A new armed group has been created in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero to win the freedom of detained community police force members, the group’s leaders said in a statement.
The statement from the Armed Revolutionary Liberation Forces of the People, or FAR-LP, was signed by three “commanders” identified only as Emilio, Camilo and Esperanza.
Mexican media broadcast images of several unidentified individuals with their faces covered holding signs with the group’s logo and several carbines.
The FAR-LP is demanding the release of the leaders of the Regional Community Authorities Coordinator, which operates in Guerrero, and other “social fighters” arrested years ago, the commanders said.
“To fight from all the trenches united ... The return to arms is essential,” the statement said.
Government officials have not commented on the appearance of the armed group in Guerrero, a state where civilians have been forming vigilante groups over the past year to defend communities from drug trafickers.
The People’s Revolutionary Army, or EPR, guerrilla group was formed in Guerrero in 1996 and engaged police and soldiers in several shootouts.
The EPR made headlines with a June 1996 attack on police in the Oaxaca seaside town of Huatulco, a clash that left 13 rebels, cops and civilians dead.
The EPR defines its cause as commemorating and denouncing a June 1995 massacre of 17 Indian peasants in the town of Aguas Blancas, Guerrero.
The guerrilla group has staged attacks on oil pipelines and other infrastructure in recent years.