Authorities are negotiating with a religious cult in southwestern Mexico, trying to persuade leaders to allow public schools to operate in the isolated community, state media reported.
“It is a problem of fundamentalism,” Michoacan state government secretary Jesus Reyna Garcia told Mexico’s state-run Notimex news agency on Wedesday.
The talks came after residents of New Jerusalem blocked roads into the community and attacked children, parents and teachers trying to enter a house that had been converted into a school. Three people were injured in the clashes Monday, state officials said.
In July, members of the cult destroyed the only school building in the town, saying the Virgin of the Rosary, who they worship, told them school buildings were built by the devil and were to be demolished.
The rising tension in the 3,000-person community, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) west of Mexico City, has drawn the attention of security officials in Michoacan state, who said 100 police were at the ready.
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