Photo: Gonzalo Molina Gonzalez
Police in southern Mexico arrested the founder of a community self-defense group on charges of kidnapping and terrorism, the Guerrero state Attorney General’s Office said.
Detained along with Gonzalo Molina Gonzalez was a minor who faces charges for the same incident, state Attorney General Iñaky Blanco said in statement.
Molina is a director of the Regional Coordinator of Municipal Authorities, or CRAC, in Tixtla, a town near the state capital of Chilpancingo.
CRAC oversees policing and justice on the basis of indigenous “practices and customs,” within the framework of Mexican law.
Molina led some 40 CRAC members in the Aug. 26 invasion of Tixtla’s town hall, authorities said.
The intruders, armed with machetes, rifles, sticks and Molotov cocktails, are wanted for causing injuries to municipal police officers and damage to the town hall, Blanco said.
Molina was carrying a handgun at the time of his arrest, while the minor suspect had a shotgun, according to the statement from the AG’s office.
Community self-defense groups have multiplied over the past year in Guerrero and the neighboring state of Michoacan.
Indigenous communities in both states mobilized to defend themselves against a criminal organization that calls itself “Los Caballeros Templarios” (Knights Templar).
The Caballeros are said to dominate the trade in synthetic drugs bound for the United States, such as crystal meth. But the gang also preys on ordinary people, engaging in extortion, kidnapping and murder.