Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
Due to recent violence and the neglect from state and federal authorities in the region, residents of the municipality of Aquila retook up arms, almost three years after the emergence of the autodefensas.
In an interview conducted by Noventa Grados Radio, the leader of the autodefensas in Aquila, Semeí Verdía Zepeda, stated that in less than a month, there have been three assassinations, two of which were tortured and burned, as well as an ambush against municipal police.
The extreme violence with which have been carried out by criminals and the lack of capacity of the municipal police to ensure the security in the municipality, have forced people to take up arms, Verdía Zepeda said.
The leader of the autodefensas said that neither the state nor the federal governments turn to take a look at the coastal region, as it is its duty to ensure the safety of the state, but also acknowledged that it is the work of the three levels of government.
Semeí Verdía said that the municipal police alone can’t handle the problem of insecurity, so that’s why the civilians will help them, because organized crime forces them to be on alert.
He also expressed the full willingness of the people to cooperate with the authority if it approaches them and asks them, but this has not happened, and instead has kept Aquila outside of security and social actions.
Michoacán Government Denies Autodefensas Retook Up Arms
The Michoacán Secretary of Government, Adrián López Solís, denied that with the recent events of violence in the Sierra-Costa Region, that the autodefensas have resurged.
In this regard, López Solís announced that in the coming days, the state government will work to resolve the issue of the municipal police forces in Chinicuila, Aquila and Tepalcatepec, where this conflict still persists.
According to López Solís, the recent events in the area are the result of the remnants that remain since 2015 when former Commissioner Alfredo Castillo Cervantes was head of the security strategy in the state.
Also, López Solís acknowledged that some of the leaders have problems with justice and despite the requests made, they have not been made available to the courts to clarify the situation, adding that there have not been any arrests by the authorities because they have not shown themselves.