Mexican Town Seizes 16 Cops

Indigenous people demand probe of killings by illegal loggers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2012 4:22 AM CDT
Mexican Town Seizes 16 Cops
Masked men sit next to a barricade in Cheran, Michoacan State, Mexico.    (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar)

The people of an indigenous town in western Mexico kidnapped 16 police officers in a desperate attempt to get some attention from the state government, AP reports. Illegal loggers linked to drug cartels have been destroying the forests the people of Cheran depend on. The town of 17,000 people set up roadblocks last year to thwart loggers, but earlier this week, eight townspeople investigating reports of illegal logging were ambushed and killed by gunmen.

When the 16 police officers arrived in town after the massacre, townspeople—who accuse local cops of being in cahoots with the La Familia cartel—locked them in an office and contacted state authorities to demand a full investigation and an increase in patrols by state police and soldiers in the town's surrounding areas. The officers were held for 24 hours and released after the governor of Michoacan state agreed to meet with townspeople. (Read more Mexico stories.)

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