pregnant women and with young children take up arms to defend themselves from the CJNG in Michoacán

In Michoacán, the place where the movement of “Self-defense” from Mexico, a new group has emerged made up only of women, who carry assault rifles and erect roadblocks to chasing away what they say is a violent raid in the state of Michoacán del violento Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Some of the more than 40 women are pregnant, while others take their young children to the barricades.

The rural area is crossed by dirt roads, through which they fear that CJNG armed men can enter at a time when Michoacán’s homicide rate has risen to levels not seen since 2013.

Many of the vigilant women in the town of El Terrero have lost children, siblings or parents in the fight. Eufresina Blanco Nava said her son Freddy Barrios, a 29-year-old lemon picker, was allegedly kidnapped by CJNG men in pickup trucks. Since then, she has not heard from him.

“Many have disappeared. Many girls are also young ”, said Blanco Nava.

Also read: That they return our children to us, alive or dead: they ask in Michoacán

A woman, who asked that her name not be mentioned because she has relatives in areas that are controlled by the CJNG, commented that the criminal organization kidnapped and disappeared his 14-year-old daughter.

“We are going to defend those who remain, our children who remain, we are going to defend them with our lives,” he added.

“We are already tired of our children and our families disappearing like this,” said the woman. “They take our sons, our daughters, our relatives.”

That is one of the reasons why women decided to take up arms: There are fewer and fewer men in the hot land from Michoacan.

“Just be a man who can use a weapon, they take it away,” said the watchman. “They disappear it. We do not know if they bring them or have already killed them, “he added.

In addition to barricades and roadblocks, the vigilantes have a kind of homemade tank and a pickup truck with a steel plate armor. In other nearby towns, residents have dug trenches in the races leading to neighboring Jalisco state to keep criminals out.

Alberto García, who is also a vigilante, has seen the medieval side of the war: He hails from Naranjo de Chila, a town just across the river from El Terrero and the birthplace of CJNG leader Nemesio Oseguera. García said he was expelled from the town by the men of the organization because he refused to join the group.

“A brother of mine was killed too”, Garcia said. “They already dismembered an eight-month pregnant sister-in-law as well,” he added.

The attacks of the CJNG

For a long time, El Terrero has been dominated by criminal groups The Nueva Familia Michoacana and the Viagras, while the CJNG controls the south bank of the Rio Grande. In 2019, the Viagras hijacked and burned half a dozen vans and buses to block the bridge that crosses the river to prevent CJNG caravans from entering a surprise attack.

And that same year, in the neighboring town of San José de Chila, rival groups used a church as an armed stronghold to fight a CJNG offensive. Barricaded in the church tower and along the roof, they tried to defend the town against the incursion, leaving the church full of bullet holes.

It is this marked division in which everyone is forced to choose a side – be it the CJNG or the Nueva Familia Michoacana and the Viagras – that has convinced many that the vigilantes of El Terrero are only soldiers of walk from one of those last two gangs.

Also read: CJNG attacks communities and burns 11 vehicles in Coalcomán, Michoacán

We are not criminals

The vigilantes reject claims that they are part of any criminal organization, but they clearly point out that the CJNG is their rival.
They said they would be more than happy if the police and the military came and did that job.

El Terrero is not far from the town of La Ruana, where the real self-defense movement was formed in 2013 by lemon grower Hipólito Mora.

After successfully pursuing the Knights Templar cartel, Mora, like most of the early leaders, has distanced himself from the groups that are called self-defense groups that are still active. He is now a candidate for governor.

“I can almost assure you that they are not legitimate self-defense groups,” Mora reported. “It’s organized crime,” he said, adding that the few self-defense groups that exist have allowed criminals to infiltrate.


The current governor of Michoacán, Silvano Aureoles, is more blunt. “They are criminals, period. Now, to spread a blanket there to protect their criminal activities, they call themselves self-defense groups, as if that were a passport of impunity, “he said.

