Police officers in the Michoacán town of Marcos Castellanos have had enough. With the high crime rate against them, almost the whole police force has handed in their resignations.
Reportedly the large number of resignations is due to a series of attacks on police officers in the last few days of 2012. Four officers were killed, five were seriously injured and one officer was kidnapped, with his fate still unknown. Even the director of the police force resigned.
According to the town's mayor, José de Jesús Bautista Alvarez, the attacks come as part of the waves of violence unleashed by the confrontation of rival criminal groups in Michoacán and Jalisco, which have the inhabitants of the town very nervous.
Alvarez said that the support of federal forces has been sporadic, and the resignations largely began after the kidnapping of one of the officers' colleagues on December 23, whose location is still unknown.
The police force in the town is now reduced to just eleven officers, working in two shifts. There are five in the first shift and six in the second, to look after the security of more than 20,000 inhabitants in the municipality.
The town now has to rely more on the help of the federal police and military. However, a female resident, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that, "Yes, there are patrols of the various authorities, but they are very sporadic and what we need is permanent security."
"The criminals are more armed than the policemen and the cops are not going to lose their lives for the salary they are paid," she added.
It seems that Marcos Castellanos used to be a quiet town, and a good place to live, but now people no longer feel safe to leave their homes.