MICHOACÁN Mexico (LatinUs) – Self-defense Militia groups from the municipality of Tepalcatepec, located in Tierra Caliente of Michoacán, last night installed barricades and surveillance posts at all access points to the community. It ratified their decision to go back to arms again.
On Thursday, Latinus announced that the groups in Tepalcatepec were preparing to return to their armed defense.
They argue that the federal government has not given them the necessary security and that they live under constant threat from armed men on the borders of the state of Jalisco.
On 24 February 2013, Tepalcatepec took up arms to fight the criminal group of the “Caballeros Templarios”. At the head of this movement was Juan José Farías Álvarez, known as “El Abuelo” (The Grandfather), who has been named as the alleged leader of the Los Valencia Cartel and, in 2009, as a lieutenant of the New Generation Jalisco Cartel in Michoacán. However, the authorities have never been able to prove anything more than the illegal carrying of weapons, a crime for which he served three years in prison.
The community of Tepalcatepec has kept their self-defense militia and their weapons because they say if this were not the case, the violence would be worse. The inhabitants of the region have not stopped suffering from kidnapping, extortion, and collection of fees.
For decades, violence has persisted in the region of Tierra Caliente of Michoacán, which includes the municipalities of Apatzingán, Zitácuaro, Nueva Italia (Múgica), Buenavista, La Huacana, Tepalcatepec, and Aguililla. It has recently been the scene of numerous blockades and clashes between criminal groups operating in the area.