On October 14 and 15, the community police of the Costa Chica and the Montaña regions of Guerrero celebrated its thirteenth anniversary in the community of Tilapa, municipality of Malinaltepec. The community police began in 1995 in 8 communities in 2 different municipalities. Today they maintain a presence in 72 communities in 10 municipalities.
According to Martín Candia Galindo, one of the founders of the community police, “In territories under the influence of the community police there are no drug traffickers or any drug cartels present; our youth are free of that terrible [presence].” The Regional Council of Community Authorities (CRAC Consejo Regional de Autoridades Comunitarias) has achieved this success despite the fact that they do not have access to many resources, their members do not receive a salary and according to the denunciations they have made on more than one occasion, the government continues to harass the community police in an attempt to disqualify their work.
In addition to being an autonomous movement in implementing justice, the CRAC insists that their social project is one that encompasses many facets of daily life in the Costa Chica and Montaña regions of Guerrero. Among other things they have started plans for a community radio station and as of last year they have initiated the University of the Peoples of the South (Universidad de los Pueblos del Sur), a project that continues to grow.
During the anniversary, the CRAC put forward several themes for discussion including: the increasing insecurity of the nation, the militarization of the country, the lack of legitimacy on the part of official policing systems, the campaign of fear driven by mass media and the criminalization of social movements. Mario Campos, parish priest from the municipality of Xalpatláhuac, in the Montaña Alta added at the opening of the celebrations, “There are alternatives in solving the problems of insecurity related to drug trafficking and assaults. To serve is not a crime; it is for this reason that we ask the officials of the region to support the CRAC.”
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