The (terrible) legacy of Gutiérrez

Accidental homicides, violence against journalists, feminicides,a car bomb, unsolved cases…  Arturo Gutiérrez leaves the security of San Luis Potosí in a complicated situation

Por La Orquesta

During the early afternoon of Thursday, November 30, Governor Juan Manuel Carreras confirmed what days before deputies, media and officials had anticipated: General Arturo Gutiérrez García ceased to be Secretary of Public Security, so that his position coul be occupied by Jaime Ernesto Pineda, an exmember of the Federal Police in the state.

At the time of the change, Governor Carreras said it was done so due to the worrying levels of insecurity. A statement that contrasts with what he said last August, when he said: “I walk peacefully through San Luis Potosí”.

Prior to his arrival at the carrerista cabinet, Gutiérrez García served in the same position for the government of Tamaulipas (March 17, 2014 to September 21, 2015). The decision of the Potosian governor to incorporate him and other former Tamaulipas officials was seriously questioned, due to the drag of suspicions they carried.

In the case of Arturo Gutiérrez there is an investigation by the government of Tamaulipas against him for “serious administrative deficiencies” that left unpaid for more than three months hundreds of police officers of “Fuerza Tamaulipas”.

During his stay in Tamaulipas, Salvador Haro Muñoz, chief of intelligence of the SSPE, was executed, according to information from the Proceso magazine. The homicide would have been carried out in complicity with at least ten members of the Tamaulipaca Creditable State Police, who had delivered Haro Muñoz to his assassins. In that same period, two businessmen were kidnapped and killed. The Secretary General of the Government of Tamaulipas, Herminio Garza Palacios, revealed that after reviewing the management of Gutiérrez García, the lack of documents and a series of “administrative deficiencies” that prevented even finishing the reception process in that unit were discovered.

With this prologue in his suitcase, for almost two years, Juan Manuel Carreras entrusted the security of the potosinos to Gutiérrez and the recount even surpasses his wake for Tamaulipas: “accidental” murders of innocent youth, the execution of a journalist, high indices of feminicide violence, unresolved disappearances, acts close to terrorism against the different police corporations and in general a palpable increase in all the criminal figures of the state, are the photographs of the last 24 months in San Luis Potosí.

As an exercise in memory, the Orchestra recapitulates some key moments and incidents in the management of Gutierrez.


The year 2012 was the second year with more intentional homicides in the state since 1997, when the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SNSP) began with its annual count of the criminal incidence in the 32 entities of the republic.

The year with more intentional homicides, between 1997 and 2016, is 2010, when 416 people died murdered in San Luis Potosí. However, during 2017, the incidence was 216 murders between January and June, the last month reported by the SNSP, so that if the trend that occurred in the first semester of this year continues, 2017 would become the year with more deaths for intentional crimes in history, with 432 cases.

As for the homicide rate, the SNSP reports in 2017 a rate of 7.71 homicides per 100 thousand inhabitants in the state, which would mean that this year it would be the third with the least homicides according to the population since 1997. However, that figure of the SNSP shows a methodological error, since it compares the figures of whole years against only half of 2017.

If we take into account the projection of homicides for this year, that is to say 432 cases, considering twice the murders that occurred between January and June 2017, the homicide rate per 100 thousand inhabitants in the state would be 15.41, so that would be the second year with more murders, compared with the population, only exceeded by 2010, with 15.94 homicides per 100 thousand inhabitants.


Since September 12, 2012, in San Luis Potosí there was no exhibition of hanging bodies, but in August this year that changed. During the month of August, three were presented. The 8, 14 and 22 were presented.
In the first and second cases, the bodies were found in the North Libramiento; while the third was in the intercept of the road to Matehuala and Anillo Periférico. According to security spokesman Armando Oviedo Abrego, those responsible were arrested.


Since last June 21, when the Gender Violence Alert was issued for six municipalities of the entity, at least 12 women have been murdered in San Luis Potosí. The last case was that of a teenager, identified as Ana Karina, who was kidnapped, murdered, burned and abandoned near a psychiatric hospital in Soledad de Graciano Sánchez.
These homicides or femicides -according to the investigations-, but murders of women have finally been committed: 4 in San Luis Potosí, 4 in Soledad de Graciano Sánchez, and the remaining 5 in Matehuala, Villa de Reyes, Santo Domingo, Tamazunchale and Villa de Ramos.
It should be remembered that four of these municipalities (San Luis Potosí, Soledad, Matehuala and Tamazunchale) are included in the Gender Alert.
From January to date, at least 29 women have been murdered in the territory of Potosí. Of these intentional homicides, 42 percent, have been committed in the little more than two and a half months that have elapsed since the alert was issued.
The concern for the crime of feminicide in San Luis Potosí has ​​arisen mainly from particular cases, because until November 2015 there were no figures that revealed the magnitude of the problem. It was in that year when, after the publication of the Special Report of the State Commission of Human Rights (CEDH), which established that at least 124 murders of women had been committed in the last 4 years, that the request for an Alert was promoted. Gender for San Luis Potosí.
According to INEGI figures, during 2016, 31 women were victims of homicide in San Luis Potosí, the amount was lower than the 38 registered by the statistics of this organization in 2015.



On the morning of October 6, 2017, the director of Vox Populi, Carlos Garrigós, confirmed that authorities had located the lifeless body of Edgar Daniel Esqueda Castro, photojournalist of that medium. The victim had been removed from his home, in front of his family, hours earlier by several men who identified themselves as ministerial police.

When his kidnapping was reported, the state justice apparatus refused to investigate the line indicating that the crime had to do with the journalistic work, although Edgar Daniel covered the “accidental” murder of the young Enrique Gómez at the hands of ministerial .

One week after the journalist’s death, a video leaked in which, under torture, he accepted to work for the Northeast Cartel and involved with this group other reporters from the police source. Organizations of defense to communicators like Article 19, in addition to correspondents of national means qualifier the filtration like an irresponsibility of the Procuraduría and the Secretariat of Security in an attempt to criminalize the victim. So far, there are no responsible for the crime.


On the night of Wednesday, October 4, agents from different police corporations went to the call for help for an abandoned car on the Santiago River. In the first instance, everything indicated that human remains were found inside the truck, because at first sight there was a cooler and a message written on a cardboard. However, as soon as the officers tried to open the vehicle an explosive device was activated and detonated twice a charge, which according to the Attorney General of the State (PGJE) was composed of gunpowder for pyrotechnics and nails. What injured four people: two elements of Expert Services and two ministerial agents.

Although the affectations were relatively mild, the attackers’ purpose was much greater, since a gas tank was found inside the truck. This speaks of a willful nature to cause the greatest possible harm.


On March 14, 2016, Gutiérrez García stated that 30 deaths linked to organized crime in San Luis Potosí, six months after the government of Juan Manuel Carreras, represented a “little alarming number, compared to previous years.” The figure has been magnified, as for example, only in November there were 33 intentional homicides.


Almost to the  end of  2016, during the gloss of the government report, Arturo Gutiérrez appeared before the State Congress. At the beginning, he avoided responding to the questioning and accusations by the deputies about the rise in the incidence of crime in the state. Almost by the end of the hearing, the official responded to the question of how he qualified his management and assured that he put on a 10.

Also read: San Luis Potosí: risk zone for women

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