The Knights Templar cartel distributed flyers across Michoacán telling people to unite with them on the mourning of their recently fallen members.
The flyer´s text mentions that the mourning is for those members that were killed while the Knights Templar tried to “recover their towns” taken by the Communitarian Police in Tepalcatepec, Buenavista and La Ruana..
Knights Templar flyer forbidding Alcohol sales in Michoacan.
Flyer text translation:
”Apatzingan Mich.- Good Evening, we are the Knights Templar Michoacan Guard, we inform you that due to our fallen warriors who lost their lives fighting to recover parts of our towns taken by the communitarian police, which are Tepalcatepec, Buenavista and La Ruana. We communicate to you there will be TWO DAYS OF MOURNING in which YOU CAN´T SELL any kind of alcoholic beverages in the whole Michoacan state, he who ignores this notice and is caught will be taxed or his business will be burnt LEMON CUT IS FORBIDDEN these two days so all my people can help with this petition.
ATT: Knight Templar Michoacán Guard”
The flyers began to circulate in Tierra Caliente, Apatzingan, Buena Vista, Pinzandaro, Tepalcatepec, Paracuaro, Cuatro Caminos, Nueva Italia, Uruapan, Morelia, Lazaro Cardenas and other Michoacán cities.
La Jornada. April 28th, Morelia, Michoacán.- Members of the criminal organization known as The Knights Templar attacked this morning the communitarian guards in Tepalcatepec and Felipe Carrillo Puerto, better known as La Ruana, municipality of Buena Vista Tomatlan. The shootout ended up with at least 10 people killed and seven wounded.
Communitarian Police check point in Tepalcatepec
La Ruana´s communitarian police leader said that armed groups arrived at about 5:00 AM, these groups tried to surprise them with assault rifles, this in turn originated a shootout that lasted for about 40 minutes.
“There were four casualties on our side and four more wounded; There were several deaths on their side too, we don´t know how many”, stated the communitarian leader, he also mentioned another shootout in Pueblo Viejo, near Buena Vista in which no casualties were reported, however, Police sources claim 6 hit men died in the shootout and 3 more were wounded.
On April 10th, several lemon harvesters were attacked when they returned to La Ruana after attending an homage to Emiliano Zapata, 8 people died in that attack and 6 more were wounded.
After that shootout, in which grenades were used, the Federal Police seized four vehicles and two firearms.
The State Government claimed the Federal Attorney General Office would take care of the case. The Federal agency confirmed the shootouts, but not the number of casualties, about Tepalcatepec, they said there was a shootout that ended up without casualties.
About two months ago more than 400 citizens from Tepalcatepec, 200 from La Ruana and 70 from Buena Vista armed themselves to face the organized crime in Apatzingan´s valley.
Members of the La Ruana Communitarian Police.
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The region of Tierra Caliente is a producer of livestock and lemon. Citric orchards make up for more than 70 thousand acres in the regions and almost 30 packing facilities are in charge of distributing the products. Two thirds of that production comes from Tepalcatepec and Buena Vista. The communitarian police leaders themselves claim to be ranchers and lemon growers.
“Since this movement started the harvest and packaging of lemon has been slow. We have more than one month of inactivity because the organized crime is blocking the departure of trucks. We are under pressure, but we know this had to stop, because we as ranchers and lemon growers practically worked for them, we lived under threats”, stated one of the Tepalcatepec leaders.
A mixed operations base was installed in the outskirts of Tepalcatepec in order to protect this town bordering with Jalisco, home state of the Cartel Jalisco New Generation group that is fighting for this plaza. “We are not members of any cartel. We want to live peacefully and be allowed to work”.