Mexico: “community police” seize conflicted town

Following the slaying March 25 of a “Community Police” commander in Tierra Colorada, on the Acapulco-Mexico City highway in Guerrero state, members of the popular militia (usually refered to as “vigilantes” in English-language accounts) set up roadblocks on the town’s main arteries, occupied public buildings, and detained 12 of the municipality’s “official” police as well as the public security director. The town’s mayor, Elizabeth Gutiérrez Paz, was also briefly detained with her bodyguards. The others are still being held to demand justice in the slaying, which the Community Police say was carried out with the complicity of official authorities. The bullet-ridden body of Guadalupe Quinones Carbajal, 28, was found in a nearby town. Guerrero’s Prosecutor General Martha Elba Garzón has been dispatched to Tierra Colorada, which is the seat of Juan R. Escudero municipality, to negotiate with the Guerrero Union of Pueblos and Organizations (UPOEG), which coordinates Community Police forces in the state. (Global News Desk, Christian Post, March 28; La Jornada Guerrero, March 27; Sipse, Grupo Fórmula, Reforma, March 26)