Guerrero: Humanitarian crisis caused by tropical storm Manuel continues in the Mountain

October 5, 2013


Llano de Tepehuaje, Metlatónoc municipality. Photo @Tlachinollan

In the region of the Mountain, thousands of indigenous persons have abandoned at least 48 communities due to hazards and the loss of 80% of the crops that were devastated by the severe rainsfalls brought by tropical storm Manuel, noted Javier Guerrero, subsecretary for Social Development.  During a meeting carried out in the Catholic House, which has become a shelter of sorts in Tlapa de Comonfort for more than 160 displaced indigenous persons, Guerrero reported that the federal highways Tlapa-Marquelia and Tlapa-Metlatónoc, the two principal routes that connect the poorest municipalities of the country, have been destroyed.  The residents of different communities such as Tilapa and Santa Cruz del Rincón report that the highway has simply disappeared.

A 30 September communique from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights mentions that “in accordance with the Secretary for Social Development (SEDESOL), there are 48 communities that continue to lack access by aerial and terrestrial routes, though this statistic could increase considering that in the municipalities of Acatepec, Metlatónoc, and Cochoapa it is practically impossible to maintain constant communication.  Attention by means of air is insufficient and the criteria for the definition of routes for helicopters lack transparency.”  Of the 700 indigenous communities located in the Mountain region of Guerrero, to date there has been had contact with only about 100, claims Tlachinollan.  The official statistics speak of 33 dead, according to the report released on 26 September by Civil Protection, but the testimonies collected by Tlachinollan mention at least 42 dead, without taking into account the disappeared.

On 23 September, indigenous peoples of the Mountain formed the Council of Authorities Affected by the Storm, which will be the voice of the people.  Abel Barrera, director of Tlachinollan, indicates that the members of the Council will insist that they not be excluded from decision-making processes.  In his view, what usually happens is that the mayors meet behind closed doors with the Army and State authorities and make decisions behind the backs of the displaced, with the result that aid and resources are mobilized without consulting local residents.

For more information (in Spanish):

En la Montaña, miles de desplazados y 80% de cultivos arrasados: Sedesol (Proceso, 29 de septiembre de 2013)

Crece el aislamiento en comunidades de la Montaña (La Jornada, 29 de septiembre de 2013)

Después del diluvio (La Jornada, 30 de septiembre de 2013)

Continúa crisis humanitaria en La Montaña (Tlachinollan, 30 de septiembre de 2013)

Fotogalería de Tlachinollan

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: The situation continues to be dramatic for storm victims in Guerrero (4 October 2013)

Guerrero: Deaths and victims of tropical storm Manuel (4 October 2013)

Guerrero: Authorities linked to the UPOEG occupy House of Justice of the CRAC in San Luis Acatlán

February 26, 2013

Policías Comunitarias (@SIPAZ Archivo)

Communal police (@SIPAZ archives)

On 10 February, a group of members of the Union of Peoples and Organizations of the State of Guerrero (UPOEG) occupied the House of Justice of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC) in San Luis Acatlán following a meeting that had been proposed in Santa Cruz del Rincón which was then moved to Jolotichán.  This meeting was not attended by the protestors.

Beyond facing a possible governmental decree that seeks to institutionalize its operations, for the CRAC the occupation of its offices by the UPOEG represents “a direct aggression against the communal system,” said the CRAC.  The coordination called on social organizations to take heed of the situation, “which represents an escalation in aggression on the part of the UPOEG against the communal system” of justice.

Además de afrontar un posible decreto gubernamental que pretende institucionalizar su funcionamiento, la toma de sus instalaciones por parte de la UPOEG representa “una agresión directa contra el sistema comunitario”, denunció la CRAC. La Coordinadora llamó a las organizaciones sociales a estar pendientes del conflicto, “que representa una escalada en las agresiones de la UPOEG al sistema comunitario” de justicia.

For more information (in Spanish):

Toman autoridades vinculadas a la UPOEG la Casa de Justicia de la CRAC en San Luis Acatlán (El Sur de Acapulco, 10 de febrero de 2013)

Guerrero: toma UPOEG instalación comunitaria (La Jornada, 9 de febrero de 2013)

La Policía Comunitaria de Guerrero, frente al riesgo más grave de su existencia (Desinformemonos, 11 de febrero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Governor Aguirre intervenes in situation of insecurity in Ayutla. Communal Police repeats: “it is not us” (24 January 2013)

Guerrero: Self-defense against organized crime in 4 municipalities (15 January 2013)

Guerrero: Social insurrection in Olinalá against organized crime (9 November 2012)