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Some of the soldiers who were detained by civilians on Sunday in Michoacán. Some of the soldiers who were detained by civilians on Sunday in Michoacán.

Soldiers freed in Michoacán in exchange for return of confiscated weapons

Military personnel were detained after a confrontation with armed civilians in La Huacana

A group of soldiers detained by self-defense force members in Michoacán on Sunday was released the same day in exchange for the return of weapons confiscated by the army, the governor said.

Silvano Aureoles said the soldiers were disarmed and detained in the municipality of La Huacana after a confrontation with armed civilians.

They were freed six hours later when other soldiers returned four high-caliber firearms that were seized following the clash.

“What happened is that there was an act of aggression on the part of some armed civilians towards elements of the army,” Aureoles said.

“The aggression was repelled and two civilians died; unfortunately a minor was also injured but he’s stable.”

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According to a report in the newspaper La Jornada, armed civilians detected the presence of nine soldiers in La Huacana and began shooting at them.

After the confrontation, the gunmen fled, abandoning several high-caliber weapons that were seized by the soldiers.

A group of residents who identified themselves as self-defense force members subsequently approached the soldiers to demand the return of the weapons.

A video that circulated on social media shows one man saying to the commander of the group: “Look buddy, we’re not playing around, I want the weapons.”

Footage then shows the residents pushing and disarming the soldiers, who put up little resistance.

Aureoles said the soldiers were unharmed during their ordeal, adding that the situation in La Huacana was now “calm.”

Referring to the incident at his morning press conference today, President López Obrador said “the attitude of the soldiers was very responsible, very honorable and very brave.”

He added: “Abusing our fellow beings is cowardice . . . that’s why [I give] all my support to the soldiers.”

The president described the situation the soldiers faced as “difficult” and said that members of the National Guard are being trained to respond to such cases.

“. . . Prudence is much better than authoritarianism,” López Obrador said, adding that the armed forces will always respect human rights.

Source: Reforma (sp), La Jornada (sp) 

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