Friday, December 1, 2023

Gunfire greets displaced residents during attempt to return to their homes

Nearly 2,000 displaced residents from Filo de Caballos, Guerrero, were received with gunfire during a second attempt on the weekend to return to their homes.

The people of Filo de Caballos had sought shelter in the nearby town of Chichicualco, Leonardo Bravo, after an armed confrontation forced them to abandon their homes a week ago.

With reports that their properties have been pillaged, residents wish to return to protect their belongings. But some of their houses are being used as headquarters by the armed invaders.

A first attempt to return was to be made on Friday but after hearing that armed civilians were firing on homes from the hills around the town, residents decided to remain put.

Later, local government officials met with representatives of the state government and it was agreed that the hundreds of displaced people would start their journey back home the following day with an official security detail.

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At noon on Saturday they left the auditorium in which they had been staying for the past week, traveling on board 105 vehicles with state police, military personnel and journalists.

But as the convoy was approaching their destination, gunshots were heard, halting it near the town of Los Morros. Officials traveled alone to Filo de Caballo, seeking to negotiate with the invaders.

Also on the weekend, the federal Attorney General’s office opened an investigation into Leonardo Bravo Mayor Ismael Cástulo Guzmán for alleged ties with criminal organizations and his possible role as an instigator of violence in the mountains of Guerrero.

Cástulo has been identified in a photograph with two suspected gang members — the leader of the Cartel del Sur and its chief hitman.

Some people in the region allege that Cástulo plays an important role for the Cartel del Sur, which is embroiled in a turf war with another gang.

Both organizations are not only vying for control of opium poppy cultivation but its transportation as well and the extortion of mining companies operating there.

Source: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp)

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