Tuesday, January 14, 2014


The drug cartels, the army, the police and the ‘Autodefensa’ vigilantes are all fighting each other

Mexico is becoming more like a jigsaw puzzle with various groups – the cartels, the military, the police and lately the Autodefensa vigilantes all competing for the same pieces of the puzzle. Sometimes the military is in cahoots with the cartels. The police, for the most part, are in cahoots with the cartels. The vigilantes are fighting the cartels, as well as the military and police. It has been alleged that the vigilantes are supported by rival cartels. And when all is said and done, the cartels will likely be the real winners in these conflicts.

Vigilante groups have sprung up all over Mexico over the past year, especially in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, which is plagued by the Knights Templar Cartel

Associated Press
January 13, 2014

Gunfire and firefights erupted in western Mexico on Sunday as hundreds of vigilantes pressed forward in their fight over territory with a drug cartel, as Mexico's top security officials prepared to make yet another effort to try to stop the violence.

Members of so-called 'self-defense groups' entered the town of Nueva Italia on a campaign they say is designed to liberate towns from the control of the Knights Templar cartel.

Opponents and critics say the vigilantes are backed by a rival cartel, however the groups vehemently deny any connection.

State Government official Fausto Vallejo gave a brief statement on the issue, saying he has formally asked the federal government for more help to quell the violence, and announced a meeting on Monday in the state capital to lay out a strategy to reclaim the peace.

Hundreds of vigilantes arrived in Nueva Italia late Sunday morning in a cavalry of large trucks, surrounding the City Hall and disarming local police.

An Associated Press journalist on the scene witnessed citizens initially welcoming them.

But firefights broke out almost immediately in and around the center square.

Only one injury was reported by mid-day.

Gunfire could be heard around the city as the Mexican military stayed outside, guarding the road into town.

There were no federal police or uniformed authorities inside the town, though violence between vigilantes and alleged cartel members has gripped Michoacan for almost a year, and President Enrique Pena Nieto's government already has sent thousands of units to the state.

Vallejo said he formally asked Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong on Friday for more federal forces, 'given insufficient state and municipal police'.

The self-defense groups claim that local and state police are in the employ of the Knights Templar.

Violence in the state has flared in the last several days as vigilantes have been on a march, taking over the towns of Paracuaro and Antunez and advancing toward the farming hub of Apatzingan, said to be the cartel's central command.

The federal government has said the civilian groups are operating on the margins of the law, and they carry high-caliber weapons that Mexico only allows for military use.

But government forces have not moved against them and in some cases appear to be working in concert with them.

Rumors circulate that some self-defense groups have been infiltrated by the New Generation cartel, which is reportedly fighting a turf war with the Knights Templar in the rich farming state that is a major exporter of limes, avocados and mangos.

Some in the region say members of the Knights Templar have also tried to use self-defense groups as cover for illegal activities.

1 comment:

bob walsh said...

Mexico is a failed state. At some point it seems likely the private citizens will get tired of the bullshit from the government and the cartels and do something about it themselves, if they can manage to get the weapons to do so.