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"A federal police patrols the entrance to Apatzingan, Mexico, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. Mexican soldiers and federal police kept a tense standoff with vigilantes Tuesday after a new government campaign to stop violence in the western Michoacan state turned deadly. A clash occurred as the government sent more troops to where the vigilantes have been fighting the Knights Templar cartel." (caption and photo courtesy the AP)

“The [Mexican] government said it had reached an agreement with vigilante leaders to incorporate the armed civilian groups into old and largely forgotten quasi-military units called the Rural Defense Corps,” reports. “Vigilante groups estimate their numbers at 20,000 men under arms. The twin announcements may help the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto find a way out of an embarrassing situation in the western state of Michoacan, where vigilantes began rising up last February against the Knights Templar reign of terror and extortion after police and troops failed to stop the abuses.” Failed as in aided and abetted the cartels’ reign of terror in return for millions of narco-dollars. Which kinda makes you wonder about the future of this “partnership.” And for good reason . . .

Vigilante leaders will have to submit a list of their members to the Defense Department, and the army will apparently oversee the groups, which the government said “will be temporary.” They will be allowed to keep their weapons as long as they register them with the army.

It’s a trap! No really, it is. Registration => confiscation => tyranny => mass murder. Again. Still. After more than two decades of terror, I don’t think the Mexican revolutionaries are gonna buy into this. Then again . . .

Misael Gonzalez, a leader of the self-defense force in the town of Coalcoman, said leaders had accepted the government proposal. But the nuts-and-bolts “are still not well defined,” he added. “We won’t start working on the mechanisms until tomorrow.”

Vigilante leader Hipolito Mora said the agreement also allows those who qualify to join local police forces. “The majority of us want to get into the police … I never imagined myself dressed as a policeman, but the situation is driving me to put on a uniform.”

So they’d sell their freedom to wear the uniform of their oppressors (and feed their families)? Seems so. But this story is far from over. What’s the bet the Knights Templar leader arrested to appease the revolutionaries was “captured” – without a shot fired – with the cartels’ consent? Wheels within wheels, in a country that continues to spin out of control. [h/t JE]

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    • My first thought too, backpedaling as always! You can be a homeland defense just put the names of your group members on the dotted line. It won’t be long before the no knock raids start, both from Mexican police and the cartels that buy copies of those rosters.

      • That’s what I was thinking. The cartels know everything the government knows — and they’re not going to be happy about getting their asses kicked by Hipolito & co. Putting their names on a government list is a one-way ticket to a pine box and a hole in the ground.

        You’d think they’d know better. But then they’re not fervent revolutionaries (or really any kind of revolutionaries), and they’re certainly not politicians. They’re just ordinary people with more guts than most, and they probably want to get back to having normal lives.

  1. The El Presidentes only doing this to prevent a no-shit revolution.

    A pressure cooker which is not vented becomes a bomb in the kitchen.

    • Enjoy your IP address now being on every intelligence watchlist ever.


      Aw, damn, wait a minute …

      • In my misguided youth I signed up with the ACLU (before I realized what they actually stood for). I once ordered Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto as a package for a paper on socialism. I’m also a member of the NRA and GOA…..keep ’em guessing.

  2. I am going to take a radical stance here, so bear with me. It is my sincere belief that registration does not, in fact, always lead to confiscation. Does it lay the groundwork for confiscation? Absolutely, but there is still one more step that has to take place: You have to take guns from armed men, without getting shot. Surely, if anyone on earth knows about corrupt government, it is the citizens of the Mexican interior. Show of hands: how many people think they are going to simply let ANYONE take their guns, for ANY reason? Anyone…. Bueller?

    • “submit a list of their members to the Defense Department, and the army will apparently oversee the groups, which the government said “will be temporary.” ”

      I take this to mean the groups are “temporary” and after the temporary is over, the night time raids and killing of group members will begin on an individual basis.