But somehow, Mora said, they continue the same conditions that led to the movement in 2013: the authorities and the police do not apply the law and do not guarantee peace to the residents.

Sergio García, a member of the El Terrero group, said that his 15-year-old brother was kidnapped and killed by the CJNG. Now, he wants the justice that the police have never given him.

Also read: Michoacán will not allow criminals to disguise themselves as self-defense groups: Aureoles



a presidential campaign under the sign of state violence

Yoweri Museveni, 76, is virtually certain of winning the Ugandan presidential election this Thursday, January 14. Since 1986, he has ruled this country without interruption, not hesitating to use violence to subdue his population and neutralize his opposition. In the last general election in 2016, he was re-elected in the first round with 60.75%. “We are certain of victory”, he already declared at the beginning of the year. On Tuesday, he suspended access to social networks and messaging services: Ugandans no longer have the use of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Signal and Viber. Once again, the presidential campaign was marked by violence against the opposition, primarily against ragga singer Bobi Wine, 38.

→ READ. Ugandan President Yoweri Musevini appears with Pope Francis for his election campaign

A campaign under the banner of state violence

Nothing has been spared him: multiple arrests, dispersal of his political meetings, flashballs, live ammunition, torture of activists in prison. The peak was reached on November 18, 2020: the police opened fire on his supporters who were protesting in the street against a new arrest of their candidate, killing 54 people.

→ INFOGRAPHICS. In Uganda, “presidency for life” for Yoweri Museveni

The other nine candidates were also targeted by the government. Patrick Amuriat, of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), systematically addressed his barefoot supporters to recall the aggression he was the victim of on the day of his candidacy. In the name of the fight against Covid-19, all large gatherings of these candidates have been deleted. A rule never applied to meetings of the presidential party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Elections in Uganda: indestructible Museveni

Bobi Wine, the rising star of Ugandan politics

If Bobi Wine has been so targeted by the police, it is because he is not an ordinary candidate for Yoweri Museveni. Known around the world, he embodies the expected change in this country ruled by an iron fist for thirty-five years. Especially among young people, in a country where population growth is one of the highest in the world (3.3% per year).

Bobi Wine has another potentially handicapping asset for Museveni: he is a Muganda (16% of the population), from the kingdom of Bouganda, now an administrative province, who gave his name to Uganda and who occupied a central place in the life of the country.

Yoweri Museveni less essential

This rise of the famous singer also comes at a time when Yoweri Musweni is no longer so indisputable for his main supporters, starting with Washington. Considered one of the prominent figures for Africa in the 1990s by the Clinton administration, this is no longer the case today because of its authoritarian drift and the new geopolitical situation in the region. .

The Tilenga project in Uganda, the excess of the “old world”

So even Assistant US Secretary of State for Africa Tibor Nagy said to himself on Tuesday “Concerned about reports that the Ugandan government has ordered internet providers to block social media and messaging”. And Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, urged “Ugandan authorities, particularly the security forces, to act in accordance with international human rights standards”.


Trump calls for avoiding “violence” ahead of Biden’s inauguration

The outgoing US president, Donald Trump.

The outgoing US president, Donald Trump.

The outgoing US president, Donald Trump, asked his followers not incur “violence” nor break the law in the coming days, given the multiple reports that point to new armed concentrations before the inauguration within a week of the elected president, Joe Biden.

“Faced with information about new demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO law-breaking and NO vandalism of any kind, “Trump said in a statement released by the White House.

“That is not what I stand for, and it is not what the United States stands for. I ask ALL Americans to help defuse tensions and calm down. Thank you!”

The outgoing president’s brief statement came as the House of Representatives prepared to accuse him of “inciting” the insurrection of his supporters last week on Capitol Hill, which will force the Senate to subject Trump to a second impeachment trial. ).

Trump has sent mixed messages about his followers’ assault on Capitol Hill: During the attack, he described them as “very special people,” but later tried to distance himself from them and condemn the violence.

