Sunday, August 11, 2013

Self Defense Groups Mobilize Inside Mexico Due To Insecurity and Corruption and the Cartels

The first self defense group in Tlaxcala
Photo: Cuartoscuro

Federal and state authorities have yet to find a solution to respond to the people of Michoacán and Guerrero, where insecurity has prompted the creation of self-defense groups, but in Tlaxcala, a state where there hadn’t been any news of a citizen’s front, the state’s first Community Police has emerged.

Yesterday, citizens of the municipal of Papalotla armed themselves with machetes, sticks, and pipes to protect its people and to stand up against crime and government corruption.

Earlier this year, self-defense groups were registered in at least eight states. Michoacán and Guerrero are the states with the largest number of communities with armed civilians and that register more clashes and violence.

But far from being solved, the problem—albeit legal—where citizens arm themselves and set up checkpoints, has spread.

In recent weeks, the situation in Michoacán has prompted federal and state officials to meet to discuss the crisis of insecurity and violence in the state.

According to the governor of Michoacán, Jesús Reyna, the meeting built “a common agenda that benefits Michoacános”.  However, not even a week had passed when the Mexican Army, State Police, and Self-Defense Groups of Guerrero and Michoacán were in moments of tension, which caused roadblocks and military operations.

On Monday, residents of El Pericón in Guerrero detained federal and state officials due to a lack of compromises with authorities, and the group of soldiers who remained in the town, after reaching an agreement with Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero and the Secretariat of the Interior.

In Aquila, Michoacán, the Army dismantled a self defense group for arresting a soldier.  After the rescue of their fellow soldier and the disarmament of the community, the military left the area.  As they left, the citizens, who complained of the authorities’ indolence to their security problems, returned to their posts.

Michoacán has turned into a war zone in recent weeks.  In seven days, according to official figures, at least 42 people have died in clashes.  Before the violence, Enrique Peña Nieto said that his administration would stand up to the problem and support the authorities of Michoacán in recovering territories and “rebuild the social fabric” in Michoacán.

“The purpose is to support the state government, but also backing and supporting the Federal government, especially in dealing with the complication and the complexity involved in rebuilding the social fabric of Michoacán”, said the president.

However, last Tuesday, the coordinator for the members of the National Action Party (PAN) in the Congress of Michoacán, Alfonso Martínez Alcázar, denounced the lack of attention of the President Enrique Peña Nieto about the crisis in the state and for not having visited the state in the eight months of his Presidency. 

Papalota, Tlaxcala. With sticks and tubes, they have armed their community police.
Photo: Cuartoscuro

Tlaxcala and Its First Self Defense Group

Yesterday, residents of Papalotla, Tlaxcala, formed the first self defense group in the state in order to protect the people as well as motorcycle taxi drivers, to fend off crime and corruption in the operations that the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation performs.

Armed with sticks and machetes, around 60 civilians formed the police, who along with residents, protested against the operations conducted by the state government, as they have been assaulted during attacks.

The local press indicates that the conflict has lasted over three years and according to the leader of the motorcycle taxis, Mariela Pérez Rojano, they have been constantly repressed by the security forces, allegedly abusing their authority.

“That’s why the community police are to defend all of the people, the motorcycle taxi drivers and the people who use the motorcycle taxis, because more violence occurs with the execution of operations”, said one witness.

Tired of this situation, they declare that it was necessary in order to ensure the protection of the users and operators of the motorcycle taxis, through the use of the community police.

They said that the municipal and state governments have been unable to create jobs and security and that is another reason why motorcycle taxi workers have found that job as a means of providing for their families.
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