The insurgency led by the Golden Blade terrorist group has carved out a large section of Huenyan territory for its would-be independent state, despite the efforts of Huenyan authorities to restore control over the area.
As shown above, the “State of Apozanolotl” has expanded steadily from the area of Xonacatlán, where the insurgency began. Insurgent forces are slowly pushing both west and east, threatening the major cities of Oacalco and Tacuitapa. Huenyan forces are attempting to hold the line, while building up their numbers for a planned counter-offensive. Huenyan officials are especially concerned about efforts by the insurgents to push eastward, Defense Secretary Acxopotl told DTNS. “We believe the terrorists are trying to eventually push east until they reach the Canal Zone,” the Secretary said. He raised allegations once more that the separatists are being sponsored and supported by Xiomera. “It is our belief that the Empire is trying to use its proxy state to gain control of the area west of the Canal Zone, so that the Zone itself will be flanked on either side by forces answering to the Imperial regime,” the Secretary said. He added that Huenyan officials have sent urgent warnings to those protecting the Canal Zone to increase security. Huenya has also called for international assistance to secure the eastern border of Huenya and prevent the insurgents from reaching the Canal Zone.
Huenyan officials have also accused Xiomera of sending mercenaries to aid the insurgents. “We have seen increasingly well-armed and equipped forces on the other side, far better equipped than the Golden Blade has shown itself to be,” the Secretary said. “This bears all the hallmarks of an operation by the Imperial regime’s guns for hire, CSSC.” When asked for comment, officials with the Xiomeran mercenary firm CSSC declined to respond to DTNS.
Huenyan officials have pledged to defeat the insurgency and restore control over the area despite the alleged presence of mercenary forces. “One side is hoping to turn this into an ethnic conflict, Xiomeran Huenyans against everyone else. We will not let that happen. Xiomeran Huenyans, in the thousands, are joining with their Itotemoc, Necatli and Tepiltzin kin, as well as other Huenyans of all backgrounds and ethnicities, to defeat this barbaric effort to send Huenya backwards,” Vice-Speaker Tiacihitli told DTNS.
In a sign that a major Huenyan counter-offensive may be coming, the Defense Department announced that General Huatli, of the Federation Army, has been appointed to take charge of the government forces. General Huatli is considered one of the most promising commanders in the new Huenyan military, and is also famous as the rescuer of Yauhmi from Imperial detention during the Xiomeran Civil War. “If anyone can get the government forces back on track and right the ship, she can,” Great Speaker Texōccoatl told DTNS. “These terrorists will soon have ample opportunity to regret their life choices.”
Release of Ramirez raises questions in Huenya
Ever since the unexpected release of Paul Ramirez, a Lauchenoirian national held by the Golden Blade, questions have been swirling about how his freedom was won. A recent protest outside the Lauchenoirian Federal Parliament gathered thousands of people together to accuse the government of Prime Minister Josephine Alvarez of making a secret deal with Xiomera to gain Ramirez’s release. Many in Huenya are making similar speculation.
While there have been no public protests in Huenya about the issue, many Huenyan media outlets have been discussing both the circumstances around Ramirez’s release, and the increasing belief that Huenya’s government was deliberately left in the dark. Huenyan politicians, particularly more conservative ones, have also been openly debating the matter. During the weekly Vice-Speaker’s Hearing session of the Chamber of Deputies this past Monday, Oceloqui (Conservative Party, Xocopin District) pressed Vice-Speaker Tiacihitli to “request a formal explanation from the Lauchenoirian government about the convenient intervention of Calhualyana in what was a Huenyan matter to resolve, and why we were not consulted.” Other Deputies raised similar questions, to which the Vice-Speaker gave the same answer each time: we should be glad Ramirez is alive, and move on.
Despite the clear desire of some Huenyan leaders and media outlets to question how Ramirez’s release was achieved, and why Huenya was not involved, the Vice-Speaker and his administration have made it clear that they don’t intend to push the issue at this time. “Between the unfolding situation with the terrorists, and the coup in Auria, now is not the time to be picking more fights than we already have,” a high-ranking source within the administration told DTNS on condition of anonymity. “That does not mean, however, that we will not factor these events into our considerations moving forward. It is safe to say that a lot of people within the administration are now much more skeptical of Lauchenoiria’s government than we were before.”