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Tlajomulco mayor flaunts transparency but laments environmental disaster

September 12, 2013

Ismael del Toro Castro talked up his achievements as mayor of Tlajomulco during his first annual informe on Tuesday, but admitted greater improvements are needed in certain areas.

Del Toro, of the leftist Citizens Movement (MC), said that his government must do more to improve water infrastructure, guarantee public safety and fight pollution. Expanding on the latter point, he called for greater coordination between different government agencies in order to avoid a repeat of the recent ecological disaster caused by a Tlajomulco business that had been clandestinely contaminating the La Hurtado reservoir in Acatlan, Jalisco.

The mayor said that the four main principles of his administration were efficiency, transparency, accountability and citizen participation. In July he was lauded by non-governmental organization Citizens for Transparent Municipalities (Cimtra) which named his administration the most transparent in all of Mexico, with a perfect score of 100 out of 100.

Regarding crime, del Toro noted that there had been a small reduction in the number of thefts from homes, stores and businesses, but that the number of cases of muggings, domestic violence and vehicular theft had risen slightly.

Work has already begun to improve public safety, he said, noting that every member of the municipal police force had now undergone background checks and that their salaries had been raised to the level of the rest of the Guadalajara metropolitan zone, in order to discourage the acceptance of bribes. His government has supplied the municipal force with an additional 54 police cars, while another nine are on their way, the mayor added.

Regarding education, del Toro expressed pride at having continued the policy of his predecessor Enrique Alfaro, also of the MC, of supplying school children with free backpacks and equipment. Tlajomulco spent over 72 million pesos on 400,000 kits for state school pupils over the last year, del Toro said.

The MC policy, funded by dropping the perks of civil servants, which included free cell phones, gasoline and transport – and amounted to six percent of the public budget – proved so successful that it was even adopted state-wide by Jalisco Governor Aristoteles of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

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