In all the hand-wringing about the flood of Syrian refugees into Europe, no one has mentioned the possibility that an armed Syrian populace could have prevented the exodus, if not the conflict. Wait. How could an armed populace hold out against tanks, bombs and chemical weapons? Ask the Taliban. Equally, show me a mass migration of a million armed refugees. Meanwhile, here’s a story [via borderland beat.com] of large numbers of disarmed, defenseless civilians fleeing death a little closer to home: Mexico . . .
700 families flee death in Chihuahua
Around 700 families fled Milpillas and Las Chinacas communities in Chinipas, after attacks by a new criminal group. On Sunday the 20th, armed men arrived at these villages, killed two men, burned three houses and strafed one more with gunfire, that was found to be empty. After the events, the villagers fled their houses terrified.
In the crossfire, a child of nine years old was shot, and there are other injured children. There are two dead men and others disappeared, the only families that stayed are those that are burying their dead, and the families of the two young men that were kidnapped, said a farm worker.
The villagers of Chinipas have been accustomed to the fear and uncertainty because of the actions of this regions resident criminal group, but on Thursday the 3rd the fear started to grow when three leaders of the group that dominate the zone “Los Salazar” were executed outside of Milpillas.
They were Jesus Guellermo Vega, 50 years of age, Abel Olivas Ramos, 49 years of age and Edgar Munoz Rodriguez, 38 years of age, two of them were burnt.
This event complicated things more. first the two families of the dead men fled, and a few days later they said that another 15 families had left, and the number had been increasing. The criminals started to pressure the communities and there has been several confrontations. The fear increased for the villagers, and they abandoned their villages, and so started the exodus.
Some authorities recommended to the villagers to leave, because they were waiting for a major confrontation between “Los Salazar” and the new criminal group, within three hours.
The resulting stampede was very difficult, very painful, because they were leaving their homes, their land, it was a drama. The road between Alamo and Navojoa (of Sonora), was a file of cars, it was very sad. But that way they managed to save lives of dozens of entire families.
Since then all the schools are closed. Days after the shop that served the village was ransacked and already there is no food, the criminals emptied the village.
According to the villagers, the criminals attacked people that were not part of criminal gangs, but also attacked others that were “in the business”. These subjects, they said, were not part of the “Los Salazar” group, they were another that had arrived from Sinaloa to fight for the plaza after the escape of El Chapo Guzman. Others assure that they newcomers are people of Rafael Caro Quintero, who left prison on the 9th of August 2013 after spending 28 years in prison.
On this occasion, its not people from Milpillas that are angry towards us, its the new people from Sinaloa, said another farm worker.
According to the people living in the village, the majority of the inhabitants are seeded in this community. They are naturalized and legitimate, but with the passing of time the criminal groups took over from the citizens.
The leader of “Los Salazar” has for many years operated in the areas of Urique, Guazapares and Chinipas, Alfredo Salazar, currently imprisoned at “Altiplano” Cefereso no.1, Almoloya de Juarez. The group is currently operated by an uncle of his, who must now confront the criminals from the Sinaloa Cartel that arrived to take the plaza.
In Milpillas there were about 400 families of about 1500 people, and 300 families in Las Chinacas, all have fled.
In a communication given yesterday, the State Attorney General (FGE) said that in the Milpillas community the inhabitants had informed the investigating authorities that armed people sacked three houses, and victimized a 73 year old man, Rodolfo Burgos Hermosillo, who used to be the Municipal policeman in this locality.
In regards the three houses raided, they all had impact marks on the doors, forcing the locks to gain access to the interiors. Inside the houses the police recovered seven spent AK47 cartridge cases and three from a twelve bore shotgun.
In the exterior of one of the properties a white Chevrolet pickup was discovered without circulation plates, burnt out with a dead animal inside.
Later, and after carrying out some patrols, elements of the Army and Municipal Police of Chinipas went to Tecorahui, where the presence of armed subjects had been reported.
|Click on image to enlarge for location of Tecorahui at marker|
According to the FGE, when State Agents arrived they passed through the community of San Antonio, located close to the entrance, about four hours from Tecorahui, they received gun fire from armed men located in a house. The Agents returned fire and killed two criminals.
One of the dead men was, Arabel Vega Lagarda, 42 years of age, with a home in Milpillas, who was in possession of rifle made by Norinco. The other man, armed with an AR15, has not been identified.
Ten days after, the villagers of the community of Tecorahui, of the same Municipality of Chinipas, were not heard from, because the criminals had taken the village and were not allowing people to enter or leave.
One man managed to leave, and he could relate what had happened, but up to now, he has heard nothing from anyone who lives there. No cell phone calls, and they have no means to communicate, said one person who wished to remain anonymous.