Mexico Deploys 5,000 Troops and Police in Michoacán

By Dialogo
May 22, 2013

A group of 5,000 Soldiers and Federal Police members arrived in the troubled state of Michoacán, an area in western Mexico, on May 20, in order to deter violence generated by drug trafficking cartels and armed groups, which present themselves as self-defense groups, official sources said.

Michoacán’s security “has been reinforced with an increased presence of the Navy Department and the Mexican Army,” Secretary of State Government Fernando Cano Ochoa, who preferred not to disclose the number of officers deployed in the area.

However, sources linked to the Secretary of National Defense and of the Federal Police, confirmed to AFP that 5,000 officers arrived to Michoacán, one of the poorest states in Mexico and a traditional route for drug smuggling, on May 20. Of the 5,000 deployed, 1,000 were Police, 2,000 were Soldiers, and 2,000 were Navy members.

These efforts, plus another 1,000 Federal Police officers deployed in recent days, will focus on the southeastern area of the state, known as ‘Tierra Caliente,’ where governors, businessmen, and villagers live under the threat of extortion, kidnapping, and murder by criminal groups, mainly the cartel ‘Los Caballeros Templarios.’

Last February, armed men arrived in the municipalities of Buenavista and Tepalcatepec, introducing themselves as self-defense groups, and blocking roads in the area in recent days.

Meanwhile, dozens of citizens from Coalcomán protested to demand the restoration of food supplies, after several companies decided to suspend the distribution of their products in the area due to threats from organized crime.