Responding to mounting concern about disorder in the Mexican state of Michoacan, officials announced Thursday that an army general would take over as its public security chief, overseeing both state and federal security forces. The appointment of the general, Alberto Reyes Vaca, was announced by state officials but had been arranged in coordination with the federal government.
For President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, the move is part of a promised new focus on the southwestern state, long a hotbed of drug cartel violence. It has been the scene of massacres, paralyzing labor strikes and clashes between new citizen vigilante groups and local officials. Reyes, a career army officer, is a native of Michoacan who has, among other things, served as commander of a special forces battalion. His predecessor, Leopoldo Hernandez, had held the job for two months.