MEXICO CITY: Members of a western Mexico indigenous community demanded Tuesday that authorities punish soldiers and police after blaming them for the death of a 12-year-old boy during a clash.
A confrontation erupted on Sunday after federal forces entered the town of Ostula, Michoacan state, to detain the leader of a local vigilante force, Cemei Verdia, for allegedly carrying illegal weapons.
Residents blocked roads in protest at the arrest, prompting troops to “begin firing against homes and the civilian population,” Agustin Vera, Ostula’s administrative chief, told a news conference in Mexico City.
Vera called on the federal and state governments to “punish the commanders and members of the military and police forces who murdered” 12-year-old Edilberto Reyes and wounded six other people, including two more minors.
But authorities have said that an unidentified armed group had attacked the population.
Town representatives released a video at the Prodh human rights center in Mexico City showing three military armored vehicles on Ostula’s bridge as gunfire is heard in the background. The images do not show who is shooting.
Michoacan’s ombudsman, Jose Maria Cazares, told AFP that there are
“indications showing that the Mexican army presumably initiated the gunfire.”