This Tuesday, Trump avoided taking any kind of responsibility for what happened and defended as “totally appropriate” the speech he gave before the assault on the Capitol, in which he urged his followers to address Congress to prevent legislators from ratifying Biden’s victory.

His new message comes two days after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned that radical supporters of Trump they plan “armed protests” scheduled in all 50 states of the country between the 16th and the 20th, when Biden will take office.

Extremist groups, which after the closure of thousands of their Twitter accounts and the blocking of the conservative social network Parler have begun to coordinate in encrypted messaging applications such as Telegram, have also threatened a possible new assault on the Capitol or the headquarters of the state Congresses.

Despite Trump’s call to avoid violence, some analysts believe the outgoing president has further emboldened extremists with his affirmations on Tuesday that the impeachment trial that is being prepared in Congress is generating a lot of “anger” in the country.

The violence of the past week has led to the maximum reinforcement of security in Washington, and it is expected that before the inauguration more than 20,000 members of the National Guard, who have already protected the Capitol for days, will be activated.


YouTube suspends Trump channel, removes video for “risk of violence”

LThe Google-owned YouTube site on Tuesday suspended Donald Trump’s channel for “at least seven days” and deleted a video for violating its anti-incitement policy.

Last week, Facebook suspended Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following a violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a crowd of his supporters, which temporarily disrupted Democrat Joe Biden’s certification of election victory.

Twitter went further by deleting the Republican billionaire’s account, depriving him of his favorite platform. Other social networks like Snapchat and Twitch have also suspended President Trump’s account.


Persecution of Christians Around the World Worsens

According to a report, the number of people killed because of their faith increased by 60% in 2020.

Year after year, the statistics published by the Protestant Evangelical Association Doors Open, a member of the Protestant Federation of France and present for 66 years in 70 countries to help persecuted Christians, leave a bitter taste. Its “World Index of Persecution of Christians”, covering the figures for 2020 and published on January 12, shows that the number of Christians killed because of their faith has increased from 2,983 to 4,761, an increase of 60%. “On a global level, that makes 13 Christians killed per day for their faith”, comments one of the managers of the association.

With a terrible record, in Nigeria, where 3,520 Christians were murdered in one year. This country is plagued by the Islamists of Boko Haram and the radicalization of the Fulanis, a mostly Muslim nomadic shepherd people, nicknamed the Fulani. “91% of Christians killed were on the African continent in 2020”, underlines the association. It is “The rise of jihadist groups in sub-Saharan Africa” which explains this sharp increase in Christians killed in 2020, because these movements “Took advantage of the measures taken to fight the Covid epidemic to expand their fields of operation”.

If the churches, another statistical element, were less targeted in 2020, going from 9,488 to 4,488, this is due to the fact that the year 2019 had reached a peak in the matter, by outright destruction, by administrative closure or by elimination. crosses. The prize for attacks on churches goes to China this year. The index lists 3,088 churches targeted in this country in 2020, compared to 5,576 in 2019. “Many closed churches have not reopened this year, specifies Open Doors, there are therefore fewer “targets”. ” As for these “Attacks”, they go “Of the obligation to remove the crosses, underlines the report, to complete destruction. Nearly 18,000 churches have been targeted over the past seven years in China “.

Finally, the third annual index, that of Christians imprisoned “arbitrarily” for their faith: they went from 4,811 in 2019 to 4,277 in 2020, a slight decrease. The association concludes: “More than 340 million Christians have been severely persecuted or discriminated against for their faith in the 50 countries listed.” She adds – based on very precise criteria that have now been used for more than a decade – that “Anti-Christian violence has increased by 10% compared to 2019”.

A sophisticated tool

This organization has in fact developed a statistical tool based on the effective accounting of known persecutions. It supplements these figures with a system of analytical criteria which identify, depending on the country, the infringements of the freedom of Christians in their private, family, social, civil and ecclesial life. Once identified, these facts are then meticulously classified over the months into two main categories: “hammer-hammer persecution”, physical or material, often “brutal”, notes the report. Less visible, but “insidious” persecution, with rejection, discreet oppressions, denials of rights, exclusions.

