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Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011

New Tijuana police chief is old police chief

Decision comes under harsh criticism;
many business owners back Alberto Capella, however

Alberto Capella Ibarra, the first police chief in the administration of Tijuana Mayor Jorge Ramos alberto capella(Ramos served from 2007-2010), has been named police chief again by Mayor Carlos Bustamante. Bustamante relieved Gustavo Huerta Martínez, a retired military captain whom Bustamante named to replace the much-acclaimed Julián Leyzaola, a retired military officer who later became police chief of Ciudad Juárez. Story, Frontera (PDF). Front-page photo, Frontera (PDF).
Front page, El Mexicano
(PDF). Jump page (PDF)

Capella, a civilian, acquired some fame before he took office in 2007 when his home in Playas de Tijuana was shot at. Analysts said he maintained close ties with business leaders, the circle that Bustamante, owner of a large hotel in Tijuana, travels in. He was approved by a 12-3 city council vote Wednesday (PDF). Appointment OK'd, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump page.

Under Huerta, the Tijuana police suffered a series of scandals. In eastern Tijuana, police had a women perform a strip tease (and she claims, also, sexual acts) in exchange for her not being charged in a credit card theft case. In Playas de Tijuana, police apparently tortured a suspect. Many businessmen are upset about an apparent increase in crime in the city center.

Under Capella, Tijuana suffered greatly from daily organized-crime violence, which lessened greatly under Leyzaola. Leyzaola, who had previously harshly criticized Capella, says Bustamante must have his reasons for naming him. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Analyst Benedicto Ruiz criticizes naming of Capella. Story, Frontera (PDF).
PAN members doubt that Capella can be effective. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Business leaders meet with Capella. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Second story (PDF).
Frontera's political take (PDF, Oct. 5). Frontera's political take on Oct. 6 (PDF)

Update, Oct. 6:
Huerta says he was ready to be replaced. He began work as a top official with the Tijuana police force Dec. 2, 2008, the day then-Mayor Jorge Ramos fired Capella and hired Leyzaola. He previously was a top official with the Rosarito Beach police force. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Council members ask Capella to leave his "Superman" air behind. Story, El Mexicano.

Colegio de la Frontera Norte security expert says having a civilian running the police could endanger the city. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump page.

Óscar Genel's column (PDF).