Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Enraged residents harass National Guardsmen in Michoacán

National Guard troops were forced to retreat after angry residents of Apatzingán, Michoacán, pelted them with eggs and rocks on Sunday.

The troops had been responding to reports of road blockades and burned vehicles set up by the residents on the Apatzingán-Aguililla highway.

Videos posted to social media showed scenes of residents yelling in the soldiers’ faces and throwing eggs by the dozen at them and their vehicles.

“Do you want us to disarm you, you swine? Are you going to arrest the whole town?” one resident shouted at the soldiers.

In order to de-escalate the situation, the National Guard troops were ordered to stand down and return to their base. Their vehicles can be seen in the videos reversing away from the scene while eggs splatter on the hoods and windshields.

The National Guard issued a statement Sunday night which stated that “residents of the Cenobio Moreno community [in Apatzingán] assaulted our officers with rocks and eggs.”

“We opted to de-escalate the confrontation, distancing the officers from the aggressors, whose actions in no way put the integrity of our personnel at risk,” it said, adding that it would only use force as a last recourse.

Sunday’s events were not the first time that Michoacán citizens have taken aggressive actions against federal forces.

A group of citizens claiming to be a self-defense force disarmed and detained 14 soldiers in La Huacana in May of last year. The soldiers were released later that day in a deal with the National Defense Secretariat (Sedena) to exchange them for weapons that had been confiscated.

National Defense Secretary Luis Crescencio Sandoval González justified the restraint of force and said that it was better to turn over the weapons than attack the citizens.

Intelligence reports later confirmed that the citizens had actually been members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Residents of Los Reyes attacked a military convoy with shovels and brooms in August because they reportedly believed that the soldiers had detained members of an armed civilian group. One soldier died in a shootout with civilians in the municipality of Ziracuaretiro on the same day.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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