Mexico: First Statement from the Self-Defense Group of Aquila, Michoacán

Self Defence Group of Aguila, in the Michoacan state of Mexico, January 2014.

Self Defence Group of Aguila, in the Michoacan state of Mexico, January 2014.

From the Self-Defense Group of Aquila, Michoacán to the general public:

Aquila, Michoacán, January 18, 2014

Today, the residents of the municipal seat of Aquila, tired of the extortions, rapes, killings, kidnappings and all sorts of criminal acts committed by the Knights Templar; given the complete abandonment of the citizenry by the municipal and state governments who for 12 years did not provide the security needed for our people to have a peaceful and dignified life; we have decided to organize our self-defense group in order to expel organized crime from our town, and we invite the rest of the people of the municipality to rise up against crime, so they never again feel fear or pay protection fees.

Mexico michoacan mapAs is known from the national and international media, our municipality previously attempted to remove the yoke of organized crime. This movement was led by members of the indigenous community of San Miguel Aquila. This community is one of the four that comprises the municipality, and is owner of an iron mine whose resources are exploited by the transnational mining company Ternium. This company pays a royalty to the indigenous community for the extracted iron, which it hauls from Aquila, Michoacán to Tecomán, Colima, and organized crime charges them a monthly quota.  That is to say, they ask the residents to part with the money they receive.  If they don’t pay, they kill them. So the indigenous from this community decided to form their community guard in order to protect their heritage, life and dignity. They invited us to join them, but we, as prisoners of fear of the reprisals from organized crime, decided not to support them.

Corpses hanging in a road in Michoacan, tortured and executed by the Knights Templar cartel.

Corpses hanging in a road in Michoacan, tortured and executed by the Knights Templar cartel.

The illegitimate municipal president, Juan Hernández Ramírez, was invited to join the movement and to stop paying fees to the criminals in the region, but instead decided to flee and to leave his people at the mercy of organized crime.  It is known that this president obtained his post as a result of fraudulent elections, during which the Knights Templar cartel undertook to intimidate people into voting for Juan Hernández. They also burned ballot boxes where he had a clear disadvantage. But all of their tricks were not enough, as the rival candidate won the elections.   So the criminals threatened him with death so he would not take the position. And that was how Hernández Ramírez became municipal president at the hands of the Templars.

Mexico michoacan map countryThe period of July 24 to August 13, 2013 – when the community guard of the indigenous from the community of San Miguel Aquila operated in the area – was one of immense calm. The rapes, kidnappings and payments of protection fees disappeared as the criminals fled.  Seeing the results of the community movement, we became inspired to support the cause of the community.

August 2013, police arrest members of Aguila Self Defense Group 3 weeks after it was established.

August 2013, police arrest members of Aguila Self Defense Group 3 weeks after it was established.

However, on August 14, a joint state and municipal government operation, together with the Marines, entered Aquila and dismantled the community movement. They took 45 prisoners. The Special Operations Group (GOES) and State Judicial Police killed two and also beat women, children and elderly who called for them to return the men who were defending them from organized crime. When the community

Member of the Knights Templar cartel armed with M16 and grenade launcher, Michoacan state.

Member of the Knights Templar cartel armed with M16 and grenade launcher, Michoacan state.

guard was dismantled, the Knights Templar, under the auspices of the state and municipal governments, decided to “exterminate” all the residents of San Miguel Aquila. Miguel Alcalá Alcalá, Emilio Martínez López and Miguel Martínez López were tortured and murdered by Templar criminals. Later, Ignacio Martínez de la Cruz, Francisco Javier Ramos Walle and Carlos Zapien Díaz were disappeared on November 25, 2013 and haven’t been heard from since. The remaining residents were displaced, prisoners of panic and sadness as their government did nothing to protect them.

Purepecha indigenous militia members in Michoacan in mid July.

Purepecha indigenous militia members in Michoacan in mid July.

