“No to Extortion and Kidnapping, We Want Community Police”: 80 Communities in the Sierra of Guerrero

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To stop the robbery, extortion, and kidnapping orchestrated by the police and army in the area considered to be the heart of narco-trafficking in the Sierra of Guerrero, thousands of citizens from 80 communities of the municipality of Heliodoro Catillo marched May 7th in the streets of Tlacotepec. They carried signs that read: “No to extortion” “No kidnappings” and “We want community police”.

In the march, around 150 people participated carrying low-caliber rifles and shotguns, some wearing bulletproof vests. These participants were members of the recently created community police in the zone backed by “movements” and “community police” of neighboring municipalities.

“In the Sierra of Guerrero, we want peace”, said the banners carried by the more than 3,000 people that marched from the gas station at the entrance of Tlacotepec to the church of Santiago Apóstol. Among the participants were women, men, and children shouting, “The people want peace and tranquility” “We want community police, no more extortions”.

At the rally at the end of the march, some neighbors intervened expressing their full support for the community organization “We are developing this project for the benefit of our children and against the violence in which we live”. Another intervention said, “We want pace and peace for all of the people is reached through struggle, not looting. We want freedom, equality and fraternity so that this project continues in benefit of our children, youth and elders”.

Planting poppy, the only form of sustenance for campesino families in the region

The inhabitants of the communities that marched in Tlacotepec are demanding President Peña Nieto stop the abuse carried out by federal police and military forces against campesinos. They also demanded “that they do not destroy the poppy fields because it is honorable work that brings sustenance to families”.

In the march, they announced the formation of the self-defense group they call the Community Police of Tlacotepec. The group will have as its task the safeguarding of the drug corridor that connects the municipalities of Apaxtla and Teloloapan in order to guarantee security for the inhabitants of the communities of the area. This area has for various years been characterized by massive displacement as a result of confrontations of organized crime groups for the control of the heroin route according to the news source Proceso.

“The dissident campesinos argued that the authorities of the three levels of government have not offered another source of investment to reach the integral development of the peoples of the Sierra and they criticized the attitude of the army and police, to whom they accused of dedicating themselves to robbery, extortion and kidnapping of producers of drugs, as well as people that indirectly benefit from narco-activity”.

 

With information from El Sur de Guerrero and Proceso

Translated from the original here: https://desinformemonos.org/no-la-extorsion-al-secuestro-queremos-policia-comunitaria-80-comunidades-la-sierra-guerrero/

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