New armed group attacks in southern Mexico

A previously unknown armed group, the Fatherland is First Popular Revolutionary Command (Comando Popular Revolucionario La Patria es Primero), has claimed responsibility for the July 6 assassination of former Guerrero state government secretary Ruben Robles Catalan, whose driver was also killed in the attack.

The statement said the group “has judged and condemned to the maximum penalty the intellectual author of the massacre of Aguas Blancas,” in which 17 campesinos were gunned down by the state police ten years ago. Robles Catalan was then serving under the notoriously repressive Gov. Ruben Figueroa, local strongman of Mexico’s entrenched PRI machine. The communique also named other figures from the Figueroa administration, and decried the ongoing lack of accountability for the massacre. It said that the newly elected Gov. Zeferino Torreblanca of the leftist PRD “far from responding to the expectations for change, has chosen to block with figueroismo, and prop up its power with the aid of the repressive military and police.” Just before the statement was released, Torreblanca had dismissed speculation that the assassination was carried out by one of Guerrero’s guerilla groups in retaliation for the Aguas Blancas massacre. (La Jornada, July 9, online at the Chiapas95 archive)

Robles, also former Guerrero political boss for the PRI, was gunned down in a hail of bullets from a drive-by shooting as he entered a hotel lobby in Acapulco with his chauffer and young son. (AP, July 6)

See our last post on southern Mexico.