On 25 October the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities of the Montaña and Costa Chica of Guerrero denounced that “a convoy of approximately seven vehicles carrying military personnel and units of the Federal Police entered the communal territory by San Luis Acatlan […] and detained our comrade Agustín Barrera Cosme, member of the CRAC, who had been said to have had an arrest-order for having committed an environmental crime some months previously.” Regardless, the director of the Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero, Amador Cortés Robledo, denounced that this was only a pretext to detain him. Now Barrera Cosme finds himself in the Acapulco prison.
Similarly it was reported that three military planes had been flying over the zone, “in aggressive form, and we believe that this is an attempt at provocation,” said the same source via phone.
In the same communiqué it was indicated that “the previously mentioned occurs within a context of generalized alert in the communities that make up our communal institution, given that in the last few months, and particularly in the last few days, the acts of delinquence have increased visibly, above all in terms of narcotrafficking. Concretely, on 13 and 14 October of this year […] there were captured five persons involved in the transfer of a package of marijuana (33 packets) by means of 3 vehicles […] who were unarmed.”
The directorship of the CRAC expressed its concern that the federal government would pressure them to hand over the detained, who are currently serving their sentence of communal work in different localities.
The detention occurred after the communities agreed to reject the presence of Canadian and British mining firms that seek to exploit gold, silver, and zinc deposits; indeed, it took place a day after the beginning in Acapulco of the International Mining Convention.
The CRAC source reported also that this is the first time in the 16 years of the Communal Police that an emergency situation like this has been had, with the result that it has demanded that the state-government intervene urgently to evade a confrontation between the forces of the indigenous institution and the soldiers who had entered their territory.
They indicated that they have demanded that federal authorities immediately release Barrera Cosme to avert a confrontation with indigenous communities, in light of the fact that this could develop into a confrontation of unimaginable scope.
Cortés Robledo indicated that the indigenous communities were being called together for an assembly to determine the actions they will take both to demand the release of the indigenous person as well as to stop the invasion and advance of the military and federal agents.
For more information (in Spanish):
BOLETIN URGENTE Policia Comunitaria OCTUBRE 2011 (pdf) (26 October 2011)
Aprehenden a consejero de la policía comunal (La Jornada Guerrero, 27 October 2011)
Entran militares y federales a territorio de la Policía Comunitaria; detienen a un fundador (Sur de Acapulco, 26 October 2011)
Trasladan a fundador de la Policía Comunitaria a la cárcel de Acapulco acusado de delitos ambientales (Sur de Acapulco, 27 October 2011)
La Policía comunitaria rechaza la presencia de militares y federales(Centro Prodh, 28 October 2011)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Guerrero – briefs: XVI Anniversary of the Communal Police (27 October 2011)
Guerrero: Anniversary and expansion of the Communal police (17 October 2011)