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Friday, Aug. 30, 2013

Former Tijuana police chiefs banned from holding a public post in Baja California for next 8 years because of alleged torture

Julián Leyzaola is currently police chief of Ciudad Juárez
Update, Sept. 24: Administrative court denies ex-chiefs' appeal

     Former Tijuana police chief Julián Leyzaola — currently the police chief of Ciudad Juárez — has been banned from holding a public post in Baja California for the next eight years because of his alleged involvement in the torture of a police official, Mexican media reported. The ban on him and on his former top aide and successor Gustavo Huerta Martínez was imposed by top Tijuana official Yolanda Enríquez de la Fuente.

     The former top police officials are alleged to have been involved in the torture of José Luis Hernández Gálvez, who was apparently suspected of involvement in the robbery of South Koreans in Tijuana for a taekwondo tournament and relieved of duty; Hernández was rehired by current chief Alberto Capella Ibarra. Story, El Sol de Tijuana. Stories, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.

     An El Mexicano editorial (PDF) questioned the ban, and wondered whether it had to do with Leyzaola — highly praised by many for reducing crime in Tijuana — having served under a 2007-2010 National Action Party administration. The city currently is run by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and a PRI mayor was elected last month to serve from 2013-2016.
July 31: Leyzaola seeks injunction against expected ruling.
Update, Aug. 31: De la Fuente says politics had nothing to do with her decision. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). But the head of Tijuana's PAN, Enrique Méndez, told El Sol de Tijuana he did see a political tint to it.
Update, Sept. 24: Administrative tribunal denies Leyzaola and Huerta's appeal of Enríquez de la Fuente's opinion. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).