Following the death of a young man allegedly at the hands of community police, residents of Cherán, Michoacán, attacked and threatened to lynch those responsible and set fire to at least five vehicles.
Cherán is an indigenous, self-ruling Purépecha community with its own police force and is not subject to federal or state interference, the only municipality of its kind in the state.
Community police were chasing Francisco Durán, 24-year-old resident, for a minor violation when the man’s pickup truck crashed and rolled over, after which officers allegedly beat him.
The young man died of his injuries sparking outrage among citizens, who gathered outside the community police offices on Friday demanding justice, burning tires and vehicles.
The local council contacted the state Ministry of Public Security for help after residents threatened to lynch the community police officers believed responsible for Duran’s death and the National Guard was sent in to restore order. The community police officers fled town.
Cherán has been a self-governing community, guided by councils that follow Purépecha culture and traditions, since 2014, a movement toward autonomy residents began in 2011 as they fought to oust organized crime gangs that were conducting illegal logging.
The municipal police were replaced by community police officers in order to avoid corruption.