      “They will be allowed to keep their weapons as long as they register them with the army.”
      I think “they will be allowed to keep their weapons as long as they DO NOT register them with the army.” is more accurate

    • It’s a trap! No really, it is. Registration => confiscation => tyranny => mass murder…

      For what it’s worth, which isn’t much of an improvement, occasionally history has followed a different path, registration => conscription => tyranny => complicity (with mass murder of yet others, not of those originally registered, a further option that may or may not happen). So far, this path fits the facts better.

    • It’s a lot easier to single out gun owners for confiscation when they know who has what. When it’s 20 them vs. 1 you with them being kitted out military style the odds are you surrender to piss and moan (unarmed) another day. Uncertainty may help keep them at bay since they don’t know how many neighbors may turn out guns drawn when they come knockin’ next door. This may be a pipe dream of neighborly solidarity but if it’s even a possibility, the wannabe confiscators may think twice…

    • “submit a list of their members to the Defense Department…”

      1. Enrique Peña Nieto
      2. Adolph Hitler
      3. Winston Churchill
      4. Alfred E. Nueman
      5. Shannon Watts
      6. Ignatz P. Cornhole
      7. Barrack H. Obama

  3. I’m going to bet that most of these regular folks will not register, will not obey, and continue to fight the cartels.

    I have been wondering since the first post, how these people came about having those guns in the first place. Because they are practitioners of civil disobedience? And they don’t trust their government? Likely.

    • When I told my dad that there was strict gun control in Mexico, and that therefore immigrants would be more likely to vote for gun bans, he responded with “yeah, but there’s still a lot of guns in Mexico.” Being from Mexico, he knew this for a fact. It is no surprise to him that this has transpired. Now, with the gov acknowledging their existence, these patriots are being taken seriously. All with a bunch of old ranch rifles that were hidden in their closets. If they had the money… well, you know, they wouldn’t be doomed to slaughter…

    • They “acquired” most of them from the “police” and injured/dead cartel members. And some were “recently discovered family heirlooms.”

  4. That’s right. You guys can plays cops and robbers with the guns you’re not allowed to have. Just give us a list of all your members (more importantly: next of kin) to the nearest authorities on the drug cartels’ payroll. What could possibly go wrong?
    Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets!

  5. The vigilantes don’t really have a choice, here. If they turn down this “assistance” the public will believe anything the government says about them. They have to play the government’s game and hope it’s not really in the cartels’ pockets. If they’re smart, they’ll fudge the registrations and keep their chain of command intact as a hedge against the alternative.

    • A hedge? There’s nothing genuine in this offer. It’s a ruse. There will be payback and it will be bloody.

      • Trust me, NOBODY in Mexico believes anything the government says. To live in or near Mexico and follow what’s reported and what occurs is like watching a movie with the wrong sound track.

        • While I’m fairly certain that the vigilantes don’t believe or trust the government, I predict that they will take the deal and totally comply with it. It took extreme circumstances to get them to this point, and it would take extreme resolve to keep them going once they’ve been given a way out.

          These are ordinary citizens. Imagine this happening in your home town. Would your neighbors keep risking their lives to fight the good fight? Or would they jump at the first chance to let the government take over and get back to “normal?” You, and maybe a handful of others, may see the truth, and have the will to keep going. The vast majority will be ready to quit, thinking they’ve accomplished something, that they’ve sent a message. “Things will be better now.”

        • @Fudge:

          The vast majority will comply, and there will almost certainly be some that believe in what they are doing enough to stand opposed. Those that are left will be hardened and more likely to see their revolution through. The hope is that there are enough of them to make a difference…

          “I began revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and plan of action.” – Fidel Castro

        • Guys, I seriously doubt anyone will comply. They’ve been screwed over for generations and they have nothing left to lose any more. That’s a very dangerous situation for both the government and the cartels, and they know it. The people hold all the cards now, since the government and the cartels don’t know which of the people standing around will put a round into them. And the people like it just fine that way.

