Photo: Pioquinto Damian Huato
A prominent businessman in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero who was wounded two days ago in an attack that claimed the life of his son’s wife said Thursday that politicians are complicit with organized crime.
Pioquinto Damian Huato, head of the Guerrero chapter of the National Chamber of Commerce, said the state faces a crime wave like that in neighboring Michoacan, where the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel has instituted a reign of terror.
“Thanks to (Mayor) Mario Moreno Arcos, the criminal model of Michoacan has taken root in Chilpancingo (Guerrero’s capital),” Damian Huato told MVS radio.
While the Templarios’ main business is supplying crystal meth and other synthetic drugs to the U.S. market, the group has sidelines in extortion and kidnapping for ransom.
Exasperated by the cartel’s crimes and the lack of response from authorities, more than a dozen Michoacan communities began forming armed self-defense units, the first of which started patrols in February 2013.
Militias are also being organized in Guerrero.
Damian Huato was wounded Tuesday when assailant fired shots at his vehicle as he, son Walter and daughter-in-law Laura Rose Cebrito were traveling through Chilpancingo.
All three were hit, but only Cebrito died.
The attack came an hour after Damian Huato confronted Mayor Arcos at a public event, accusing the city’s top official of ties to organized crime.
Damian Huato now says that Arcos was behind the shooting.
“I am only a spokesman, a channel, to express the deep unhappiness there is against the complicity of this gentleman,” he said Thursday, referring to the mayor.
Business owners in Chilpancingo have been driven to desperation by the municipal government’s collusion with criminal outfits, Damian Huato said, claiming that city hall “is full of killers-for-hire.”