Ex-Tijuana Police Chief Banned From Office For 8 Years
Friday, August 30, 2013
Tijuana's ex-police chief has been banned from holding public office in Baja California for eight years.
Aired 8/30/13 on KPBS News.
Julián Leyzaola's tenure was controversial for his aggressive strategy against drug cartels and crime in general.
Julián Leyzaola was appointed Tijuana's secretary of public safety in 2008, making him the city's top law enforcement official until he was replaced by the mayor in 2010.
On Thursday, the office roughly equivalent to the city attorney's office said an investigation had found that both Leyzaola, and the man who succeeded him had violated human rights during their tenures.
As Tijuana's top cop, Leyzaola gained a reputation as a fierce, incorruptible enemy of drug cartels. Many credit him with restoring peace to the city following a period of fierce violence.
But he was also accused of abuses, going so far as to torture suspects to extract confessions. Indeed, the city attorney said she had substantiated a complaint from an ex-policeman who accused Leyzaola torturing him into confessing to a robbery.
Since leaving Tijuana, Leyzaola has been police chief of Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua. He told a Tijuana newspaper that his eight-year ban from public office in Baja California doesn't bother him because his tenure in Tijuana produced results.