Purépecha communities from Capácuaro, San Lorenzo, Caltzontzin, Angahuan, Corupo, from the municipality of Uruapan call for the removal of the new Fuerza Rural police force, because they can’t tolerate that they install checkpoints at the entrances to their towns and “commit a series of abuses” as has occurred this past September 11 in San Lorenzo, where there was an outbreak of violence because the rurales attempted to inspect all of the taxi drivers who entered the town, violating free transit.
The community organized themselves and called for the removal of the Fuerza Rural, which they identify as autodefensas, and they warned that if they don’t leave, they will take up arms. Later in a negotiation, commanders of the Fuerza Rural pledged to allow free transit. However, the five communities agreed to perform under practices and customs when it comes to security.
The mayor of Uruapan, Aldo Macías Alejandres, said that more than 40,000 indigenous people living in this municipality refuse to be stopped and checked in their own territory, and they have warned that if the Fuerza Rural continues here, the inhabitants of San Lorenzo will kick them out of this region which is located about 30 kilometers from Uruapan.
As has happened in Cherán and in a community of Paracho, the residents of the region of Uruapan insist on letting themselves defend according to their own practices and customs. “They should know that when they (the police) go to the county seat, there are rules that must be respected”.
With regard to the communities that extract wood on land that isn’t theirs, Macías, coordinator of the PRI representatives of Michoacán, noted that “it is not enough to block roads or to demonstrate in the city halls to pressure the authorities and obtain the release of those who commit crimes.”
He also said that he agrees with the indigenous communities about organizing in order to provide security for its citizens in accordance with their practices and customs, “but they also can’t be outside of a national or state-wide mandate.”
It’s common for indigenous communities to be divided, the mayor said, because just as there are people who want to choose their own security elements, there are those who prefer that the state and Federation be responsible for this job, but it’s something that must be resolved because the same thing happens in other Purépecha communities where they don’t allow the intrusion of strangers in their towns.
For over a decade, the Purépecha regions of La Meseta, La Cañada de los Once Pueblos, La Lacustre Zone, and La Ciénega de Zacapu, have been affected by organized crime.
Source: La Jornada