          • As I said, there is going to be a purge of the Federales, and it is going to be bloody. Cartels are already taking it in the ass. Ye shall reap what thy have sown.

  6. Remember the movie “Josie Wales”. Turn in your guns and take a pledge. Gatling Gun ended the pledge.

  7. They will be allowed to keep their weapons as long as they register them with the army.
    Sounds like: And if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.

  8. What a shame. It’s such a beautiful country with a lot of natural resources. Unfortunately it seems that they’ve always suffered under “big man” rule culture rather than rule of law.

    Interesting how even hundreds of years later, depending on who colonized where, there are cultural behaviors left over from the colonial periods and colonizing societies that have directed the various regions of the new world to their present states.

    What would have happened if the Swiss had showed up instead of Cortez? How might that have influenced development in the region? Who knows.

    Anyway, to the topic at hand. It’s a trap! But they will likely have to play ball, unless a whole lot more of these self defense groups start springing up to the point where they become an immovable political force.

    And then what? Dare I say? Dare, dare. An, ahem, Mexican Standoff between the cartels, the federales and the autodefensa?

    Very interesting times.

    • Go find yourself a copy of Victor Davis Hanson’s Carnage and Culture. It’s an examination of how different cultural facets matter and give actual comparative-advantage to its adherents. Hanson also has the most easily readable prose of any historian I’ve ever heard of.

        • VDH is great on any history or military history topic. But don’t forget that when it comes to politics, no one has an advantage and many wise academics have gotten it very wrong and continue to do so.

          Nothing against VDH in any way, but just saying that one shouldn’t accept uncritically anyone’s view on politics no matter how expert on other things. I’m not so sure that his pessimistic view will bear out. There are basically two opposing views on immigration that revolve around a think/thin understanding of what it takes to be an American. My read of history is that immigrants today aren’t as much different as we wish to believe, and VDH’s is that they somehow are much different now. And I say “It’s the welfare state!”. We’ll all go under if the welfare state isn’t strangled, immigrants or none. It takes a native to screw the country up as bad as the libs are endeavoring to do.

  9. Yah, register your guns with the military.
    Cartel pays a fee to the gubment and receives list.
    Militia eliminated one by one….and their fams.

  10. Perhaps the vigilante leaders should be given some credit here. After all, if enough of them are *in* the army/police, that’s going to be an infusion of honest people that dilutes the effects of the cartels there.

    • Unfortunately this will now be an infusion of honest people who are in positions to be bribed with large sums of cartel cash AND whose home address and family data are well known to the ruthless drug cartels that actually run Mexico. So long as drug money and rug running are the major factors in Mexican politics there will be no long term solution to this problem.

      If they can’t bribe you or blackmail you by threatening your family they will hire someone to assassinate you.

      • plombo o platá gets hard to argue with as the piles of both money and bodies get higher.

        Every man has his price; some will be bought, some will be extorted or blackmailed and possibly paid anyway to soothe bent feelings, and the rest will be dead.

        Unless they keep both their guns and their wits.

  11. It might be a trap or it might just be a way for the government to save face since it cannot hope to actually stop them. Everyone says things are on the up and up, nobody really looks to hard into it, and inertia continues.

  12. This is another plot for keeping a revolution from happening , and also keeping it quiet here also . Once all of the required registration is completed then the Mexican government will decide to disband this group saying they are no longer needed , I just hope that these Mexican Patriots will not fall for this “bill of goods” . The MSM here has still not covered any of what is happening , because of the fact that a lot of the corruption that is happening there is also happening within our government here , and once the seeds of revolution are planted in the general population it will not be as hard to follow through . Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

    • Living in the West, I can confirm that the cartels are significantly active in states beyond the immediate border region.

      One of the subsidiary stated goals of marijuana legalization was and is to deny illicit funding for said organizations.

