wake up

Yelapans, both local and foreign,
Ask government aid against crack, crime

About 150 residents of Yelapa, both local and long-term foreign visitors, met Feb. 16 on the town basketball court with Yelapa comisario Javier Lorenzo Rodriguez and a representative of the Cabo Corrientes municipal department of public security to discuss what many see as a growing drug and crime problem among Yelapa’s youth.
More than a third of the residents were from the Yelapa community itself. The meeting was notable as the first large-scale gathering at which both locals and visitors came together over a single issue.
The security official distributed a pamphlet urging common-sense measures against crime (keep money and valuables in a secure, lockable  place, not always easy in Yelapa) and outlined the onerous process for filing a complaint against suspected thieves (go to El Tuito, the municipal seat, a trip that will take up most of a day). After some discussion, the government rep agreed to send a deputy to Yelapa weekly to accept denuncios (complaints). But the town residents also insisted on more assistance for prevention, such as more police equipment, and more help from the municipal and state governments in combating addiction and crime.
The drug in question is cocaine, both as inhalable powder and smokable crack. Locals agree that the town has four or five crack dealers and a score or so of regular local users.  They are blamed for a mini-crime wave that has resulted in many break-ins to local houses, particularly the open palapas, and the theft of visitors’ valuables. At least one participant in the meeting pointed out that visitors to the village also buy drugs from local dealers.
The group raised $2540 pesos on the spot and agreed  to hold a benefit to raise more money for the purchase of police radios and a police telephone line. The government representatives promised to make filing criminal complaints easier by sending a deputy to Yelapa weekly to accept denuncios, and to forward a local petition for greater government support against drugs to the governor of the state of Jalisco.

Cliff Barney, Yelapa

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