Sabina Reyes, Juanita Reyes, Luis Antonio Torres, Alfredo Castillo Cervantes and Guillermo Valencia Reyes
By H. Nelson Goodson
September 3, 2014
Tepalcatepec, Michoacán, Mexico - The Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto administration has replaced non-criminal citizen police militias with known criminal militias throughout the state of Michoacán. Citizen armed militias in the municipality of Tepalcatepec are managed by criminals connected to local drug cartels.
In recent news reports posted in social networks, Alfredo Castillo Cervantes, the Michoacán state Commissioner for Security and Development is accused of creating state rural militias to protect its citizens, but the militias are known to be connected with organized crime. The state militias are assigned late model vehicles when economic stability is lacking. The late model vehicles are said to be funded by criminal organizations and local drug cartels.
In many areas in the state of Michoacán, the state rural militias extort citizens, threaten to kill anyone that opposes them or run them out of town, kidnap relatives or family, if they collaborate with federal authorities and the militias continue to engaged in criminal activity without any federal government control.
In Tepalcatepec, Luis Antonio Torres, aka, "El Americano" was removed as the leader of the state militia forces for alleged connections with the Caballeros Templarios cartel leader Servando Gómez, aka, "La Tuta," but continues to have influence in the militias connected to criminal organizations. Most of the militia members today were former members of the following cartels, Caballeros Templarios and the Familia Michoacana, according to Sabina Reyes, the sister of Juanita "Juana" Reyes, the current commandant of the militia in Tepalcatepec. Sabina in an interview on Monday stated, that her sister Juana and other leaders of the state rural militia forces are connected to criminal organizations. She also said, that Torres who is still in command of the state militias has order his men to detain any members of the family of former state representative and former Mayor Guillermo Valencia Reyes of Tepalcatepec municipality. Valencia, a PRI member left his post as Mayor in May of 2013 after he was accused of having ties to criminal organizations. In February, Valencia decided to resign as Mayor. Valencia recently confirmed in a released video that he is not afraid of Torres or death threats, but he will return to Tepalcatepec. Valencia who was in the U.S. returned to Mexico and has called on President Nieto for Castillo Cervantes to be removed from his position due to his ties to criminal organizations.
Sabina Reyes interview in Spanish at link: http://youtu.be/vPSgCK0AG3I