miércoles, 12 de marzo de 2014

Mexican anti-crime leader facing killing charges

Authorities in Mexico arrested on 10 or 11 March one of the founders of the anti-crime militias in the western state of Michoacán, for possible involvement in murder. The victims were two members of the anti-crime militia of the district of Buenavista Tomatlán in Michoacán, Rafael Sánchez Moreno and José Luis Torres, found dead in a burned van on 8 March. While earlier suspected of being connected to the Caballeros Templarios - the cartel militias have been fighting in Michoacán - the two were apparently also in a dispute with Hipólito Mora Chávez, the militia leader held and suspected of involvement in their killing. The daily Excelsior described Mora as an "emblematic figure" in the anti-crime militia movement that emerged in Michoacán in February 2013. It observed that it had earlier reported on divisions between him and one of the victims, Rafael Sánchez, specifically over Mora's illegal use of lemon plantations Sánchez wanted restored to owners. These were likely among lands the militias had seized from the Templars, who had forcibly expropriated them in the first place. The Buenavista militia also reportedly decided to expel Mr Mora on 3 March, amid rising tensions between his supporters and opponents. Separately on 10 March, militiamen took over "in coordination with Police" the security of the district of Tigüindín, making this the 27th of 113 municipal districts in Michoacán with militia "presence" or control, Proceso reported. The operation was undertaken by 130 men arriving in a convoy of 30 cars, and the militia announced it would proceed to "cleanse the village" of crime.

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