At least 1,500 people marched in San Miguel Totolapan yesterday demanding the capture of a gang leader who continues to elude authorities.
Citizens of the Tierra Caliente municipality in Guerrero, dressed in white and carrying balloons and signs calling for government action, want to see Raybel Jacobo de Almonte jailed after years of kidnappings, extortion and murders.
Authorities mounted a search for the leader of the Tequileros gang after a stand-off two weeks ago in which his mother was among several people detained by local citizens. They had taken up arms after a kidnapping in the town of Valle de Luz and nabbed several people they believed were collaborators of the gang.
In the end, de Almonte’s mother was released in exchange for the release of a kidnapping victim.
Yesterday, a speaker at the conclusion of the march said they would not put down their arms until the state and federal governments “guaranteed the safety of our families, our property and our lives,”
“We are fighting for tranquility, security, peace and justice in our municipality . . . .”
The marchers even claimed to know the whereabouts of de Almonte, known as El Tequilero, announcing that he could be found in the community of La Gavia.
At least 20 displaced families were among the protesters, having fled their homes due to insecurity. They said they were tired of “moving like gypsies from one place to another” and had decided to return, and to remain.
“We are afraid but together we will try for a better life, a life without fear and a life among our people.”
Authorities were also urged to investigate state Deputy Saúl Beltrán Orozco whom, they claimed, enjoyed a close relationship with de Almonte.
The region in which San Miguel Totolapan is situated is one of the state’s opium poppy-producing areas.
Source: Milenio (sp)