Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Armed suspects enter Jicamorachi in Chihuahua
By Chris Covert
A large group of armed suspects entered the village of Jicamorachi in Urique municipality in extreme western Chihuahua state Tuesday, according to Mexican news accounts.
According to a news report posted on the website of El Diario de Juarez Wednesday, an unidentified individual called the newspaper saying that armed suspects entered Jicamorachi sometime in the morning, firing weapons and threatening residents if they did not leave. The caller said that some residences had been torched.
At the time of the story, a telephone call was placed to the town clerk of Urique municipality, who was identified as Jaime Banda, who said he was unaware of the incursion by armed suspects.
However, according to a separate news account posted on the website of El Norte news daily, Carlos Gonzalez of the Chihuahua state Fiscalia general del Estado (FGE) or attorney general confirmed that three residences had been torched in Jicamorachi, firearms were fired, but no report of injuries had been made.
Urique municipality is no stranger to drug and gang violence. The most recent violent incident last November involved the murder of a local Sinaloa Cartel leader, Antonio Erives Arduño, 39, who was beheaded. The discovery of the body led to a shootout between elements of the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels.
According to a news account which appeared on the website of El Diario de Coahuila news daily by Red Libre Periodismo writer Patricia Mayorga, last February armed suspects entered two mining camps in Urique municipality and kidnapped six men and stole two vehicles, cell phones and other items. The armed suspects also threatened to kill miners if they did not leave the area.
Both cartel compete in the area for routes and growing areas, and both treat local indigenous people as serfs if they do not cooperate.
Also in Jicamorachi two years ago a feud between two families led to six homes torched, another ten damaged by gunfire and four vehicles torched. The village, according to an archived news account posted on he website of El Mexicano news daily, Jicamorachi is evenly divided between supporters of the two competing families.
According to a separate archived news account posted on the website of Milenio news daily, the most recent census data puts the population of the village at 374 inhabitants, of which 95 are men and 171 are women. The male population reduction is mainly due to migration. About 30 structures are in the village which are classified as residences.
Jicamorachi is in a remote area of the Sierras de Tarahumara, so much so it takes about six hours to get from Urique, the municipal seat to the village.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com and BorderlandBeat.com