January 23, 2014
Inhabitants of the town of San Gabriel Chilac, southeast of the poblano (inhabitant of Puebla) territory, announced the formation of a self-defense group to be mentored and trained by their counterparts from Michoacán and will also be funded by poblanos living abroad.
|Neighbors from Chilac gather around the leader Francisco Alfaro
Francisco Alfaro Rodríguez, spokesperson for the citizens group that make up the Common Front For Peaceful Civil Resistance (Frente Común de Resistencia Civil Pacífica (FCRCP)), said that they have been determined in creating this group in order to defend themselves from organized crime that plagues the region and that are in collusion with municipal and state security authorities.
Even though the spokesperson announced that a group of people will be traveling to Michoacán to receive training, the state government issued a report denying the existence of this self-defense group and announced that he’ll be sending elements in order to strengthen the security in San Gabriel Chilac.
|Luis Maldonado Venegas
The General Secretariat of Government, Luis Maldonado Venegas, stated that in Puebla “there isn’t nor will there ever be a self-defense group”, and described the announcement as merely media.
“The institutional fabric in Puebla is there and is enough for the public security forces to continue, as before, fully guaranteeing the rule of law and stabilizing the atmosphere that represents Puebla” he said.
He also said that, on instructions from Governor Rafael Moreno Valle, elements will be sent to the municipality of San Gabriel Chilac, “to warn the local population, privilege is given to institutions by consensus and dialogue, so there can be no such organizations”.
Whereas in San Gabriel Chilac, Alfaro Rodríguez told reporters that the group has been intimidated by the state police and the army, but nevertheless still continues its activities because they have the support of the population, who are tired of being victims of organized crime while the authorities do nothing to punish those responsible.
The FCRCP emerged out of protests from past local elections, held in July, in which armed individuals who were favoring the success of Rigoberto David Martínez Rosas, nominated by the PT (Labor Party in Mexico), as mayor of San Gabriel Chilac.
In addition to announcing that they’ll be monitoring the entrances and exits of the municipality, Alfaro also said that they’ll also be preventing the swearing in of Martínez Rosas as mayor on February 14.