As families around the country enjoy the Christmas holiday, residents of the Guerrero town of Rincón de Chautla in Chilapa have been trapped for nearly two weeks since an armed gang arrived.
It started on December 19 when a self-defense group known as Community Police for Peace and Justice — which authorities have linked to the Los Ardillos gang — broke up a quarrel between two groups of local residents.
Some residents say that under the pretext of maintaining the peace, the community police deployed 200 of its members to Chautla where they remain, preventing people from entering or leaving the town. Public transportation and freight deliveries have been halted since December 27.
Residents also claim the community police are constantly threatening them, and that food supplies are falling short.
The state Public Security Secretariat said military and state police were sent to Chautla but withdrew when the community police asked them to leave.
It is suspected that the Peace and Justice Police, and by extension Los Ardillos, are attempting to get the upper hand over the established local community police, which belongs to the Regional Coordination of Community Authorities (CRAC). It has been attempting to stop the gang’s activities.
According to the same sources, the Los Ardillos gnag controls 18 towns in Chilapa and are behind homicides and kidnappings.
Its influence reaches into the neighboring municipality of José Joaquín Herrera, where gang leader Constantino “Chino” García operates. He was was singled out for ordering “dozens of disappearances.”
The Community Police for Peace and Justice has also been held responsible for an armed invasion of the city of Chilapa in 2015 in which at least 16 youths were kidnapped, never to be heard from again.
Source: El Universal (sp)