Another 1,000 soldiers are off to Guerrero to bolster security efforts in the Tierra Caliente region following last week’s violent standoffs.
Federal Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong announced the deployment yesterday in Mexico City in a joint press conference with Guerrero Governor Héctor Astudillo Flores and the federal security cabinet.
Osorio rejected recent calls for the appointment of a special security commissioner for the state on the grounds that “the state administration has fulfilled its role,” giving as an example the municipalities of Acapulco and Iguala where, he said, the strategy to reduce homicides linked to organized crime has shown progress.
“In this regard, Acapulco and Iguala have figures that tell us that the strategy is working. We’re also reviewing the other municipalities,” Osorio Chong said.
“The federal and state governments cannot allow confrontations that put society at risk, which is why we’re reinforcing the region,” explained the Interior Secretary with regard to the conflict between rival gangs Los Tequileros and La Familia Michoacana, which sparked the current security crisis in Tierra Caliente.
Osorio also said that the security measures implemented by the Astudillo administration are subject to evaluation on a permanent basis, and that the federal administration will not be satisfied until peace returns to every municipality in the state.
Back on ground zero, a group of about 60 women and children marched yesterday in the Tierra Caliente city of Tlapehuala, carrying placards calling for a justice and and end to abuse of power.
With their faces covered by their placards, the protesters marched silently letting the signs state their demands: a just government, no more abuse of authority, the exit of government forces from Tierra Caliente and the release of 23 individuals in custody.
When pressed by reporters, the women could not or did not want to state the names of those arrested or the reasons for their arrest.
The news website El Sur reported that the women appeared to march in fear, asking reporters not to take photos of them.
In the town of La Gavia, San Miguel Totolapan, which was the scene of a gunfight that killed eight people last Wednesday, security forces have installed an operations base as a precautionary measure against further clashes between the warring gangs.
Meanwhile, members of the self-defense group Movimiento por la Paz y la Justicia (Movement for Peace and Justice) have accused the armed forces of not implementing a plan to search for and arrest Raybel Jacobo de Almonte, also known as El Tequilero, leader of the gang of the same name.
The conflict in Tierra Caliente and elsewhere in Guerrero has triggered calls from politicians that the federal government name a security commissioner. Both the National Action Party and the Democratic Revolution Party have issued the call, arguing that security strategies have not yet produced the desired results.