May 21, 2013
CHILPANCINGO, Gro. (apro).–The mayors of Apaxtla de Castrejon and Teloloapan, Efrain Pena Damasio and Ignacio Valladares Salgado, respectively, ordered local government offices to close and the suspension of classes in both municipalities, due to an incursion of armed groups that “laid siege” to the area yesterday.
“We all locked ourselves in our homes and are still uncertain,” said the PRD party member Pena Damasio, after a group of 80 armed men “took” the county seat and spread terror for more than three hours.
The mayors called on the state and federal governments to take care of the serious violence and insecurity situation that is exists in this northern area because local authorities cannot control criminal activities.
They explained that of the 100 officers that made up the police force in Teloloapan, currently 30 remain active because 25 “decided to resign as a group” last week and the rest have been murdered or have been injured in several ambushes.
In Apaxtla the situation is even more critical because there are only nine police officers.
In separate interviews, the mayors demanded that the situation be dealt with “urgently” in the area — considered an important zone for production and transportation of drugs–, and they asked Governor Angel Aguirre Rivero, who is scheduled to visit Teloloapan on Wednesday, the 22nd, to make police and military patrols permanent.
Security, they add, should not be increased only when the governor comes to this convulsive area which has collapsed due to crime.
Pena Damasio lamented that he has asked several times for soldiers to be placed permanently in Apaxtla, but, he said, state and federal governments have shown themselves to be indifferent to the violence and insecurity.
This government indolence was evidenced yesterday when approximately 80 armed men virtually laid siege to the county seat beginning at 10:00 a.m. and for more than three hours drove around on the town’s streets, where they murdered six young men and set fire to six pickups, according to the PRD mayor.
Initially, ministerial authorities who initiated criminal investigation file No. ALD/SC/03/0121/2013 reported five victims: Tomas Cervantes Gomez, 40 years old; Salvador Jaimes Avila and Raymundo Sanchez Espinoza, both 18; Luis Sanchez Espinoza, 20 years old , and one more who has not yet been identified.
However, Pena Damasio made it clear to Apro that there were six persons murdered yesterday. The sixth one, he added, was found this morning.
He also mentioned that Saturday, the 18th, there were reports of a confrontation in the vicinity of the town of Cacalotepec, which left an indeterminate number of dead.
“We don’t know why no authority went to that place, but there’s talk there were several men murdered,” he said.
He pointed out that during yesterday’s violent incidents, he decided “to lock myself inside my house”, like the rest of the residents, while the group was breaking into homes and murdering people at will.
The mayor stated that the military got to Apaxtla around 2:00 p.m., when the group of gunmen had already left town, despite the fact that he reported the incident very early.
When asked what was the reason for the military authorities’ delay, he answered: “I don’t know what happened. There’s a lot of uncertainty among the residents and very little attention by the authorities, that’s why today we had to suspend work in government offices.”