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San Martín Peras, Oaxaca The citizens' group not only detained the mayor and education minister but also confiscated municipal vehicles.

Citizens detain mayor on suspicion of corruption

Residents of San Martín Peras, Oaxaca, are demanding that state authorities carry out an audit

Citizens from an indigenous town in Oaxaca beat up the mayor and detained him along with the town’s Education Minister for alleged corruption on Monday.

People from San Martín Peras, in the Mixtec region of Oaxaca, 300 kilometers west of Oaxaca city, accuse the mayor, Román Juárez Cruz, and the Education Minister, Braulio González Ortiz, of illicit dealings and of breaking the the indigenous governing code known as usos y costumbres.

They said they told Juárez to resign on November 14, but that he refused to leave the position. The citizens assured that he and his family had not been harmed.

A video on social media shows people blocking off a pickup truck on a highway and forcing Juárez out of his vehicle, the newspaper Milenio reported.

The community has asked the Oaxaca Congress to dismiss Juárez and the state auditor OSFEO to carry out an audit of his spending.

The president of the Citizens’ Municipal Committee, Elpidio Ramírez Morales, said most of town’s citizens were involved in the action. “The people, committed to their usos y costumbres, decided to [apprehend] … Mr. Román Juárez Cruz and Mr. Braulio González Ortiz.”

Ramírez added that citizens wouldn’t accept an unelected mayor as a replacement. “There’s a possibility that the Congress will enact a dispersal of powers. We don’t want that … we won’t accept the presence of an administrator in San Martín Peras … here they just come to steal and not to help the people,” he said.

With reports from Milenio and Sistema Radiofónico Informativo 

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