Mexican Drug War

Federal Forces Withdraw in Chiapas as Self-Defense Force Hunts for Cartels

Federal Forces Withdraw in Chiapas as Self-Defense Force Hunts for Cartels

Federal Forces Withdraw in Chiapas as Self-Defense Force Hunts for Cartels

Federal Forces Withdraw in Chiapas as Self-Defense Force Hunts for Cartels

The self-defense force, known as El Machete, had demanded that police raid the homes of suspected criminals

A recently-formed self-defense group forced state police, soldiers and members of the National Guard to withdraw from a highlands municipality of Chiapas on Monday after the official security forces refused to raid the homes of suspected criminals.

Members of the “El Machete” self-defense force, which formed in Pantelhó earlier this month, demanded that the state and federal security forces raid the homes of people who allegedly belong to a criminal group called Los Herrera, which has been blamed for a recent wave of homicides and is accused of having links to the municipal government.

Citing the absence of warrants, the security forces refused and were consequently run out of town by the self-defense force members.

El Machete proceeded to carry out the raids themselves. Armed with guns as well as other weapons including crowbars and sledgehammers, the self-defense forces went house to house searching for Los Herrera hitmen, the newspaper El Universal reported.

They set at least 12 homes as well as cars, motorcycles, a police vehicle and an ambulance on fire and managed to detain 21 suspected members of Los Herrera.

Among the homes targeted was that of Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) Mayor Delia Janeth Velasco Flores and her husband and mayor-elect Raquel Trujillo Morales. However, they were not among those detained. Dozens of Pantelhó residents fled their homes during the rampage and sought refuge in neighboring municipalities.

The autodefensas also took control of the municipal government building and issued a statement directed to President López Obrador from its balcony.

“We know that you already have knowledge of all of this,” one self-defense force member read from a statement.

“If you still want to support us, the indigenous people, … that will be up to you. If you don’t, it’s better that you don’t keep intervening [in Pantelhó],” he said.

Residents who don’t support El Machete called for official security forces to return to the municipality, located about 60 kilometers northeast of San Cristóbal de las Casas.

The 21 men detained by the self-defense group appeared in photographs with their hands and feet tied. The newspaper Reforma reported that they were transported on Tuesday to the community of San José Buenavista Tercero, where many El Machete members are based.

The autodefensas said earlier this month that their aim was to expel gunmen, drug traffickers and other members of organized crime from Pantelhó in order to avoid more deaths of indigenous residents.

Thousands of residents from 86 communities in Pantelhó gathered on July 18 to show their support for the group. The Tzotzil Mayan citizens also declared that they didn’t recognize the legitimacy of the current and incoming municipal governments and would choose new authorities.

El Machete’s seizure of the municipality comes just two weeks after Los Ciriles, a criminal group allegedly linked to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, took control of Pantelhó.

Federal and state security forces had regained control but official authorities now find themselves deposed once again.

The PRD has been in power in Pantelhó for the past 20 years, a period during which residents say almost 200 indigenous people have been killed and countless people have been displaced.

A spokesperson for Pantelhó residents said recently that the “narco-council” has been murdering Tzotzil people for the past two decades, forcing locals to take up arms.

NOTICE: All persons depicted are presumed to be innocent unless proven to be guilty in a court of law. The fugitive.com and fugitivewatch.com notations appearing on this are TRADEMARKS and NOT an expression of fact or opinion.

AVISO: Todas las personas representadas son presumidas de ser inocente a menos que resultara culpable en un tribunal de justicia. Fugitive.com y fugitivewatch.com anotaciones que aparecen en este sitio son MARCAS REGISTRADAS y NO una expresión de hecho o de opinión.

COMMENT ADVISEMENT: We welcome your thoughts, but for the sake of all readers, please refrain from the use of obscenities, personal attacks or racial slurs. All comments are subject to our terms of service and may be removed. Repeat offenders may lose commenting privileges.

AVISO DE COMENTARIO: Damos la bienvenida a tus pensamientos, pero por el bien de todos los lectores, por favor abstenerse de la utilización de obscenidades, ataques personales o insultos racistas. Todos los comentarios están sujetos a nuestros términos y condiciones del servicio, y podrá ser retirado. Reincidentes pueden perder privilegios comentar.

__________________________________________________________________________

Fugitive Watch was founded in 1992 by two San Jose police officers, Steve Ferdin and Scott Castruita. Fugitive Watch is a reality-based television show, newspaper and website, fugitive.com. We can also be found on social media such as InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. The mission of Fugitive Watch is to make Your community safer by helping law enforcement fight crime. Fugitive Watch brings the community, local business, and law enforcement together to solve crimes, apprehend wanted fugitives and provide education and crime prevention information to the community.

Business and private sponsorship help Fugitive Watch empower the community to strike back at crime from the safety of their living rooms. Fugitive Watch has been credited by law enforcement with over several 2,890 crimes solved or fugitives apprehended. Fugitive Watch also helps improve the safety of police officers by locating fugitives for law enforcement so they can more safely arrest them rather than unexpectedly running across them through extremely dangerous routine “chance encounters”. As law enforcement officers know all too well, These “chance encounters” have resulted in countless officer injuries and deaths.

Leave a Comment