By Chris Covert
A total of 62 Policia Federal (PF) agents have been kidnapped in Uruapan municipality in Michaocan state, according to a several Mexican news accounts.
agents apparently happened upon a roadblock maintained by local
indigenous Angahuan and Carapan Indians when they were taken prisoner Indigenous Indians are protesting illegal
logging in the Meseta Purepecha area, according to a report posted on
the website of El Sol de Zacatecas news daily.
According to a late article posted on thw website of El Sol de Mexico news daily, a total of 50 additional PF agents were kidnapped. The article failed to elaborate when and where the additional police were kidnapped.
roads between Uruapan and Paracho, and Los Reyes and Zamora are being
blocked as well as roads near Angahuan Capacuaro, Santa Cruz Tanaco and Tlazazalca. Those stretches of roads are less than seven
kilometers from Cheran municipality, where continual protests against
activity residents have claimed as illegal logging has taken place the
past two years.
a Michoacan government news release said that at least three mixed
operating bases would be established in the areas around Cheran, Paracho
and Santa Cruz Tanaco. BOM or Base de Operaciones Mixtas, is a mixture of federal
and state security forces. The mixing of security forces from all
levels of gvoernment is a practice in routine use in Nuevo Leon state to
counter drug gangs operating in the area, and to provide patrols.
According to the El Sol de Mexico article the kidnappings are a response to the Michoacan state government plan to beef up security forces in the area. PF have also been asked to leave the area by indigent Indians.
news release, which names Michoacan governor Fausto Vallejo Figueroa
said a number of repeated meetings would take place to assess the
security situation in the area.
The uptick in activity
takes place in the wake of the murder of two Cheran residents two weeks ago
near Cheran. The victims, Urbano Macias Rafael, 48, and Guadalupe
Geronimo Velazquez, 28 were kidnapped as they attempted to bring in
cattle from the fields. A protest by Cheran residents not only locked
local officials in the town hall, but also took place in the capital of
Morelia at the legislative palace.
The two men were later found dead.
for local indigenous Indians in Michoacan boil down to illegal use of lands they
consider tribal and sacred. Residents of Cheran have been protesting
illegal logging and organized crime activity in the area for years.
so, indigenous Indians such as the residents of Cheran have allegedly themselves
been involved in a number of illegal acts such as auto theft
carjacking, illegal roadblocks and imposition of illegal duties, as well
a number of other petty crimes.
Michoacan is one of
the six most heavily reinforced states in Mexico with at least 8,000
Mexican army troops deployed to the area. Those troops along with
elements of Mexican Naval Infantry troops and Policia Federal
troops were ordered into the state to provide additional security for
the November 2011 elections. Those troops have only been reinforced
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com