Civil defense organizations in Guerrero and Oaxaca have established a model that is being replicated in Jalisco, and that has recently been acknowledged as legitimate by Mexico’s recently-appointed Commissioner for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples (Comisionado Para el Diálogo con los Pueblos Indígenas), Jaime Martínez Veloz.
|View of the Sierras from Cuautitlan Garcia Barragan, Jalisco|
Illegal logging and illegal mining, as well as the presence of armed groups, have forced the indigenous Nahua people in the sierras of Manantlán, Jalisco, to demand a greater presence from the authorities – but only if they allow for community civil defense units to be armed in support.
On Tuesday, February 12, in the town of Cuautitlan Garcia Barragan, Jalisco, representatives of city council, state government, the military, and indigenous organizations, met with about 150 Nahua in an attempt to resolve security issues. Present also was state deputy Clement Castañeda.
They are trying to analyze and determine a form of community policing that might work, but the stumbling block appears to be the insistence on the part of the Nahua that any government presence be supported by a locally armed civil defense unit.
For his part, Mexico’s president Peña Nieto recently announced that his government was putting US$9.3 billion toward crime prevention.
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