CRAC-PC march in Horcasitas. Photo@SIPAZ
On October 15, the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities-Community Police (CRAC-PC) celebrated its 21st anniversary. For this occasion, the police, along with their liaison committees and social organizations, were convened in Atotonilco de Horcasitas from their four houses of justice in San Luis Acatlan, Ziltlaltepec, Espino Blanco and El Paraiso, for two days of activities. On the first day, four groups worked on the validation of the internal rules of the CRAC-PC, the defense of Law 701, the defense of land and territory against the mega-projects, and joining together struggles.
The second day began with a march of about 600 CRAC-PC members led by both coordinators and counselors of CRAC-PC and cabinet members of the State Government of Guerrero. After the parade the conclusions of the working groups for dialogue and a political position were presented in a plenary session. A timetable for the validation of new CRAC-PC internal rules was established and the will to reform Law 701 in favor of indigenous peoples, i.e. granting them more rights, was ratified. During the plenary session, Flores Maldonado, assistant to governor Hector Astudillo, recognized the Community Police stating that, in communities where the CRAC is present, the crime rate is significantly lower in comparison to other parts of the state such as Acapulco or the capital Chilpancingo where it is continually escalating, “while in other regions there are murders and an effervescence of those who want to commit crimes, in the areas with Community [policing] crimes are very few.”
Pablo Guzman, director of the CRAC-PC, called for respect for community policing and freedom for the members of CRAC held as prisoners for being “unjustly accused of kidnapping”, such as Arturo Campos, despite several international human rights treaties such as Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Federal Constitution and Law 701 recognizing the right of indigenous peoples to have their own justice and security system.
According to the Sur de Acapulco newspaper, security and justice community processes, represent a hope “in the middle of the crisis of violence plaguing the country, the CRAC shines as an alternative of justice and security with community roots.” The Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, noted that “despite the government’s onslaught against it and internal disputes they have fought in the past 5 years,” the CRAC-PC is still standing and upholding the right of indigenous peoples to have their own system of justice and security.
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