Apr 19, 2012

Three days from anniversary of uprising, two townspeople murdered in Cheran, Michoacan

Desinformemonos: The townspeople of the indigenous community of Cheran, Michoacan, confirmed the deaths two of their compatriots along with two injuries during an ambush that took place at approximately 10:30AM Wednesday morning.

Two inhabitants of this Purepecha community were ambushed and murdered by a group of illegal loggers while they were placing barbed wire around an area called "El Puerto (The Port)" or Uruapan, as a part of a reforestation program on the Purepecha Plateau. The community has been on high alert, restricting access points to Cheran and manning barricades throughout the town since April 15, 2011. This was when they decided to undertake a mission of self-defense due to the fact that "since 2008 the illegal loggers, in complicity with the organized crime and local government, ha[d] devastated 80 percent of their forests."

Salvador Campanur, Cheran resident, confirmed the deaths of his two compatriots and the several wounded during the ambush that took place at approximately 10:30AM Wednesday to online magazine Desinformemonos.

Radio Fogata, the community radio of Cheran, reports that the illicit loggers are from "The Cerecito, Dry Ranch, and Tanaco" and that the community is at this time concerned about these regrettable, outrageous events for which the state and federal governments are ultimately responsible."

Radio Fogata reports that the names of the murdered are Santiago Ceja Alonzo and David Campos Macias and the wounded are Salvador Olivares Sixtos and Santiago Charicata Servin.

Just this past weekend Cheran celebrated the first anniversary of what they call "the uprising" during which they decided to defend their forests and their lives. Apart from the illicit logging taking place in their forests, they were also terrorized by gangs of kidnappers and extortionists without any help whatsoever from the state government.

Today, the alarm bells were ringing and there is much tension in the community. See Spanish original

Translation by Mikael Rojas

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