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Demonstrators in state of Jalisco oppose presence of federal forces

Jalisco — Protests in southern Jalisco has intensified as locals oppose the presence of the federal Navy that have arrived to help stabilize security in the area.

The presence of the Mexican Navy in the south and coastal regions of Jalisco has polarized the population. While some support the stay of the federal forces as part of the Jalisco security operation, others are in a fit of rage.

Over the last few days, those opposed to the security presence have set up roadblocks and demonstrations demanding the withdrawal of military forces.

Municipal authorities in the area said that although there are citizens involved the mobilization, they do not rule out the presence or pressure of organized crime in the rejection of the Navy.

The presence of the Navy intensified during the second half of 2017 in the south and southwest of the state. Although the operation was handled with secrecy, some feel it is being done to capture commands and stop operations of the Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel that operates on the border with Colima and Michoacán.

The southeast region has become a hot spot due to the presence of organized crime groups. In May 2015, a Navy helicopter was shot down in the municipality of Casimiro Castillo during an operation to capture Nemesio Ocegueda “El Mencho”, leader of the Jalisco Cartel Nueva Generación. Since then, they began the mobilization of the armed forces to the region.

On December 24, Salvador Magaña, coordinator of Movimiento Ciudadano (MC) in the municipality of La Huerta, was kidnapped and killed, while on December 28, the local deputy was killed in Tomatlán by the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) Saúl Galindo Plazola.

On Sunday the protests against the Navy began with more than a hundred people blocking the 80 federal highway, Guadalajara – Barra de Navidad, where protesters burned tires and debris.

On Monday, a new blockade was recorded on the same highway where with cargo vehicles and burnt tires as roads were blocked at the height of El Portezuelo curve.

The militia finally took control of the Interstate bridge Cihuatlán – Colima before the threat could be carried out that it would be taken over by demonstrators.