Selfdefense of El Ocotito live days of tensión: the criminals have threaten to come back to take control of the town.

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Texto finalista en la categoría Reportero Local en el 2014 Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism

By Shaila Rosagel

El Ocotito, Guerrero February 4, 20124 (SinEmbargo).- In the town of El Ocotito nobody can deny the tension and that death threatens their villagers each minute.

The community police took the town located 49 miles from the port of Acapulco and 31 miles away from Chilpancingo, little more over a week ago and turned it into a center of operations for the Union of the towns and Organizations of the state of Guerrero (UPOEG).

Today, El Ocotito lives one of the moments with more tension in its history, since organized crime that operates the region maintains the threat to come back for what they think it’s theirs and to fold the leaders of the community police that have its tent in the entrance of town.

Although the governor of Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre, declared that the violence in the state is out of control and that the attack to Pioquinto Damián Huato, president of the House of National Commerce (Canaco) of Chilpancingo, where his daughter-in-law died and him and his son were wounded, it’s an “isolated act”, the day before yesterday he had to announce an “pop-up plan”, to lower the numbers of violence in the state, with Chilpanchingo as the priority.

However, even though the capital of Guerrero is immerse in the violence and the people asks the presence of the  community, is El Ocotito, the town that pens on a thread, threaten to perish under the fire of high caliber guns of the criminals.

It was in that place where Pioquinto and the major of Chilpancingo, Mario Moreno Arco, agreed to a meeting last Tuesday, where the entrepreneur faced the major and accused him of having ties with the criminal gangs.

Days before the attack is known that the leader of Canaco has the major responsible for the attack that he suffered when he was traveling to Chilpancingo, after the meeting in El Ocotito.

Pioquinto ensures that Mario Moreno is behind the organized crime that operates in the capital of Guerrero and the nearby towns.

But it’s not only Pioquinto who says so. In town the community ensures and even bet their own head, to the fact that the major is behind the crimes that are happening in the region.

“I blame him to have something to do in the attack on mister Pioquinto. He’s tied with the mafia, I can bet my head that he is one of the most implicated here and if we start to grab big fishes in Chilpancingo, one of them it’s going to be him, you can be sure of that. The hustlers are hiding behind all the politicians, and all the bastards that have money”, says “José”- whom asked SinEmbargo to not reveal his real name-, a community policeman while he guards on board of a pickup truck on the streets of El Ocotito.

“José” has a death threat and knows they can kill him any moment. The community guards of the town own guns of little and medium caliber.

Their shotguns are old and you can’t find in any direction guns like the ones used by organized crime.

The vehicle advances through the alleys and hills of that town nestled in the hill and the villagers poke through the window and smile to the community police.

“The criminals have cuerno de chivos (AK-47), granades, and even bazookas. They killed people as soon as they arrived, just to sweep them because the people were making eye-to-eye contact when they took the streets. They also kidnapped the people that had some money, asked for the ransom and if there was no payment, they killed them”, says.

The community police is from El Ocotito, he is married, has kids and works in a common job in town. Since he decided to rise with guns, he asks for permits to try to protect the villagers from the criminals with his shotgun.

The vehicle advances a little further and a five-year old stops its way in one of the alleys to say hello with a big smile.

“How is it that a little girl says hi to you like that”, is asked to him. José answers: “Well there is a war that started little with a person on the mountain. Here the villagers are tired, a lot have lost their life, a lot have gone missing, some are on the cemetery, and other are not found. There’s an old saying ‘el brave lives, until the cowards wants’, here the cowards don’t want the braves anymore, and now, the ducks are shooting at the shotguns.

The movement of the community police seeks to extend and its leaders have announced that if there is no solution to the insecurity problem in the state, they will soon take Chilpancingo.

They want to enter Chilpancingo

Octavio Maganda Gallardo, promoter of the Union of towns and organizations of the state of Guerrero (UPOEG), ensures that if the people of Chilpancingo ask him, they will enter the city.

“The people tell us that in Chilpancingo are the cartels firing guns all over the streets, after the attack that Pioquinto suffered”, says Maganda.

Maganda says it’s the mafia that one behind the attack on the leader of the Canaco, and guarantees that was a message to them.

“It’s a message, a threat, so that we don’t dare to get in Chilpancingo. They want us to retire, but the people is a lot more stirred up. We are one step ahead, and not even one step behind”, says.

Yesterday, villagers of the eight communities of the valley of E Ocotito marched in white through la federal highway of Acapulco to support its civil guards and reject la federal forces in their localities.

Saturday around two thousand people, between villagers of San Marcos, members of the UPOEG and community police, marched through the street of the town to commemorate the International day of Peace and No Violence.

The meeting, which concluded in a plaza, was done to also show support to the community police and yell that they have had enough of the criminals.

“For a security and citizen justice without harassment that the federal forces allow the free transit of the SSJC UPOEG”, could be read in one the signs.

The participants, mostly women, ensure that they don’t want the army, the federal police or the local police in the zone, so they asked the citizens to be a part of the community guard.

Friday, Manuel Mondragón y Kalb, Commisioner of the National Security, agreed with the governor, Angel Aguirre, to establish a “pop-up plan” in Guerrero to attend  the criminal activity that will focus on Chilpancingo, where previously hundreds of people expressed for the frequents assaults, kidnaps, extortions and murders.

Jesús Martínez, General Secretary of the Government of Guerrero, told the local press that the plan includes the presence of federal police that will arrive to the capital of the state, in addition to the installation of filters during day and night from the Army and Navy.

“More tan to make it easy, [federal forces] are coming to support as a part of strategic scheme and especially to handle an approach very concrete about what they call pop-up plan”, stated the official.

Mondragón y Kalb promised that there will be taken specific actions in the capital of Guerrero with the purpose of guaranteeing the safety of the Inhabitants.

According to data of the National System of Public Security, the state was the most violent of 2013 due to 2 thousand 87 homicides registered. In addition to be the state with more plagiarisms, they accounted 207, only behind the state of Tamaulipas. Regarding extortions it maintained the media of 174 reports.

Fotografía: Antonio Cruz para SinEmbargo

Traducción: David Salazar

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