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Autodefensas Ambushed: 7 Dead

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By: Rodrigo Caballero | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

According to spokespeople from the autodefensas of the Michoacán coast, autodefensa members from the community of Caleta de Campos were ambushed by a group of armed men allegedly belonging to the Caballeros Templarios.
The attack occurred towards 3 p.m. this Wednesday, September 16, 2015, in a small village called La Manzanilla which is located between Caleta de Campos and the port of Lázaro Cárdenas.  The ambush ended with seven dead; four were presumed Caballero Templario members while three were autodefensa members.

The autodefensa groups in the area mobilized themselves after the ambush and are searching for the perpetrators of the attack; however, they announced that they don’t have the necessary weapons to confront the attackers.
“The army took away our high-powered weapons such as AK-47’s and AR-15 and left us with only shotguns, we can’t go up against grenades with our limited weaponry.  We are on the brink of extinction; we are being killed with the complicity of the government.” Josefa Contreras, autodefensa leader in the area, denounced.
The community claimed that the attack was announced on the evening of September 15 but failed to prevent it because “after Cemeí (sic) (Verdía Zepeda) was arrested, a lot of people who were with us went with the Templarios.”
“This is a desperate call, they are going to kill all of us who were with Cemeí (sic) by the orders of the government,” the autodefensa leader announced.

According to Por un Michoacan Libre SDR.’s Facebook page, a group of autodefensa members who belonged to the Policia Rural (Rural Police) were checking up on an anonymous denunciation which indicated a group of armed men in the community of Bejuco.  The armed group belonged to “500” aka “El Quinini”.  Upon arriving, the Rural Police were ambushed by a group of armed men.  Three of the criminals have been identified as Melvin Lorenzano Reyes, 27, “La Tortuga”, Joel Epitacio “El Pita” and a criminal only identified as “Poninis”.  Three of the Rural Police members of Caleta de Campos and Chucutitan were severely wounded but later died as they were being transferred to get medical treatment.  They have been identified as Santos Preciado Chavez, 49, J. Cruz Anguiano, 41, and Ponciano Maldonado Farias, 34, who was the leader of the Rural Police in the community of Chucutitan.


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