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Apr 8, 17

Police murder four villagers in Arantepacua, Michoacán; “They entered the homes and killed them”

On Wednesday afternoon, four villagers from the indigenous community of Arantepacua, Nahuatzen municipality, were shot and killed in a police operation conducted by the Ministry of Public Security. The police also raided homes and threatened residents, including women and children, seeking the release of vehicles – mainly cargo trailers – that the population retained as an act of protest in order to pressure authorities to release 38 indigenous people from the community who have been detained.

The 38 residents were arrested on Tuesday in Morelia in a police operation in the commercial area of La Huerta (on the highway of the same name) for the “alleged theft of a bus.” The 38 people detained have been held incommunicado; two of them have serious diabetes problems that require urgent medication. In a press conference Tuesday morning, members of the Representation of Communal Property of Arantepacua (Representación de Bienes Comunales de Arantepacua) denounced additional acts of repression and demanded a dialogue with the authorities to resolve a territorial conflict and usage of land that was agreed together with the Capácuaro locality, in the municipality of Uruapan, but “due to the inaction of Capácuaro authorities has not been able to continue.”

Regarding Wednesday’s murders, state media and declarations of the government of Michoacán, said that “the people shot at the police, killing two,” however the teachers union, normalista students, residents and various social organizations claim the opposite occurred, resulting in four dead, including a normalista student – an account which strongly disputes the statement given to La Voz Michoacán by an “anonymous police source” “(…) we were unarmed, the only items we had were tear gas, shields, clubs, only riot gear, but people barricaded between the houses shot at us. The intention was just to recover the vehicles that the community had retained.”

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