Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mexican militiaman and his family killed after speaking out

By Joshua Partlow, WashPost, June 27 at 11:44 AM

MEXICO CITY — We saw his kids first and broke out laughing. You couldn’t look at their angelic, chubby, giggling faces without smiling. They could barely see over the dashboard of the red truck they were driving.

And yet these two boys, José Santiago Perez, 16, and Bernabe Perez, 14, were the emissaries the ex-drug cartel henchman had sent to fetch us.

Dominic Bracco, a photographer, and I met the kids last month in a dirt lot outside a corral in the Mexican state of Michoacan. We were there to write about a citizen militia that formed to drive out a drug gang but was turning into something more sinister.

Their father, José Santiago Valencia Sandoval, had experienced both sides of this conflict. He had worked for the Knights Templar cartel, then defected to join the militia when it started in the little hillside town of Tepalcatepec more than a year ago. He agreed to meet.

(More here.)

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