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Latino Daily News

Saturday October 26, 2013

Gangs Preventing Storm Aid From Reaching Victims in Southern Mexico

Gangs Preventing Storm Aid From Reaching Victims in Southern Mexico

Photo: Tropical storm damage in Mexico

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Gangs are preventing aid from reaching victims of Hurricane Manuel in southern Mexico, with most of the problems in Guerrero state, the Reforma newspaper reported Thursday.

The cities of Coyuca de Catalan, Ajuchitlan del Progreso, Arcelia, Teloloapan and San Miguel Totolapan, all located in the Tierra Caliente region, have been affected.

Problems have also been reported in the cities of Tlacoapa, San Luis Acatlan and Metlatonoc, all located in the Montaña region, the newspaper said.

Gunmen stole two official SUVs being used by relief workers “and forced them to go back on foot,” Reforma said, citing Guerrero and federal officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Emergency workers were unable to deliver aid or complete a count of storm victims in Totoltepec, a requirement set by President Enrique Peña Nieto after Manuel hit the area in mid-September.

Guerrero, where more than 100 people were killed, dozens are listed as missing and extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure occurred, was the state most affected by the storm.

No storm aid has reached 122 communities in 22 cities in Guerrero, Reforma said, citing state emergency management office deputy director Constantino Gonzalez.

The distribution of aid has not been hampered due to bad weather or damaged roads, Gonzalez told the newspaper, without providing details on whether criminals were involved in preventing the distribution of assistance all these communities.

Drug traffickers operate in both the Tierra Caliente and Montaña regions.

The Caballeros Templarios drug cartel operates in the Tierra Caliente region, which straddles Michoacan, Guerrero and Mexico states.

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