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After Michoacán shootout, Mexican security forces accused of more extrajudicial killings

January 14, 2015
Witnesses say federal police murdered several unarmed civilians during the shootout in Apatzingan.

Witnesses say federal police murdered several unarmed civilians during the shootout in Apatzingan.

Reports in the Mexican press indicate that security forces may have executed several unarmed civilians during a confrontation in the western state of Michoacán last week.

Although authorities in Michoacán say nine people were killed, there is strong evidence of at least 11 fatalities after the Mexican army and the federal police carried out an operation to reclaim control of the city hall in Apatzingán early on January 6.

Alfredo Castillo, the federal security commissioner for Michoacán, claims that the police only killed two people, while six others were hit by crossfire and one was run over, but several newspapers have published testimony from eyewitnesses who allege that federal agents murdered a number of unarmed detainees.

The confrontation began in the early hours of the morning when security forces arrested 44 people who had been occupying the city hall since late December and decommissioned 13 firearms and 23 stolen vehicles. The occupiers are believed to have been members of Los Viagras, a group of vigilantes accused of having formed their own drug gang.

According to Castillo, a convoy of soldiers and federal agents then came under attack as they were driving away the seized vehicles shortly before 8 a.m.

Despite Castillo’s claim that only eight people were killed in the ensuing shootout, graphic images taken minutes afterwards show ten dead bodies: two groups of five lying beside two different vehicles.

An anonymous eyewitness told Mexico’s Reforma newspaper that federal police officers killed at least three unarmed people who had surrendered and had their hands in the air…

Click here to read this article in full at Latin Correspondent.

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