Monday, June 17, 2024

Michoacán mayor’s slaying triggers violence in divided town

Violence flared in Nahuatzen, Michoacán, yesterday after the mayor was abducted and killed.

The body of David Eduardo Otlica Avilés was found in the municipality of Coeneo at around 10:00am yesterday hours after he was forcibly removed from his home by a group of men.

An autopsy revealed that the mayor had received a machete wound to his head and that he had been subjected to torture.

Around an hour after state authorities reported the discovery of Otlica’s body, a group of Nahuatzen residents went to municipal headquarters to accuse members of the Indigenous Citizens’ Council (CCI) of the mayor’s murder.

The latter – who opposed the deceased mayor’s rule – threw fireworks in an attempt to disperse the angry residents who responded by throwing rocks at the municipal palace.

The Michoacán government deployed 250 state police officers to restore peace to the streets of Nahuatzen. No arrests or injuries were reported.

The CCI has blocked access to the municipal offices to protest against what it claims were fraudulent local government elections last July.

The council also opposed Otlica’s manner of governing, arguing that Nahuatzen should be ruled by ancestral indigenous customs and traditions, a form of government known as usos y costumbres, and that the council should manage the municipal budget.

In November, the slain mayor filed a criminal complaint against members of the CCI for threats received both by him and other government officials and attacks to which they had been subjected. Four people were arrested, including the group’s leader, Gerardo Talavera.

The Michoacán Attorney General’s Office (FGE) said yesterday that it had opened an investigation into the mayor’s murder and pledged that “there will be no impunity.”

Otlica is the fifth Michoacán mayor killed since Governor Silvano Aureoles took office in October 2015.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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