Filed under: Documentary, Repression, Southern Mexico
Michoacan is still a nest of uncertainty. It is not with the arrival of Silvano Aureoles for governor the situation of collusion between organized crime and public officials and politicians will end. Still much to investigate, to denounce and above all to prevent a recurrence, and that is something that is very clear in the general population: to rebuild a calmer life is necessary to end the problem of criminal status from the root, not only attack symptoms.
Purépecha plateau is the only example of the struggle to finally banish the enemy can accommodate a different, more organic and legitimate way of social organization. In this sense the struggle undertaken by the municipality of Cheran in April 2011 is a key example will influence the surrounding municipalities and the entire region, sometimes visibly, often with the silence of indigenous peoples. Since then the focus of resistance and autonomy sparking cheranense community and has remained on a growing force, despite the war lived in the rest of the state and, above all, despite the various government estretegias State and federal implemented to silence revolts and uprisings between 2012 and 2014.
Nahuatzen, home of the New Year p’urhépecha in 2013, is adjacent to Cheran, so close that the difference between a context where there are no political parties and has opted for the recovery of a communal government, and the other, full of criminals of all types, politicians and thugs, collectors fees, hawks, shooters, is dizzying. Nahuatzen, the county seat, has remained silent despite the revolt of neighboring Cheran and despite the party autonomy that exists until now there. Not so some of their communities, who spent the criminal control of La Familia Michoacana the Knights Templar along with some attempts at resistance were quickly silenced.
Nearby, in October 2012, the community decided Urapicho -municipio of Paracho- up armsand form a community round, one of the models most traditional security among indigenous communities; following the example of Cheran, members of the indigenous community set up roadblocks at the entrances of the village, cover their faces and use the few who manage to recover weapons to combat organized crime. Very soon, the state government emissaries come to the community and interview representatives of the round and reach an agreement: the establishment of a Joint Operations Base (BOM). Months later installed in the community not in an atmosphere of security and calm, people are still scared and suspicious of strangers passing through the street, the patrol army and state police walking paths nearby. We know that are still present only the Knights Templar now operating more and more discreet selctiva, always behind the military and police maner shelter.
In April 2013-just weeks later that the paramilitaries a new attempt to follow the path of Cheran were lifted in hot- Earth, and only taking its first steps as a community policing. Turicuaro indigenous community, in the municipality of Nahuatzen has some community members whodecide to take up arms to try to expel the organized crime and rebuild the social tissue death and fear have left broken. Not many and not have the full support of the community, making it easy infiltrarles and co-opt those who are not so convinced, in such a way that this attempt to build a just community safety unstructured.
Finally, the United P’urhépechas Communities (Cherato, Cheratillos, Oruscato and 18 March, all the municipality of Los Reyes) decide to push the figure of the community round in their territory after the death of President of the Commissariat of Communal Goods 22 March 2013;since that date will not be returned to see the official council that refused to charge fees to the villagers for each hectare of avocados produced as he considered this as a disgrace to the community: extort his own people and give this money to a criminal group.
After the uprising of these four communities, the community manages to consolidate round as a security medium containing the Templars, while in the south of the city the paramilitaries fighting to the death against the same criminal group. To date, the community round is retained even decreased in number, however, it remains one of the pockets of resistance that make up the Purépecha plateau and antecedena crisis Nahuatzen recently evidenced in the current collusion between cartel town hall.
The violent awakening Nahuatzen
In each of the barricades that block the passage to the inputs of Nahuatzen the flames of bonfires illuminate the faces covered with twenty men. They are not armed, but sticks and stones are visible next to the hut that serves as a shelter. The bus driver that Pazcuaro out to Cheran continuously reports its position to the center and, past the barricade, concerned questions whether the return will give step: they are half past eight p.m. and at nine community members closed the road. The tension is tangible but yes, so the truck continues.Ten minutes away, Cheran, with its bustling with people and children playing another municipality does not appear square, but another world. Hence, the next day a meeting with some community of Nahuatzen that, for security reasons, decide to leave the village to tell his story occurs.
The root of the events, in the middle of October, seized the media spotlight on his people, it comes from a problem that the community lived, in June, with the adjoining town of Sevina. At that time, the clashes between the settlers was charged to the dispute over the ownership of 400 thousand hectares of land, conflict apparently dates back to the late nineties and would be related to a decision on recognition and certification of communal assets issued by the Agrarian Tribunal. But apparently conflicting properties have more to do with the election campaign of Miguel Prado Morales, mayor candidate for the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) -in coalition with the National Action Party (PAN), the Party Labor (PT), the Humanist Party (PH) and the New Alliance Party (PNA) – with this agrarian resolution 1999.
It, in fact, that the lands were the inhabitants of Nahuatzen to claim after the elections had been promised by Prado to commoners Sevina that against the electoral victory of the candidate above, demanded to see rewarded their vote. The proposal by Prado solution would have been to use some machinery from Morelia and intended to mark the boundaries with the nearby community of Comachuén, to change the ownership of these properties to abuts Nahuatzen. Realizing the deception, villagers in the county seat would have come to the site in dispute, where they were met by members of the Public Force, accompanied by the representative of Communal Goods, Noah Chavez and other masked men.