Once the community guard was completely dismantled by the tripartite alliance of the Knights Templar-State Government-Municipal Government, the Knights Templar decided to charge fees from the entire population, which particularly impacted our humble neighbors who are of limited means.  We thought that if we didn’t support the community guard, the Templars would have compassion on us and wouldn’t charge us fees, or at least would not increase them, nor hassle our families.  However, they returned more ambitious and bloodthirsty.  The Templars increased the fees because they lost income from those who were jailed, murdered, disappeared and displaced.  Only some in the community hand over payment to the Templars, but they are the ones who have ties to them.  They are José Cortes Méndez, Miguel Zapien Godínez, Fidel Villanueva Espinosa, Juan Carlos Martínez Ramos, Juan Zapien Sandoval, among others.

A female member of the Aguila Self Defence Group.

A female member of the Aguila Self Defence Group.

The self-defense phenomenon in Michoacán has great momentum, every day there are more people who decide to expel the criminals from their regions, which has caused the Templars to migrate to neighboring regions, in particular into our area, increasing the wave of violence in Aquila. So we are faced with the panorama of violence which we are returning to live in again, with the complicity of our state and municipal government and the apathy of our federal government. It is for these reasons that the residents of the municipal seat of Michoacán opened our eyes and decided to organize as a self-defense group in order to expel all criminals from the area. Our social struggle will not end just when Federico González, alias “El Lico,” the boss of the Knights Templar cartel in the Aquila-Coahuayana region, falls, but when all his partners and gunmen do.

Weapons in a Knights Templar vehicle in Michoacan include a .50 calibre sniper rifle, a Minigun machine gun with 6 rotating barrels, and a light machine gun.

Weapons in a Knights Templar vehicle in Michoacan include a .50 calibre sniper rifle, a Minigun machine gun with 6 rotating barrels, and a light machine gun.

Our self-defense movement organized by the residents and people in general of the Aquila area is inclusive. Because of this we gave a vote of confidence to municipal president Juan Hernández Ramírez and invited him to join the struggle against crime. But the mayor once again showed his Templar leanings, he decided to leave the area. As such, our self-defense group and the people who support the movement condemn the criminal and indifferent attitude of Juan Hernández Ramírez. Let it be clear that our self-defense movement was born of social necessity, against organized crime. It seeks to reestablish peace and order for our people. We invite other towns, villages and communities in the municipality of Aquila to join our struggle, as we seek only well-being and social peace.

SINCERELY,
The Self-Defense Council of Aquila, Michoacán

Source of Translation: El Enemigo Común

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/mexico-archives-79/4656-mexico-first-statement-from-the-self-defense-group-of-aquila-michoacan

Video: The right to defend my self – #FuerzaAutodefensas

Published on Jan 17, 2014

A short chronicle of the events that led to the birth and struggle of self-defense groups in Michoacan, Mexico, as well as recent events where after the progress of the self-defense groups, the army tried to disarm these groups, highlighting the event occurred in Antunez where the Mexican Army killed four people, including a 11 year old girl

Posted on January 21, 2014, in Defending Territory and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on The Uncontrollable Ones.

  2. Don’t give up. Michoacan is a beautiful paradise, drive this human garbage off your streets with a rain of bullets if that’s what it takes. Next time your corrupt government tries to take away your only means of protection , mow them over with the rest of the criminals.

  3. VAMOS MI GENTE NO SE DEN POR VENCIDOS !! VIVA LA JUSTICIA !

  4. Que Dios proteja a los que defienden sus tierras de los criminales. Es tiempo que el pueblo haga algo por defenderse y metan en cintura a todos esos maldito hijos de la mala vida.

  5. Good to say no. Self defence thru community solidarity really can make a difference. But don’t think for a moment that a “rain of bullets’ is any kind of long-term solution. As always, violence begets violence. Killing will only bring more killing. Violence is a prison, not a revolution, just a changing of the guards.

    • Violence is not a prison, it is a form of action that can be used offensively or defensively. Obviously it is sometimes necessary to use violence in self-defence in order to stop violent attacks on oneself or community. I seriously doubt anyone in the self-defence forces in Mexico believes a “rain of bullets” is a long-term solution.

  6. Robert McInally

    Kick some ass dudes, kick some ass.
    Kick unos tipos culo. Patada en el culo.

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