The association thus denounces “The use of blasphemy law in Pakistan for personal gain of which Christians are disproportionately victimized.” Or, in Somalia, Christians, nicknamed “the Crusaders” who are notably accused of “Spread the virus” of the pandemic.

For the presentation of the 2021 index, Iran was highlighted, with special guest Dabrina Bet Tamra. Refugee in Europe, this committed evangelical Christian is harassed by the Iranian authorities, just like her family. She has been arrested several times. She suffered two strange car accidents. She was imprisoned. «In Iran, she explains, which nevertheless displays religious freedom, evangelical Christians are considered a threat against the regime. With the converts from Islam to Christianity, they suffer a lot: they have no freedom of religion, no right to assemble or to possess religious material. They do not have the right to bring up their children according to their religious convictions. They cannot be civil servants. Access to higher education is prohibited. They do not have the right to inherit, nor the right to adopt. And in prison they are deprived of a lawyer. “

Globally, that’s 13 Christians killed per day for their faith.

The Protestant Evangelical Association Doors Open

The strong point of this “world index of persecution of Christians”, which has become a reference, is to be nourished by a network and information from the field in sometimes opaque countries. Evangelical Churches are often small, discreet structures, very active for evangelization but independent therefore very free vis-à-vis institutions. Doors Open has thus played a leading role over the past two years in improving the situation of Christians in Algeria, for which it had denounced to international bodies, especially European bodies, the policy of closing places of evangelical worship. “This closure policy has come to an end, this is one of the good news of the year, notes a manager, even though these churches are still closed. ”

SEE ALSO – Jean-Christophe Buisson: “Armenia, the first Christian state in history, is sacrificed”


Radical forums prepare a second take on the Capitol and an “uprising”

Conservative online forums have begun to encourage supporters of President Donald Trump to rally with guns across the country and again on Capitol Hill to oppose the inauguration next week of Democrat Joe Biden, despite the capital being shielded with more than 10,000 members of the National Guard to avoid scenes such as the assault on the Capitol.

As reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a bulletin, they have received information about “armed protests” planned in all 50 states of the country between the 16th and the 20th, when Biden will take office, which Trump and his supporters argue that he won with fraud, something that they have failed to prove

“The FBI has information on an identified armed group that intends to travel to Washington on January 16. They have warned that if Congress tries to remove the president (Trump) by means of the 25th amendment there will be a great uprising, ”the circular explains.

After the assault on the Capitol last Wednesday, which left four protesters dead, including a woman who died of a shot in the neck, and who is behind the deaths of two agents of the Capitol Police, other groups are expected to try to besiege the Legislative headquarters again between January 17 and 20.

Democratic legislators are pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment to disqualify Trump with the support of the Executive Cabinet, or they will subject the president to impeachment starting Wednesday for “inciting violence against the government.”

Wednesday, January 20, is the inauguration ceremony of the new president, Joe Biden, an event that traditionally gathers thousands of people on the esplanade of the National Mall, in front of the Capitol, where the new president must be sworn in in front of the cream of American power.

But on this occasion, more than ever before in the history of the United States, the tension forces us to increase caution to the point that the mayor of Washington, Muriel Bowser, recommended this Monday not to go out during the ceremony, for which Up to 15,000 National Guard troops from various states will be deployed, more than three times the number of soldiers currently deployed in Afghanistan.

The local and federal authorities do not want to be surprised again by a violent mob of Trumpists as happened last Wednesday, when the Capitol police were immediately overwhelmed by hundreds of protesters incited by the president to march towards the Capitol to protest for the certification of Biden’s electoral victory, which was taking place at that time in a joint session of the two houses.

