From newspaper “La Resistencia” nº 03 (December 2013) del Grupo Socialista Obrero – México – section of the IWL-FI
The towns overrun the barrier of indifference and resignation.
Under the Weight of Fatigue for Years:
The Towns of Michoacán are fighting back thanks to their Leadership
Sandino used to say, “liberty isn’t gained (conquered) with flowers, but with bullets…”, and that is what the people of Tierra Caliente in Michoacán decided to do after years of bearing with organized crime.
The leaders of the community guards have pointed to the state & federal government as accomplices to the gangs.
It was no coincidence that when the military or the federal police were going to begin an operation, the cartel warned then that they would leave and return when the military and police leaven the area.
Gangs picked up with Lázaro
The cartel gangs have operated in Michoacán for many years, but during the government of Lázaro Cardenas (son of Cuauhtémoc), the cartel consolidated this dominion. Afterwards, Leonel Godoy, another dark and mediocre perredista (nickname for a PRD- Party of the Democratic Revolution- member) like the first one, held the post and the situation transformed from bad to catastrophic. The gangs were overjoyed by this major complicity.
In December of 2006, Calderón, urged by legitimacy, chose Michoacán as the starting point to initiate what he considered to be his revindication: the so called War on Drugs. The famous war transformed into a tragedy with millions dead and missing. Meanwhile, the gangs shook society throughout the state, like the “Pedro through his home” [a Mexican saying].
After the disaster that was organized by Cárdenas, Godoy and Calderón, Fausto Vallejo –a hood of drugs-accused Cocoa, the sister of Calderón –where the situation went from theatrical to pathetic.
No alternative was left
The towns began to realize that they could not count on anything- neither the municipal police, statewide, federal or nor the military. Under the suspicion that all of the corporations are accomplices to the this brutality, they decided to form their own community guards , armed with whatever: shotguns, pistols, slingshots, axes, sticks, molotov bombs, machetes, etc.
Women are part of the guards
One of the most harmed sectors is that of women, apart from suffering the same as the rest of the inhabitants, they’re objects of rape, torture, and murder by the cartel. It is because of that the the guards that patrol the towns, at the checkpoints, and we also see them participating in the confrontations, are mainly young women, with slingshots ready at hand against the thugs.
The state doesn’t support the double power
What is happening in Tierra Caliente is a situation double power. This is wherein the power of the state opposes the power of the people (town); who arm themselves, monitor and administer.
That is why, when the guards of Tepalcatepec, La Ruana, Buenavista, etc., decided to attack the operations center of the cartels in Apatzingán, the Pareo and Tancítaro, the military and the federal police, installed checkpoints in order to detain the community guards. In Uruapan, the other large center of operations in which the community guards of the region were heading towards in order to expel the thugs, the military installed checkpoints in order to detain and disarm them.
What is certain is that the political class of all ruling class parties do not support the situation wherein communities have organized themselves against the gangs. What is the least of their worries is the lives of the people. For these reasons, we must demand the state allow communities to have the right to arm themselves and protect their lives.
We also must also demand that the community guards of Aquila be liberated!