A backhoe clears a blockade earlier this year in Aguililla. A backhoe clears a blockade earlier this year in Aguililla.

Power outage in war-torn Aguililla since Friday; criminal blockades thwart repairs

The Michoacán city has been at the center of a long running battle between rival cartels

Cartel blockades continue to play havoc in Aguililla, Michoacán, not only cutting off highway access but cutting electricity and telephone service since Friday, according to residents.

The blockade on the Aguililla-Apatzingán highway has prevented workers from the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) from entering the municipality to restore power.

A resident of Apatzingán, a neighboring municipality, confirmed that cartel members had instigated the blockade. “We cannot enter Aguililla. There is no cell phone service because … they cut the electricity on Friday, there is none. For what reason? We do not know exactly, but we do know that the CFE cannot enter … it is blocked by the Cárteles Unidos … You cannot enter the town … and you cannot leave,” he said.

He added that the CFE didn’t want to enter the town.

Despite the reports, state Interior Minister Armando Hurtado Arévalo said services to the town had been normalized since the passage of a tropical storm.

The Archbishop of Michoacán, Carlos Garfias, this weekend urged the federal government to install a security committee to address violence in the area.

For several months and despite police and army operations, Aguililla has been the site of a bloody turf war between the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and the Cárteles Unidos. Violence has long plagued the town, where CJNG leader Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes – a wanted man in both Mexico and the United States – was born.

With reports from Reforma

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