On 7 January 2018, three community police officers from La Concepción, Feliciano Ascencio Sierra, Alexis Santos Castillo and Crescenciano Everardo Lorenzo, were extrajudicially executed in Cacahuatepec, a rural area in Acapulco.
The events of January 7 occurred in the context of a conflict relating to a project by the federal government to build a hydroelectric dam which has been opposed by local communities.
The Tlachinollan Human Rights Center (CDHM Tlachinollan for its Spanish acronym) published a report on the events that took place in La Concepción, Acapulco on 7 January. According to the report, a deadly police operation which violated human rights took place on this date, which resulted in extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary detentions. The operation also resulted in a feeling of vulnerability for the families who had decided to join forces to defend their land rights and the right to free, prior and informed consent through the Council of Communal Landowners and Communities Opposed to the Parota Dam (CECOP for its Spanish acronym) and the Regional Coordination of Community Authorities – Community Police (CRAC-PC for its Spanish acronym).
Summary of events
At around 3.00 am a confrontation took place between armed individuals and members of the CRAC-PC Liaison Committee which resulted in the death of two community police officers and six of the armed individuals.
Just before 11.00 am, while the ministerial police carried out a preliminary investigation, an operation with more than 200 elements of security forces including state and federal police and the army, the community of La Concepción arrived. The police presence had the effect of creating tension between the state police and members of the CECOP and the CRAC-PC. The Director of State Police, Esteban Maldonado Palacios, ordered the detention and disarming of the community police officers and this provoked further tension. The state and ministerial police then initiated the armed confrontation.
The Tlachinollan Centre for Human Rights has evidence which establishes that three community police officers were extrajudicially executed. Eyewitnesses of the confrontation confirm that the community police officers Feliciano Ascencio Sierra and Alexis Santos Castillo were in the backyard of the Liaison House, with Feliciano kneeling with his hands at the back of his neck and Ascencio standing with his hands raised in surrender, when the state police shot and killed them. Crescenciano Everardo Lorenzo was detained when he was found in the front yard of the Liaison House. Two members of the state police arrived and asked for his weapon and, without resisting, he gave it to them. The police immediately restrained him and took him towards the CONASUPO establishment which is beside the church in the community. He was subsequently found dead.
The state security forces then were deployed in the surrounding communities where they began to search a number of homes belonging to community police officers and members of the CECOP. The inhabitants of some homes were removed and detained and today are being accused of the murder of the six individuals in the initial confrontation.
To date, the authorities have not revealed if they have begun an investigation for these extrajudicial killings. In addition, in the investigation that was opened into the murder of the six civilians, no community police officer was included.
Source: Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre Report
To read the full report, follow this link: