Indigenous ñomndaa community detains government official for corruption

Ruptura Colectiva (RC)

March 31, 2017. Guerrero, Mexico. On Sunday, the Indigenous Ñomndaa community of Juquila Yucucani, municipality of Tlacoachistlahuaca in the Costa Chica region of Guerrero, detained three political functionaries of the Municipal government, including the director of public works.  The actions were response to 1.5 million pesos of unfulfilled compensation for farmers affected by land burned by the military in 2016.  The Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA) and the Mexican Military had burned crops linked to drug cartels in the Costa Chica of Guerrero and Oaxaca—crops that were mostly of poppy.  However, the fire spread to the nearby crops of corn and fruit trees of local campesinxs, leaving them in a precarious situation related to both their work and food.

The mayor of Tlacoachistlahuaca, Juan Javier Carmona Villavicencio, arrived Monday morning seeking dialogue with the community for the liberation of the three municipal functionaries.  However, community members were present accusing him of taking the money himself, and not distributing it to the victims.  They detained the mayor in the cell of the municipal jailhouse for 12 hours.  They also denounced his solicitation of the construction of a new government building and church.  According to local sources, “The municipality has been forgotten for years, lacking investment in the streets, lighting and the necessities of the people, who in the majority, are Indigenous.”

Since the end of 2014, a couple dozen members of the community police (CRAC-PC) have been active in the area.  After the assassination of community police member Guillermo Pantaleón de Jesús in the community of Las Minas, the regional coordinators of CRAC-PC sought equipment and economic support for volunteers from the authorities of Tlacoachistlahuaca.  His death gives us a glimpse of the complicity between criminal violence and the enrichment of the authorities.

Returning to the present…after the mayor was released, the people warned that if their demands were not fulfilled, they would expel all politicians from the municipal building, leaving it closed indefinitely.

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