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11 Killed 30 arrested: Extra-judicial killings of Communitarios in Acapulco, says Human Rights Organization

Thursday, January 11, 2018 8:18
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Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Reforma article

Subject Matter: Extra-judicial killing of Communitarios
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required

Reporter: Jesus Guerrero
No less than one communitario was killed in an extra-judicial manner in a disarming operation that Police carried out on Sunday in La Concepcion, in the town of Acapulco, accused Abel Barrera. The President of the Center for Human Rights signaled that, according to a witness, the commander of the communitarios, Crescenciano Everardo Lorenzo, was killed while he was disarmed and handcuffed.

Also, said Barrera, there are other versions that another two auto-defensas were also killed extra-judicially. “We are going to be talking with the people of the community of La Concepcion and the families of the victims, and we are going to know the horrendous things that occurred during this operation”, he said.

The activist described the Police operation as an excessive action, since almost 300 agents and soldiers acted against 30 communitario policemen, who had low caliber weapons and many of whom were unarmed.

Barrera rejected that the communitarios posses weapons for the exclusive use of the Army, as indicated by the State Attorney Generals Office. “It is clear that the Government planted these weapons in the community”, he said.

Yesterday, Marco Antonio Suastegui, leader of the Council of Ejidos and Communities opposed to La Parota Dam (Cecop), and 24 communitario police officers were sentenced to preventative detention for aggravated homicide against 6 people.

The deadline for determining whether or not they are subject to a binding process expires next Monday, said Barrera. 

Seven others were released because it was found that they had no responsibility. 

In the operation, Barrera added, the police released the retired military officer Iván Soriano Leal, who was imprisoned in the House of Justice subject to a process of re-education and whom a few days ago confessed that he had been hired to assassinate Marco Suástegui. 

According to the activist, Soriano Leal, after being released, he took the agents to the houses where the community members live to arrest and beat them.

Versions of locals indicate that Soriano Leal was hired by the businessman Humberto Marín, who is upset with the community and the Cecop because they canceled the exploitation of the stone material that he made in the Papagayo river. 

Barrera also accused the adviser to President Hector Astudillo, César Flores Maldonado, of encouraging the division in the towns that make up the Ejido of Cacahuatepec so that the federal government can revive the construction project for the La Parota dam. 

The president of Tlachinollan said that La Concepción is experiencing a climate of tension because the Government of Astudillo began a campaign of “lynching” against community police and social leader Marco Antonio Suástegui. 

“During the operation in La Concepción the inhabitants lived hours of terror”,

He noted that at public hearings in court, Suástegui and other community members alleged that they were tortured by the agents. 

He said that envoys of the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) are gathering testimonies to document what happened. On Sunday, in clashes in Guerrero between armed civilians, community and police killed 11 people.


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