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Bullet-riddled truck Bullet-riddled truck after yesterday's shooting.

Guerrero shoot-out leaves eight dead

Prosecutor warns community police groups not to cross the line

Eight people are dead after armed civilians belonging to a local community police force in the Costa Chica region of Guerrero faced off yesterday against state police. The shoot-out later drew words of warning from the state prosecutor: he’s had enough of civilian police groups crossing the line.

State security personnel had been notified of a kidnapping at a location between the communities of El Barrero and San Juan de los Llanos, on the boundary between Igualapa and Ometepec.

When they arrived in El Barrero they were confronted by armed civilians who opened fire and killed two police officers. Police returned fire, killing six civilians.

The civilians were part of the community police network known as CRAC.

State prosecutor Miguel Angel Godínez said after it was over that the events should serve as a signal that the state will not allow the “line of tolerance” to be crossed or permit actions contrary to the rule of law.

He said authorities have been “very tolerant” but cannot stand still and let such incidents occur.

“This is a parting of the waters,” said the prosecutor, “a signal that the authorities are here and there exists the rule of law and it shall not be abused.”

Godínez said he admired the civilian police forces their determination to defend their land and their families, “but they cannot break the law.”

CRAC leader Eliseo Villar faces charges of kidnapping and will be investigated for any connection he may have had with yesterday’s events.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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