MEXICO – Seven forest fires that burned in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara on Tuesday were lit deliberately to “destabilize” Jalisco, Governor Enrique Alfaro claimed on Wednesday.
“Our city was attacked yesterday by interests seeking to destabilize Jalisco,” Alfaro said in a video message posted to social media.
“In an event that had never been seen in our city, seven forest fires were started at the same time in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara.”
The governor asserted that the only possible explanation for the fires was that “very specific” interests are “trying to create a political agenda with issues that are truly risky for our city.”
“[There were] seven fires that can’t be explained in another way,” Alfaro said. Such acts place the lives of firefighters and residents at risk, he said.
The governor said his government has images of the people who allegedly lit the fires, all of which were extinguished or controlled by Wednesday morning. He ruled out the possibility that they were set to clear land for agricultural or real estate purposes.
“We’re talking about areas where this can’t happen. We’re talking about fires started with another intention. Curiously, of the seven [fires] that occurred yesterday, five were in Zapopan,” Alfaro said without offering further details about why the fires might have been lit in that municipality.
He said the state Attorney General’s Office will conduct a thorough investigation to determine who is responsible for the fires and apprehend them.
“To the people who are harming the city to profit politically, you can’t do this to the city,” said Alfaro, who was flanked in the video by firefighters, civil protection personnel and his environment minister.
“… Tragedies can’t be used for political gain; … Faced with these acts, we commit to keep working, to keep taking care of our city and our state. We’re going to continue fighting despite the difficult times we’re living in, despite all this, … [these] very strange events that have put Jalisco in a very difficult situation.”