Mérida, Yucatán — Commander Mario Arturo Romero Escalante credited intense police vigilance as he reported a drop in graffiti in the Centro Histórico.
Municipal police have increasingly caught spray-painters in the act, marking facades, doors and fences, often belonging to historic properties.
Since the beginning of the current administration, vandals have been caught in flagrante delicto.
In 2016, three people were arrested; in 2017, 9 people were napped by city police. So far in 2018, no arrest has been recorded. In all cases, the arrests were made at dawn.
Arrests have been made at Calle 52 between 69 and 71; Calle 52 between 61 and 63; Calle 59 between 56 and 54; Calle 51 between 54 and 52; Calle 56 between 53 and 55; Calle 60 and 53; Calle 70 at 57 and Calle 50 between 69 and 67.
Eighty percent of the vandals caught are minors.
When a minor is arrested, police attempt to summon a parent or relative, who is then referred to a qualifying judge.
Adult violators are held for 36 hours and forced to repair the damage they did to private property.