The outcome of the confrontation was wounded five burned vehicles, destroyed a house of surveillance and, in the longer term, almost a month of roadblocks. In late June, the state government managed to calm discord through a dialogue and some political figures of the previous legislature rushed to the scene, as the head of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, Martha Josefina Rodriguez and the Secretary of Government, Jesus Gutierrez Santillan; June 24 a supposed truce, whose decisions, however, denounce the inhabitants of Nahuatzen, which were never concretized was signed. What materialized was however popular organization, precisely in this context that saw the emergence of a Citizen Council, composed of representatives of the four quarters of the municipal head and a Community Round that while unarmed, was in charge of security from town. This is the origin of both the Citizens’ Council who opposed the installation of the security apparatus in the Prado last October, as the seven “gatekeepers” who were injured by it.
The story continues with the inauguration of now mayor, Miguel Prado, September 1 this year.The villagers say that his first act as mayor was presented to the village accompanied by the Indian Force Urapicho and a security team in charge of Silviano Murguía González, originally from Turicuaro, known in the region as “The Taurus” and pointed as head of Square of the Knights Templar, in charge of “collecting floor” and various other criminal activities perpetrated in the area. Nahuatzen, who lived this as an open threat against him, responded by organizing a first decision of municipal facilities to reject the imposition of this security, the purpose of which, I knew, would not be taking care of the people but their destruction.
And for this reason also he rejected the first offer of Prado, in seeking agreement, promised to present his findings public safety to ensure its viability. The villagers were very clear: it is not a matter of passing exams, but it is the common people to be responsible for security.
At this point in the narrative, in fact, making space the memory of “Guero”, a security director Huetamo which was imposed after the killing of the acting mayor Wilfrido Flores Villa, killed in Pazcuaro in February 2013 and that for months He kept the population in a state of constant terror threats “Tierra Caliente and lift them up there to kill them.” In addition, another source of distrust was the presence, next to Prado, Secretary of Trade Policy of the National Executive Committee of the PRD, Martin Garcia Aviles. Originally from Nahuatzen and brother Leonarda García Aviles, chosen on the return of Prado councilor, Martin Garcia did not leave a good memory of his tenure as mayor, and his countrymen say now concerned not only with its proximity but also with the Prado Governor Silvano Aureoles Conejo. After this confrontation, witnesses defined “a pitched battle” and where the villagers were beaten and hauled by threats “dawn bagged” by the mayor himself, all dialogue with the authorities broke. What followed was the lifting of the roadblock towards Arantepacua and the decision to maintain the Community Round, funded through fees paid flea market stalls to city hall to rent public space.
This precarious balance short-lived. October 16 was the last day that the members of the Round could use the money from the flea market as a source of sustenance. The next day, led by “The Taurus’ elements were responsible for collecting such fees and the Citizen Council reacted to the decision to take the town hall and get the Indian Citizen Forces and settled there. The popular initiative euphoria lasted a handful of times before in the morning, between 17 and 18 October, a joint operation of these two forces and some masked men came to the municipal plaza and began to insult, beat and including torture people who were supporting the movement. The balance was several wounded and two kidnapped.
The response was immediate: he decided to go to the homes of some characters of the community and force them to intervene to resolve the matter. Abraham Serna Maldonado, owner trustee that villagers denounced as former manager of the local drug dealing; Marin Paleo Alvarado, local businessman owner of a bar where the people reporting local leaders organized and member of the police squad “Guero” and the “Taurus” gather alleged crime;and the councilor Leonarda García Aviles, were taken to the premises and threatened with lynching taken if they had not found a way to return to the “raised”. After a few hours and several calls gave the location of the hostages, who were found in a vacant, alive but severely beaten ground, and the three “hostages” they were released. The news had strong media coverage and state authorities intervened.
On Monday 19 October the Citizen Council members then went to Morelia to sign an agreement, which recognized the constitution before a notary and Prado stated that neither the mayor nor his security team would operate from the municipal seat. The festive atmosphere which the Council received the capital return was however very short duration: around half past eight p.m. came and twenty-eight trucks of riot police, accompanied by members of the army and of the Citizen Force. Nahuatzen bells, who remained silent during these two years of upheaval in the state of Michoacan, now raised their voices and the people united to defend the police attack and try to respond with tear rockets, and sticks to bullets.
There were wounded and two arrested villagers, while the people managed to retain three grenadiers, a man and two women, ‘our guarantee that we restituted colleagues who took ».The figure of seven detainees police, run by the official press, hiding the details of the exchange of these “hostages”, not that the four federal, arriving at Nahuatzen to rescue his companions were intercepted by two trucks of armed subjects unknown origin, asked why, facing the confusion of the villagers, stay in town at least until the next morning. After the latter event, a tense calm has returned gradually into the streets of the head but more than a month after the first protest yet a solution of this conflict is not seen, and no official information has been released about governance situation of the municipality, either by the government or by the state leadership of the PRD.
The villagers say they united and determined to continue their resistance until the last consequences, in a plan of fortifications round and Citizen Community Board. On the other hand, it seems the president Pardo still can not find a municipality willing to receive his council and has been rejected by Sevina, Comachuén and even by their own community Arantepacua. Rumors report that is operating from Turicuaro under the protection of the “Taurus” and perhaps from there signed privately Single Convention on Police Command whose photographs appear on their Facebook status on 7th November. At this point, and recalling the words of a resident of Nahuatzen said: “The state does not know the beast has awakened,” the only thing you may want is that, as announced in the social networks, the president and his team They are truly “aware of the responsibility that entails.”