SUMMARY: Recommended Actions


28 June 1995: the Massacre of Aguas Blancas occurs in Costa Grande. Farmers associated with the Farmers’ Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS) traveling to Atoyac for a demonstration are attacked en route by members of various police forces. Seventeen members of the group die and 21 are seriously injured. The police placed firearms amongst the dead to claim that their deaths were the result of an armed confrontation.

The National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) investigates the case and concludes that the farmers were not carrying firearms and that the killings were not the result of a confrontation but a massacre. The Commission finds twenty state government officials responsible for the massacre and guilty of obscuring evidence in the investigation; the officials responsible include Guerrero’s Secretary of State, Rubén Robles Catalán, and State Attorney General, Antonio Alcocer Salazar. Soon thereafter, the Special Counsel assigned to the case exonerates the governor and his closest collaborators, keeping up the appearance of justice by arresting 20 police officers and 23 public officials.

15 October 1995: the Community Police is founded in response to the increasing violence and due to the police corruption. 52 communities in the municipalities of San Luis Acatlán, Malinaltepec, Copanatoyac, Atlamajalcingo del Monte and Metlatónoc, in the Montaña region of Guerrero, decide to create their own police, exercising their right to self-governance recognized by the International Labor Organization (OIT, in Spanish) in Convention 169. In the following years, they put into action their own system of justice, in accordance with their own community values.