Armed Civilians in a lawless Mexico

There is a fine line between these organizations and paramilitary groups

A group of armed civilians has now ended the takeover of a city that has a population of more 20,000 people after a pact with the authorities that included the dismissal of a police chief.

After a 24 hour after takeover of the town Tierra Colorada. Hundreds of armed men withdrew yesterday from this city, located in the southern state of Guerrero, where 12 municipal police officers and 6 other civilians were arrested and accused of participating or collaborating with organized crime.

The detainees were handed over to the authorities last night and are subject to provisional arrest as part of an agreement that was made with the prosecutor of Guerrero, Martha Elva Garzon, who also vowed to find those responsible for the murder of the leader of this civilian group, Guadalupe Quinonez.

Among the officers who were arrested is the municipality of Juan R. Escudero was the Police Chief, Oscar Ulises Valle, who is accused of working with criminals.

As part of the agreement with the leaders of the movement, Mayor Elizabeth Gutierrez of the town of Juan R. Escudero, offered to consider the dismissal of Oscar Ulises Valle. The proposal was voted on by the city council yesterday and was passed.

These types of armed civilian groups have emerged due to the frustration of many communities devastated by organized crime and the inability of the authorities to provide security. These groups now more than ever have been operating with a high tolerance by the local and national governments.

However, the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) has rejected the formation of these "irregular groups."

The Commission "does not deny the fact that these groups act out of desperation due to the failure by the state on public safety matters," said this autonomous agency in February.

The commission also at the same time expressed its concern "about the existence of armed groups with different interests other than protecting and defending themselves, because it would violate the stability of certain institutions. There is a fine line between these organizations and paramilitary groups" they said.


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