Mexican peasants release prisoner of war police, guards

Mexico City (AP) —Protested Mexican farmers on Friday, releasing about 50 police, detectives, and members of the Mexican National Guard and detaining them for three days to impose land demands.

Secretary of the Interior Francisco Garcia Lopez in southern Oaxaca said the farmers had previously detained police officers until the government agreed to return their farmland.

State and federal officials agreed to consider farmers’ claims that they had been expelled from their land.

Officers did not appear to have been abused, and President AndrĂ©s Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday that “they are negotiating but not taken hostage.”

Residents of the village of Santiago Testitlan seized about 29 police, prosecutors and 22 guards on Tuesday. They say they were expelled from the land last year by an unidentified perpetrator.

Many farms in southern Mexico are held under common ownership by the community, but border conflicts are common and can last for decades.

Lopez Obrador has consistently ordered the military not to be involved in conflict, whether drug traffickers are involved or they have been detained for a short period of time against their will. In 2019, the president ordered the release of a drug trafficking organization detained to avoid bloodshed.

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