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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024

Brave brit farmers take a stand: Showdown with cartel ends in bloodshed

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Texcaltitlán showdown: Farmers defend their turf against cartel’s extortion tactics

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In a gripping clash reminiscent of a Wild West standoff, resilient farmers in the small Mexican town of Texcaltitlán took matters into their own hands, confronting the notorious La Familia Michoacana cartel after they upped their extortion demands.

Previously, these rural residents had been shelling out one Mexican peso per square meter for land use, but the cartel, notorious for its grip on the region, suddenly demanded double the cash, leaving the struggling farmers with an ultimatum: pay up or face the consequences.

In an exclusive interview with Vice, a local farmer revealed, “After a tough year of harvests, barely scraping enough to cover the initial extortion fee, the prospect of this increase left us with only two options: fight for our survival or succumb to hunger.”

With little room for negotiation, the farmers opted for the former, leading to a violent face-off on the afternoon of 8 December. The battleground? A local soccer field, chosen for a clandestine meeting where the farmers were supposed to hand over the demanded money.

The confrontation quickly escalated from tense negotiations to chaos as a gunshot shattered the uneasy calm, setting off a brutal skirmish between the farmers and cartel members. Armed with shotguns, machetes, and makeshift weapons, the farmers fought tooth and nail, resulting in 14 casualties and seven injuries.

Among the fallen, ‘Comandante Payaso’ (Commander Clown), identified as Rigoberto de la Sancha Santillán, emerged as a key figure, believed to be the mastermind behind the exorbitant land fee hike.

Andrés Andrade, chief of police of Mexico State, revealed, “[He] was a top target for us due to his pivotal role in the criminal organization. We were actively pursuing investigations against him.”

Despite reaching out to the Mexican army for support, the farmers claim they received no assistance. The confrontation marked a grisly chapter in the ongoing struggle against La Familia Michoacana, a criminal entity that originated in the late 1980s and has since expanded its operations from Michoacán to Mexico State.

As this violent episode unfolds, condemnation pours in from Mexico State Gov. Delfina Gómez and local leaders, denouncing the bloodshed in the wake of the cartel’s ruthless extortion tactics.

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