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The Hidden Side of Mexico’s Drug War

November 2, 2009

An interview with ERPI guerrilla leader Comandante Ramiro

zmag

by John Gibler
from Z Magazine

They came shooting. Three military Humvees raced up the sole dirt road that leads to Puerto Las Ollas with soldiers firing mounted machine guns into the dirt paths and lean-to houses. Helicopters crested the mountain ridge that borders the tiny village. Soldiers leaned out of the side, firing. It was mid-morning June 9 and no one expected it. “I was fixing a tin roof when they arrived shooting,” says a 19-year-old who was there that day. The young man watched from a rooftop as soldiers ran through the village, apprehending women and children. He managed to escape into the steep mountainside. “You see soldiers beating 13-year-olds and it makes you rage,” he said.

One of the boys, Omar, tells how he was beaten, tortured, and interrogated for hours that day, with the soldiers asking about the guerrillas. “They asked for Ramiro, but I didn’t say anything. It went on for about five hours. They stepped on my bare feet with their boots and boxed my ears with their open palms. They said that if I told anyone about it they would kill me,” says Omar. He was able to escape later that night. more

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