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Delfina Gómez, on the Texcaltitlán massacre: "You are not alone, we are with you"

2023-12-09T21:27:44.588Z

Highlights: The governor of the State of Mexico, Delfina Gómez, appeared before the press on Saturday to report on the massacre of 14 people on Friday in Texcaltitlán. The bloody battle between residents and alleged members of the criminal group La Familia Michoacana also left seven injured. "These events do not paralyze us, on the contrary, they reaffirm our determination to improve the security conditions of our beloved state," said the governor, who took office in September.


The governor of the State of Mexico appears before the press, after the massacre of 14 people this Friday in Tierra Caliente. Prosecutor announces death of regional leader of criminal group involved


The governor of the State of Mexico, Delfina Gómez, of Morena, appeared before the press on Saturday to report on the massacre of 14 people on Friday in Texcaltitlán, in the south of the state, at the gates of the Tierra Caliente region. "I request the permanent presence of federal forces in the region. I know that we will count on them and I am very grateful for their intervention and support. To the families who have lost their loved ones, I want to express my deepest sorrow," said Gómez. "To the south of the State of Mexico, I say to you: you are not alone, we are with you," he added.

Recorded on video, the bloody battle between residents and alleged members of the criminal group La Familia Michoacana also left seven injured. The images are overwhelming because of the violence displayed. In the recording, screams and gunshots can be heard, the neighbors are armed with sticks and machetes and the others are shooting. A young man in a red T-shirt with yellow hair is dragged to the ground by dozens of men who beat and kick him until he stops moving. "These events do not paralyze us, on the contrary, they reaffirm our determination to improve the security conditions of our beloved state," said the governor, who took office in September.

Gómez was accompanied by the Secretary of Government, Andrés Andrade, and the Attorney General of the State, José Luis Cervantes. Andrade and Cervantes have given details of what has happened in the area since Thursday. Of the 14 dead, 10 were alleged members of the criminal group La Familia Michoacana and four were residents of Texcaltitlán. Cervantes said the 10 alleged criminals killed included three "priority targets," including the gang's alleged regional leader, Rigoberto De la Sancha, alias Payaso. Of the other two, he has not given names, only saying that they were "high-level or medium-level hitmen."

The Texcaltitlán massacre perfectly illustrates the state of affairs in the Tierra Caliente, a region shared by the State of Mexico, Guerrero and Michoacán. For years, La Familia Michoacana has imposed its law in a handful of towns in the area, especially in the State of Mexico and Guerrero. In Texcaltitlán, Coatepec Harinas and other nearby municipalities, clashes with the authorities are constant. In April, for example, five police officers from the State Prosecutor's Office were injured in a shootout with this group. In 2022 and 2021, clashes between police and civilians in both municipalities ended in massacres.

La Familia Michoacana's extortion attempts are at the heart of the conflict. Andrade said that on Thursday, a day before the massacre, authorities received at least two complaints of extortion by the group of residents of Texcaltitlán. "In an operation by the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena), accompanied by state police, a significant amount of weapons, long guns, 50 caliber, barrett, etc., were seized," said the secretary. Authorities arrested people for these acts — neither Andrade nor the prosecutor have said how many — and confiscated the money collected.

On Friday, apparently, criminals and villagers met in a place in the municipality, with an unclear objective. Local media have reported that La Familia had summoned the neighbors to engage in a kind of negotiation on the extortion that the group wanted to impose on the population. Something went wrong and the battle broke out. "On Friday at 12:14 p.m., an alert was received about firearm detonations, next to an elementary school, in Texcaltitlán," Andrade said. "The perpetrators were apparently traveling in a Ford Wolf. In a second call, he said that the confrontation was between residents and members of La Familia Michoacana. At 14:50 p.m., an investigation was launched into the admission of five people injured by firearms to a hospital. Two of the injured were abducted by an armed group," he added.

At that time, the State Government was not yet fully aware of what was happening, information that arrived in dribs and drabs. "At 15:20 p.m. a task force arrived in the area, and then images and data that you have previously known were located," the official said, referring to photos and videos of the battle. With the area under control, authorities received reports of an alleged regrouping of the criminal group, to attack the population again, in response to the fall of its leader. "The task force was deployed, it went to the scene, but no risk situation was found," Andrade said.

Despite the number of situations of this type registered in the area in the last three years, Andrade has assured that these criminals do not live or used to live in the State of Mexico. The official has given no explanation as to how he knows this. "The southern part of our state requires our urgent attention, because the proximity to other states allows people and groups to enter the country to carry out criminal activities, commit aggressions and then retreat to the states where they have their seat most of the time. We are going to work to strengthen the surrounding area," he concluded.

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Source: elparis

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