Residents of the municipality of Tepalcatepec increased their surveillance bases in the face of the constant attacks of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG), which has extended its war zone against the inhabitants of that region of the Tiera Caliente region (Hot Lands) of Michoacán.
The criminal organization led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, “El Mencho”, even put heavy machinery in place to connect gaps and have new access roads. With assault rifles, a .50 caliber Barrett and grenade launchers, the CJNG attacks from the ground and also uses drones loaded with C4 explosives to seek to annihilate the population.
La Silla Rota toured the area affected by the CJNG criminal onslaught and accompanied the self-defense groups that have been containing the narco with its surveillance.
People alive, Criminals killed:This August 30th will be the one year since an armed group, in the service of the CJNG, attacked for the first time the inhabitants of Tepalcatepec. The failure of the CJNG, on that occasion, cost Mencho the deaths of nine of his hitmen and 11 more were injured, at the hands of the Municipal Police, state and the local people.
From that moment on, CJNG’s attempts to seize control of that municipality grew and in recent times the stalking has increased, without it having been successful.
In the cockpit of a van, two hip-hop songs that a couple of singers composed to extol the work of community self-defense are heard over and over again.
“Here we are old, we will stand firm, even if we do not have the support of the government as it should and all because they call us criminals, just because we defend what costs us so much”, are some phrases from the first piece of music.
“Our Pueblo, our people will keep fighting for a free Tepeque. We carry the torch here, we are ready to rumble. Our people will not split. We give it all for Tepeque and you will see what will happen here”.
In the back of the vehicle are peasants, day laborers, entrepreneurs and young people, who with rifles in hand defy the criminal assaults and the winding roads. The large caravans run through gaps, alerting each other of any unusual movement or movement of suspicious vehicles and climb on foot up large steep slopes of the mountain.
Sometimes they joke, but regularly their countenance is lost in alert glances looking out for any new attacks; they just expect to hear the first shot which they will respond to.
The talk at times is the multiple attacks that the CJNG has perpetrated against them: they say that in front of living people, there will always be a dead criminal.
One of the inhabitants, from whom his name is reserved for security, said that the criminal siege has increased and that has forced them to extend their armed civilian mobilization.
The father of four had to leave his cows and the field full-time to lift his AK-47 rifle, better known as ” Goat Horn “, ie Cuerno de Chivo, in the Tierra Caliente region, which has been hit hard by being in the last two CJNG attacks and he says containing and repelling these criminal attacks is very complicated, psychologically.
“Well, yes, it is complicated to live between bullets and such dangers, but we arm ourselves with courage because we must defend our pueblo.”
The threats of the CJNG to the inhabitants of Tepalcatepec are daily and at all times, via telecommunication radios, narco-messages or social networks, in addition to disappearances of people from the region in the area dominated by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. The groups of armed civilians are now constantly moving along each of their borders of their municipality with Coalcomán and Buenavista, Michoacán, on the one hand.
On the other hand, surveillance and self-defense groups extended to each border of the municipalities of Jilotlán and Tecalitlán, Jalisco. At these two points, the caravans of the so-called elite CJNG group have boasted their numerical and weaponly might, in addition to their armored vehicles. Local, state and federal forces focus on only a few points and that has led to other attacks by “Mencho’s people”; so the villagers must take care of the whole municipality.
That is, Tepalcatepec, which has become a human fortress and because of this, now the criminal attacks also fly, literally. Just this past weekend, the inhabitants recovered, from past clashes, a CJNG van with armor and its interior was a ammunition stash. Inside that camouflaged vehicle, there were two drones with a detonation system installed and underneath, boxes with plastic explosives of composition, known as C4.
Among the armor, there were more containers with that material, as well as high-power rifles used by hitmen in the most recent attack on settlers and authorities. However, Tepalcatepec’s own armor has forced the criminal group to put heavy machinery on the side on which it operates, to connect gaps for new access routes.
One of those sections that the CJNG connected was from Los Chapilis to Las Enramadas, from the municipality of Coalcomán and these with the community Tres Hermanos de Tecalitlán, Jalisco . .
Nearby, in El Ahuijullo, Jalisco, where the inhabitants of that upper region of the Hot Lands, ie, La Tierra Caliente, identified that it was where the CJNG, has recorded their threatening videos.
So, the borders of Tepalcatepec, have witnessed the bloody war that the CJNG, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel , has declared on the towns of that municipality. However, the inhabitants have not only left their activities and sheltered their families, but also, defiantly, warn that no one “will come to harm our people again.”