By: Alina R. Duarte | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
On Monday, the Support and Solidarity Team With The Indigenous Community of Santa María de Ostula denounced that on March 16, an operation led by the Navy of Mexico sought to “dismantle control points in which the Community Police maintains in Xayakalan, Caleta de Campos and Tizupan, municipality of Aquila, along the Michoacán coast.”
A year ago, the Nahua community of Santa María de Ostula reactivated its Community Police in order to reduce the presence of organized crime in its territory, which was in collusion with the state apparatus and which was also denounced. Organized crime had disrupted their municipality since 2011.
Xayakalan is located on land reclaimed by the community in 2009 in order to defend the territory from the presence of mines, which they say, seeks to plunder the region.
Through a statement which was received by Revolución 3.0, the signers expressed their concern faced with “an attempt to disarm the population that is organizing itself around the demands of justice and recognition of the earth.”
Furthermore, they recalled that on February 10 2014, a platoon of the Mexican Army disarmed the Community Police of Ostula and the autodefensa groups that supported them, whereupon the inhabitants forced the general in charge of the maneuver to return the weapons because “to disarm the Community Police and the autodefensa groups would mean to allow cruel murders by members of organized crime.”
“The Marines, who today were trying to disarm the Community Police, are the same ones that have systematically been ignoring and been complicit in forced disappearances and murders. Just remember that on December 6 2011 they didn’t act when, just 500 meters from their checkpoint, J. Trinidad de la Cruz “Don Trino” was tortured and murdered by heavy weapons after the assault on the Caravan of Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad (Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity); or between 2008 and 2013, they didn’t prevent dozens of armed men in caravans of death from travelling along Highway 200 to kill 32 villagers of Ostula and kidnap-disappear five more.”
On December 16 2014, a group of five people ambushed villagers along the coastal Highway 200 Manzanillo-Lázaro Cárdenas, “the group of narco-paramilitaries intended to murder Semeí Verdía, Commander of the Community Police of Santa María Ostula and General Coordinator of the Autodefensas on the coast of Michoacán.
Faced with this state, the inhabitants of Santa María de Ostula have asked to be on the lookout towards these events that can be triggered in the absence of guarantees from the peñanietista government towards the Community Police and Community Guards of Ostula. They called to not allow any more murders, kidnappings, disappearances, or any dispossession against the inhabitants of this town and the communities of the coastal region of Michoacán.
Source: Michoacán 3.0