon as the mayoral elections were over, last July 4, there was speculation on whether mayor-elect Carlos Bustamante would retain Chief Leyzaola, or seek a new police chief. Last Thursday, 62 current and former police officers were rounded up in Tijuana, charged with working for drug cartels, and whisked away to prison in Veracruz.

Among the people arrested last Thursday, were 40 Tijuana municipal police officers, all of whom had presumably passed the “confidence tests” administered by Leyzaola to weed out crooked cops. Several of those arrested were very high-ranking police officials with access to sensitive data. One is said to be godfather to one of Leyzaola’s children.

Fulano’s opinion is, in light of the foregoing, it now would be all but impossible for mayor-elect Bustamante to keep Leyzaola on as Tijuana’s chief of police.