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Luis Antonio Torres and hipolito mora Not friends any more.

11 killed in battle between rivals

Gunfight erupts between two former civil defense groups in Michoacán

Eleven people were killed yesterday afternoon in a confrontation between two warring factions of the Fuerza Rural in Michoacán.

The gunfight occurred in La Ruana in Tierra Caliente between followers of Hipólito Mora on one hand and Luis Antonio Torres on the other. Mora’s 32-year-old son was among the victims.

State security commissioner Alfredo Castillo blamed the incident on a historic rivalry between Mora and Torres.

Three hundred officers of the National Gendarmerie have been sent to the area to maintain order, while investigators from the state attorney general’s office are gathering evidence at the scene. No arrests have been made.

In a radio interview Mora claimed that Torres and his accomplices fired first. “We didn’t go looking for them, they arrived in trucks from different places” and surrounded Mora and his group, he said.

“All we did was defend ourselves.”

Both men were leaders of two of the civil defense groups that had begun operating in the state in response to drug cartel violence.

In March, Mora was accused by Torres of killing two members of his group, and Mora was subsequently jailed by authorities. He was released in May for lack of evidence.

That same month, after both had joined the new community police force known as Fuerza Rural, the security commissioner arranged a reconciliation between the two men, releasing a photo of them shaking hands.

With blood having been shed by both sides, there are not likely to be any more handshakes for a while.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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