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Luis Crescencio Sandoval: Defense Minister on the army’s trip in Nueva Italy: “There was no reason to respond with force”

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Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval during a morning press conference on February 25, 2022.Chair (dark room)
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The journey of more than 300 soldiers from New Italy, Michoacan, without a single shot and at the height of the drive of the residents of the region last Wednesday, already has an explanation from the Minister of Defense. Luis Cresencio Sandoval confirmed this morning in a conference with the executive branch that the federal forces deployed in the region decided to act in this way by recognizing that civilians are unarmed. He declared that “there was no armed aggression and there was no need to respond with force.”

This explanation came after the spread of videos on social networks where it was observed that military personnel are being chased by vehicles carrying civilians in Nueva Italia, one of the most important cities in the Tierra Caliente region, a complex region, punctuated by conflicts between organized crime. In the recordings, drivers can be heard shouting: “Shoot him, damn it, shoot him, shoot him!” , while military vehicles drive away at full speed.

Given the surprise caused by the images of what was supposed to be the withdrawal of military forces in the hands of civilians, the Minister of Defense this Friday defended his actions, stressing that the position of the army is to respect human rights. Avoid excessive use of force.

The minister explained that the army began inspection and monitoring missions on Tuesday, May 10. “On that day, the army set up a first siege at Potrrillo de Correa, with unarmed people, and continued on their way, and later on Quatro Caminos they set up another siege again, in the same way with unarmed personnel and besieged it again,” he says.

A day later, after realizing that the social base is trying to prevent the access of the armed forces to the area, a large operation is deployed with the participation of more than 353 soldiers, 106 members of the National Guard and 42 police officers from Michoacán. “There are positive results, there are four more methamphetamine production labs and 15 marijuana farms,” Sandoval details.

Although the soldiers ended up quickly leaving Nueva Italy, the Minister of Defense defended the achievements of the operation: five laboratories for the production of synthetic drugs were destroyed, as well as 19 marijuana plantations. Two strikes worth more than 13,000 million pesos.

After the publication of this report, the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, offered his support to the armed forces and stated that “the soldiers behaved very well,” referring to the fact that they did not respond to the attacks of civilians. The CEO, who was touring the state of Nuevo Leon, confirmed his defense of his statements that the gang members are cared for because they are human. In what head can violence meet violence? He must confront evil by doing good.”

Michoacan has been for years a powder keg, where La Familia Michoacana faces the new balls, the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel. And just as dozens of municipalities in Tierra Caliente were stained with blood, an almost identical battle is raging toward the east of the state, the main drug-smuggling corridor toward the country’s center and capital. There are dozens of acts of violence in this entity: anti-personnel mines, shooting in broad daylight, Assassination of mayors. Drug messages are ravaging residents who discover a bloody spot every day that is more difficult to digest than the day before.

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