Young Indigenous People in Guerrero Take Up Arms For Community Defense

Published January 28, 2020

Young Indigenous People in Guerrero Take Up Arms For Community Defense

Last Friday January 17, ten Nahua indigenous people between 15 and 42 years of age, who were part of the musical group “Sensation”, were ambushed in the Mexcalzingo-Tlayelpa section, in the municipality of Chilapa de Álvarez, Guerrero state. The musicians returned home after a musical presentation. The attackers opened fire on two trucks in which they were traveling. Later, five of them were burned and the others dismembered.

19 young people between 12 and 15 years old are being trained to combat the violence that has intensified in the region. The children armed with shotguns and rifles used for hunting, conducted shooting exercises and marched in formation. “28 companions have fallen in just one year,” leaving 66 children without a father, said Bernardino Sánchez, a member of the CRAC-PF (Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities)

Community defense emerged 25 years ago due to the inability of different governments to provide security, from this moment, it is they who are responsible for ensuring the inhabitants of 16 municipalities in this area.

The murder of the ten musicians has joined more than twenty indigenous people killed by organized crime groups known as “Los Ardillos”, “Los Rojos” and “Guerreros Unidos”, who dispute the territories for planting poppy and marijuana, but also by the traffic routes.

Sanchez says that this situation has forced children to take up arms, “at least to defend themselves, because they have seen that the government has no capacity or interest to defend indigenous peoples against these groups.”

The children, with their faces covered with paliacates, their community police t-shirt and their weapons, marched on Wednesday with more than two thousand people in the communities where the ten murdered musicians were from, in Alcozacán, in Chilapa.

In the murder of 10 indigenous musicians from Chilapa, an attempt was made to simulate an accident

The authorities of the 16 municipalities that are part of the Community Police have maintained that the blockade they maintain on the roads of this region will continue until those responsible for the crime are captured.