The irruption of the protesters, who had been heating up the January 6 rally called by Trump for weeks and which had political organizers linked to Trumpism, is seen as a colossal security and coordination failure between the Pentagon authorities, the city of Washington and of the Capitol Police, in charge of the security of the legislative headquarters.

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, forced to resign due to the security fiasco, said on Monday that he asked the District of Columbia National Guard detachment to be alerted to the arrival of Trumpists on January 6, But that request was denied by the Pentagon and those responsible for the security of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

In the midst of an emergency, due to the capture of the Capitol, which forced the Vice President, Mike Pence, and the legislators to take refuge in the guts of the labyrinthine Capitol or in offices behind furniture barricades, it was the local Washington police and federal agencies such as the FBI. who came to the rescue.

According to Sund, the Pentagon rejected at 2 p.m., just as the security perimeter of the Capitol began to fall, a request to deploy the National Guard, despite the fact that Trump assured Thursday that he required the immediate presence of this force. military.

Several media assure that it was Vice President Pence who requested the intervention of the National Guard, which in the case of the federal capital must be approved by the White House.

Sund assured in an interview with The New York Times that if the agencies in charge of security do not agree on what happened last week “it will happen again” during the inauguration of Biden.

The president-elect assured this Monday that he is not afraid to appear on the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday of next week in front of the public, as tradition dictates, despite the alert atmosphere that exists in the country.

The FBI has information about plans by some ultra-conservative groups that have asked to raid the headquarters of state, local, judicial and other administrative centers to show their opposition to the appointment of Biden, which they consider an electoral theft, as Trump has falsely claimed since before 3 of November.

Related articles el Nuevo Herald


Hotel Marriott suppresses donations to senators who rejected certification

The Marriott International Inc. hotel chain will suspend donations to Republican senators who voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden, after considering the “destructive events” that occurred in the US Congress last week.

“We have taken into consideration destructive events on Capitol Hill to undermine a legitimate and fair election and will pause political donations from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against the election certification,” Bloomberg reported citing Popular Information, a political bulletin that surveyed 144 corporate donors about their future donation plans to the eight Republican senators who opposed voter certification.

Marriott International Inc. is among the first corporate donors to announce a decision to sever financial ties with lawmakers following Wednesday’s riots in Congress by supporters of President Donald Trump, Bloomberg said.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an insurance network, and Commerce Bank’s owner, Commerce Bancshares Inc., also told Popular Information that they are suspending all support for lawmakers who challenged the Electoral College results.

Without promising to suspend donations, Bank of America Corp., Ford Motor Co. and AT&T Inc. said they will take recent events into account before future donations. CVS Health Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and some other donors said they are reviewing their policies on political giving, “Bloomberg said.

Journalist and editor with specialization in Latin America, judicial, business and local issues related to the Latin American community. Much of his career was spent in international news agencies. His research work “Emigrate to death: Venezuelans murdered in Latin America” ​​received the 2019 FSNE and SPJ Sunshine State awards.


Trump’s greatest betrayal

The philosopher Slavoj Žižek writes that with the events in Washington, the United States unmasked itself as a rogue state. Extraditing Julian Assange would be like sending Hong Kong dissidents back to China. And Žižek knows why Trump is betraying his base. .

talks resume, violence worsens

► What is the objective of these talks?

These negotiations follow on from the agreement reached between the Taliban and the United States in February 2020, in which the Americans pledge to withdraw their troops from the country by May 2021. The goal is to achieve creation a political roadmap for a future government of national unity or of transition.

The negotiators of the Afghan government want as a priority to obtain a permanent ceasefire and the maintenance of the current system of governance, set up after the departure of the Taliban from power in 2001. The Taliban seek, them, to negotiate the establishment of ‘an “Islamic” government and its institutions. The two parties will therefore have to find common ground on the definition of a “ceasefire” (permanent and general or else partial and conditional) and “Islamic” governance.

