Parents held in chains on schoolgrounds in Michoacán. Parents held in chains on schoolgrounds in Michoacán.

Parents freed after being held in chains for opposing closure of school

They had been detained by members of the community police force

Four parents have been released from custody after being detained by community police for opposing the closure of a bilingual elementary school in La Cofradía de Ostula in Aquila, Michoacán.

Officials from the Secretary of Public Security negotiated the release of the parents, three of whom had been held in chains and publicly displayed as a form of punishment.

La Cofradía is an indigenous community and governed and policed according to traditional laws and customs. The parents were detained on Tuesday, but state authorities were unaware of the situation until photographs surfaced showing three of the parents chained to posts on the schoolgrounds.

State police established a dialogue with community leaders yesterday to negotiate the release of the parents. In a statement, the SSP urged communities that are governed according to traditional laws respect established human rights.

The Michoacán Human Rights Commission told reporters that it has opened an investigation into the “presumed violation of human rights” of the parents opposed to the school’s closure. The commission explained that the violation consists of deprivation of the “right to personal security and integrity.”

Source: El Universal (sp), Mi Morelia (sp)

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