Communique From Ostula: Community Police Members Liberated
To the public opinion
To the National Indigenous Congress
To the Zapatistas Army of National Liberation
To the free media
To the national and international media
Early today (February 8th), through joint operations and negotiations, the compañeros of the community police of San Pedro Naranjestil, municipality of Aquila, Michaocan, were liberated: Abigail Farías Fernán, Crispín Francscio de Aquino, Saúl Fabían Meraz Martínez, Eleno Valencia Zambrano and Francisco Carreón Valencia. The compañeros had been kidnapped and disappeared at the hands of members of the Marines on February 5th, 2017. They then handed our compañeros over to organized crime groups led by Jesús Cruz Virrueta aka Chuy Playas, Fernando Cruz Mendoza aka El Tena, José María Cruz aka el Tunco, Federico González Medina aka Lico and Mario Álvarez López aka El Chacal. Two other compañeros had been taken during the process of negotiation.
We want to clarify that our community does not know the conditions and agreements that were reached with the criminal group for the liberation of our compañeros and we denounce that none of those responsible for this new attack have been detained. Furthermore, the relation and complicity between the criminal organizations and the marines has not been clarified.
Although the bad government denies its participation in the disappearance of the compañeros of the community police, we strongly reject their version that the criminals disguised themselves with vehicles and uniforms of the Marines to kidnap our compañeros.
Considering the knowledge and omission on part of the authorities, our community has repeatedly denounced the build up of organized crime to penetrate the region. As has been denounced, this generates an environment of permanent tension in the municipalities of the Sierra-Costa of Michoacán, where this recent attack has occurred.
On April 19, 2016, around 8:30 pm, community police and the municipal president of Aquila, Michoacán, José Luis Arteaga Oliveras, were ambushed in the community of Cachán de Echeverría.
On September 17, 2016, around 8:30 am, organized crime groups in the coastal highway attacked community police, one kilometer from the security checkpoint in the community of Tizupan. On this occasion, the community police member Lorenzo Mendoza Castañeda, from the community of Tizupan, lost his life.
On October 23, 2016, around 5:30 am, in the place known as Las Patacuas, which belongs to the municipality of San Pedro Naranjestil, two members of the community police were kidnapped and assassinated: 61 year old Luis Olascón Mendoza and 51 year old Juan Cruz Montehano. They were both found dead with signs of torture.
On November 22, 2016, around 5:00 am, the security checkpoint in the community of Tizupan, municipality of Aquila, was attacked by five hooded people from a passing truck with high-caliber weapons. The community police repelled the attack and nobody was injured.
Our denunciation of the complicity of the repressive armed forces is not new in the Sierra-Costa of Michoacán. In 2015, the armed forces of the bad government shot at community members of Ostula while they were carrying out a peaceful protest against the detention of commander of the community police Cemeí Verdía Zepeda. The government assassinated the boy Hidelberto Reyes García and acclaimed the Caballeros Templarios, trying to stop the resistance of the community and thus open up the area to organized crime.
In December of 2011, despite being nearby when our compañero Trinidad de la Cruz Crisóstoo (Don Trino) was ambushed, the Navy was “unaware” of the gunshots fired by the hit men who carried out the attack. Our compañero was accompanied by a group of observers and journalists. The Navy is thus accomplice to the torture and assassination of our compañero, along with the looting of minerals, precious wood, and narco-trafficing that permeated the community for the next two years of terror.
In May of 2010, around one thousand elements of the marines, army, federal police, and even US agents searched homes in the community for guns. They allowed the entrance of a group of around 150 narco-military men in the community that in plain sight, tried to kidnap and intimidate community members.
Taking into consideration all of this, the community of Ostula has decided to continue with our mobilizations. We will not permit the ambition of the capitalists in government, the mining companies, and organized crime to continue taking from us our collective peace. We demand:
- That an operation is urgently carried out to detain the templario leaders Jesús Cruz Virrueta aka Chuy Playas, Fernando Cruz Mendoza aka El Tena, José María Cruz aka el Tunco, Federico González Medina aka lico y Mario Álvarez López aka El Chacal, as well as the true disarticulation of the cartel and its political and economic structure.
- Cancellation of the arrest orders that exist against members of our communal guard and of the other groups of community police in the Sierra-Costa region.
- De-militarization of the Sierra-Costa region of Michoacán. Punishment of the command and members of the military and police that assassinated the boy Hidelberto Reyes García, injuring and beating diverse community members and destroying the possessions of the community of Ostula. Also, reparations for the damages caused to the possessions of the community of Ostula and the return of the following articles: four communication radios, the stamps and identifications of the security counsel, a registered pistol, and four sets of keys.
- Respect and guarantees of freedom to the members and the functioning of the community police in the municipalities of Aquila, Coahuayana, Chiniquila and Coalcomán
- Presentation with life of the six community members disappeared and punishment to the masterminds and others guilty of the assassination of the 34 community members belonging to the community of Ostula in the past four years.
- End to the misinformation and the creation of violent groups in the Nahua community.
- Respect to the communal territory of Santa María Ostula and an integral solution to the agrarian conflict with the small proprietors of La Placita.
- A favorable resolution to the request of the municipal president of Aquila regarding the installation of a Mixed Base of Operations in the locality of Huahua, located in the southeast of the municipality, surrounding the municipal police of Aquila.
February 8th, 2017
Never More a Mexico Without Us
Santa María Ostula, Municipality of Aquila, Michoacán
Translated from the original here: http://komanilel.org/2017/02/09/comunicado-ostula-liberados-los-policias-comunitarios/