Monday, May 20, 2024

Fear in Zamora, Michoacán: ‘We can’t go out into the streets’

Rising violence in Zamora, Michoacán, is creating terror among residents even as the state and federal governments take actions to restore order.

Early Sunday morning, gunmen associated with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel attacked police in two separate ambushes, killing three officers and injuring eight, one of whom later died of his injuries. Two civilian bystanders were also injured in the attacks.

Many residents do not feel reassured by the government response, which has included beefing up police and military patrols.

Although the Secretariat of Education decided not to cancel classes, many individual schools are closing on their own initiative.

One young mother told El Universal that she has avoided going outside in recent days, and that the police and military presence near her house do not make her feel safer.

“There’s a lot of insecurity, and we can’t go outside when we want to,” she said. “We can’t take the kids out after a certain time of night, because we are afraid.”

She added that although the government has made many promises safety has not improved in Zamora, and she does not see any indication that the situation will improve.

“They could start shooting again, and something could happen to one of my kids,” she said.

Fernando, a Zamora resident who only gave his first name, told El Universal that he happened to be present at both of the Sunday morning attacks on police.

“There was a heavy smell of burning, and there was too much tension among everyone.” When it was over, he said, “it was very sad to see the officers lying on the ground.”

In his morning press conference on Monday, President López Obrador confirmed that the National Guard will be sent to help restore security in Michoacán.

Meanwhile, Michoacán Governor Silvano Aureoles announced that the state and federal governments are cooperating on a security plan that includes sending 350 state police officers to Zamora.

“Our response will be far greater than those who try to intimidate us, violate our peace or hurt our society,” he said. “We’re not going to allow them to hurt us, or make people live with fear, uncertainty and anxiety.”

Source: El Universal (sp), El Sol de México (sp)

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