Another delicate subject, the release of Taliban prisoners by the government. President Ashraf Ghani released more than 5,000 prisoners in September 2020 but has so far refused to go further, as requested by the Taliban. Each side suspects the other of wanting to drag out the negotiations. The Taliban, pending the complete withdrawal of American troops. The Afghan president, to stay in power.

► What is the situation on the ground?

Afghanistan is experiencing an upsurge in violence. In the first nine months of the year, 2,177 civilians were killed and 3,822 injured, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. The Taliban have carried out near-daily attacks against government forces in recent weeks. The country has been the scene of a series of targeted assassinations of personalities, in particular journalists, politicians or religious, human rights defenders. A vice-governor of Kabul province, five journalists and the head of an independent election observation organization have notably been killed since November. Authorities blame the attacks on the Taliban, but Daesh claimed responsibility for some.

→ REPORT. American withdrawal from Afghanistan: in Kabul, anger stronger than fear

The US military attributed, Monday, January 4, for the first time, to the Taliban the responsibility for this series of targeted attacks. “The Taliban campaign of unclaimed attacks and killings targeting government officials, civil society leaders and journalists must end for peace to prevail”, said on Twitter Colonel Sonny Leggett, spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan.

► What role does the United States play today?

The Taliban have significantly reduced direct attacks on US forces since February 2020, but they continue to harass Afghan security forces and control more of the territory. US troops respond with airstrikes when Afghan security forces are in difficulty, as has been the case recently in Kandahar and Helmand provinces.

By mid-January, the United States will have only 2,500 troops in the country, up from around 12,000 in February 2020. Their mandate will be defensive. The leverage of the United States on the Taliban is therefore already much reduced. The ability of the Afghan forces to hold the ground without American support seems far from assured. Conversely, Taliban negotiators begin the second round of talks with confidence reinforced by the successes achieved by combatants on the ground.

The Afghan government and the Taliban are waiting to see whether President-elect Joe Biden will meet the troop withdrawal schedule or attempt to renegotiate the deal signed in February. The Taliban are threatening to annul the entire deal if the new US administration maintains a residual counterterrorism military force.


The death toll on the Capitol rises to five, including a police officer

Constable Brian Sicknick, who was “injured in physical contact with protesters” having forced his way into Congress on Wednesday succumbed to his injuries Thursday evening, Capitol Police said in a statement.

Lhe Capitol flags were half-masted on Friday after the death of a police officer who was injured in clashes with supporters of Donald Trump on Capitol Hill, bringing the total toll of violence to five.

Constable Brian Sicknick, who was “injured in physical contact with protesters” having forced his way into Congress on Wednesday succumbed to his injuries Thursday evening, Capitol Police said in a statement.

Mr Sicknick, who had worked for the service for 12 years, was allegedly hit on the head with a fire extinguisher, according to sources cited by the New York Times.

The federal police (FBI) intends to open a murder investigation, according to several American media.

“The violent and lethal insurgency which targeted the Capitol, temple of American democracy, and its employees is a serious tragedy and a task in the history of our nation”, reacted the Democratic President of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

“The sacrifice of Agent Sicknick is a reminder of our duty to those we serve: to protect our country from all foreign and domestic threats”, also underlined Ms. Pelosi who ordered Friday as a tribute the half-masting flags of the Capitol.

Four other deaths

Four other deaths were deplored in connection with the violence on Wednesday in the precincts of Congress.

A supporter of the outgoing president named Ashli ​​Babbitt who took part in the coup was shot dead by police.

Three other people – a woman, identified as Rosanne Boyland, 34, and two men, Kevin Greeson, 55, and Benjamin Phillips, 50, respectively – have died around Capitol Hill “from separate medical emergencies,” according to police. Washington.

The precise circumstances of these deaths have not yet been clarified, but US media reported that Ms Boyland was allegedly the victim of a mob movement near Congress, while Mr Greeson allegedly suffered a heart attack and Mr. Phillips had a stroke.