Mexican Security and Public Safety Secretary Alfonso Durazo. Photo: Notimex

By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS

Mexico’s Security and Public Protection Secretary Alfonso Durazo, a close friend and ally of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), confirmed his resignation from that post during the daily presidential press conference on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The 66-year-old Durazo said he was leaving the post in order to run for governor in the state of Sonora on behalf of the left-leaning National Regeneration Movement (Morena), the party founded by AMLO.

“I am resigning from the cabinet, but not from the political project spearheaded by the president,” Durazo said.

During the official announcement of his resignation (which had been anticipated in Mexican circles for the last few weeks), Durazo thanked López Obrador for the opportunity to participate in the nation’s “historic” political transformation that the president has vowed to implement.

“(When AMLO came to power in December 2018), we inherited a country that reeked of decay, with hundreds of thousands of deaths,” he said.

“We inherited a country in which public security was at its worst possible state, and we have to acknowledge that it is not an easy problem to resolve.”

Durazo, who helped to form Mexico’s controversial Guardia Nacional (National Guard, or GN) and under whose watch the incidence of violent crimes has only increased, went on to say that the country will soon have better control over security thanks to the new government institutions and regulations that he helped implement.

During his two years as head of security, Durazo led several highly publicized confrontations with some of Mexico’s most violent drug cartels, including a still-murky and scandal-ridden arrest and subsequent release of drug kingpin Ovidio Guzmán López — son and heir apparent of the notorious Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán — in Culiacán, Sinaloa, in October 2019.

…Oct. 22, 2020

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