Cartel Tried to Extort a Town, but the Town Fought Back, Officials Say

A​ clash between gunmen and members of a small farming community in central Mexico has left at least 14 people dead, the state authorities said Saturday, casting the violence as a gang extortion attempt that backfired when residents fought back.

Officials said the dead from the clash on Friday included four locals in the community, the town of Texcapilla, and 10 people suspected of being cartel members; seven other people were injured and more remained missing.

Delfina Gómez, the governor of State of Mexico, where Texcapilla is, said Saturday morning at a news conference that she had asked for security to be reinforced in the region.

“These events do not paralyze us; on the contrary, they reaffirm our commitment to improve the security conditions of our beloved state,” she said. “We will continue to work to ensure that episodes like this do not happen again.”

The state’s security secretary, Andrés Andrade Téllez, said that on Thursday the military had received reports about armed men belonging to a cell of La Familia Michoacana cartel who were demanding payments from delegates of different communities about 30 miles from Texcapilla.

The violence the next day, caught on a video that The New York Times independently verified, took place in the town’s sports field. Dozens of villagers, machetes and hunting rifles in hand, approach the gunmen as discussions become heated. Then the first shots are fired. Some people run. Others chase down the suspected gang members and attack them with machetes.

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