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carrizalillo, guerrero

Town complains of police aggression

Federal Police were in Carrizalillo looking for a gang linked to the violence in Iguala

Organized crime groups and even municipal police have been taking the blame for violence in Guerrero these past few weeks, but now the Federal Police are being accused of less than professional behavior.

The mayor of Carrizalillo has charged that some 70 people in the town were victims of aggression this week by members of the federal force who were engaged in the search for the missing students of Ayotzinapa.

Lucas Salgado said men, women, children and the elderly were among those struck and tortured when a convoy of about 60 officers entered the town, accompanied by a helicopter.

At least eight people, including four women of which two were minors, were taken away by the officials and they haven’t been heard from since.

The police initiated the operation after receiving information that said a gang called Los Peques was responsible for the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students, and that gang members had been hiding in Carrizalillo.

Officials focused in particular on the home of one resident of the town who is believed to be engaged in moving drugs from the mountains to Iguala for distribution in the center and north of the country.

But according to residents, police were overly aggressive in their search for gang members. They told journalists that police struck and kicked them, threatened them with their weapons and demanded to know where the graves of the students were. Students missing since a night of violence in Iguala are widely thought to have been killed and buried in mass graves.

Later, about 50 people from the town traveled to the District Attorney’s office in Iguala where they demanded to know the whereabouts of the eight who had been arrested. They were told that all had been taken to Mexico City.

The group went on to make a complaint before the Human Rights Commission.

A mining town, Carrizalillo was the scene of violence in June when four people were killed during a confrontation between two gangs presumably vying for control of the area. One is believed to have been Los Rojos.

The town leases land to the Canadian mining firm Goldcorp, which has operated the Los Filos gold, silver and zinc mine there since 2007. There was a protest movement earlier this year when the town demanded a new agreement with the mining company.

In the end, Goldcorp agreed to increase its annual lease payment from 2.5 ounces of gold per hectare to four.

Source: Quadratin (sp), Proceso (sp)

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