      I can also confirm that one or presumably as many as possible of the cartels actively operates medical and probably recreational dispensaries as a form of (now-legal) income with otherwise shady supply and sometimes distribution.

      With significant legal and illegal income in the United States rather than just in Mexico from trafficking, I think that you and the aforementioned Chris Hernandez are probably correct in that the influence of these groups may cause significant problems.

      As for our peasant comrades south of él Río Grande, they would be best served to hold on with hand and sling to their arms as well their current control of the initiative. At least they’ve quit pretending they don’t have guns.

      I’d agree that most readily available media has covered little of the events in Mexico in the last few months – partially as an artifact of American priories towards the lives and jail time of manufactured child stars (who I shall not name), and partially as a result of the cartels’ admittedly effective tactic of doing really nasty things (read as: makes water boarding look like a bad joke) to those who would dare oppose them.

      Remember, folks – the winners write the history books. I’d say if los groupos autodefensas can continue to reliably push back the cartels and simultaneously hold the government in el districto federal accountable for their current misery and future salvation then they’ll have no more than a fighting chance.

      Not trying to be pessimistic, just realistic. Both of the other involved parties trying to control Mexico have more money, and more guns. If they can pry the cartels away from their currently cozy relationship with the federal government, then their chances double or even quadruple (multiplication of force/effort).

      But I’m betting a cool billion (or so; maybe more, not less) donation to the political establishment is more palatable as long as things stay under wraps in Mexico City – it’s the dynamic center of the country in every way. There’s just too many people and too much political and social power already there for the cartels to openly take over, and as long as they can grease the skids with enough bodies and spare change (not joking … Go look up some earnings estimates per year for the cartels who control the flow of drugs to the US) then the cartels win and the people keep losing on the whole (and dying young) out in the rest of the country.

      No matter what, the whole situation (exacerbated by our thinly – guilded open military intervention and failed drug control policies in the region for decades) has national security implications that are grim in the short term and downright scary in the long term.

      At least one cartel has gone so far as open illegal iron mines to supply Chinese demand (sometimes receiving raw materials needed for bulk manufacture of methamphetamine, their big cross-border moneymaker besides cocaine these days, in exchange): what happens when the cartels have integrated themselves so thoroughly in Mexico’s economy that they literally cannot be pried loose? Will we continue to fund the accession to the throne in the long list of poor governments for our brothers in Mexico?

      I sure hope not, but I don’t make policy beyond the voting booth and my (seemingly continually empty) wallet.

      If a Mythical Young Liberal gun Owner like me can spot them operating here, away from the border and in relative numbers, (legally and illegally) without much effort into finding them then that’s some serious food for thought.

      I, for one, will be heeding the above advice with renewed vigor.

  13. In Her Majesty’s colony of New South Wales the crooks already know who has firearms. Copies of the Firearms Registry’s database were downloaded to the unprotected and unsecured police intranet in MS-Access format with only rudimentary password protection (and we know how secure Micro$oft products are). Copies are known to be in the hands of criminals and several robberies are suspected to have happened based on the contents of the database (such as home invasions of premises where there were a number of handguns were held, and the owner’s then charged with improper safe storage). There have been rumours that copies of the database were handed out by the Greens party to their comrades in the criminal fraternity to justify their anti-gun stance. So the unholy alliance of government, police, and criminals preying on the people is not limited to Mexico, or Chicago.

  14. If I was the vigilantes’ leader, I’d say, “We got 20,000 patriotic citizens, that’s all you need to know. And we don’t need no steenkin’ badges!”

  15. What’s really ironic is when I saw this story on Yahoo News, it was right next to a story about Gabby Giffords whining about the need for more gun control.

  16. “Mexican Government Legalizes “Vigilantes” ”

    Or, as the old crusty dudes said, learning to take “yes” for an answer. I got a feeling that there is going to be a purge of the Federales and it is going to be bloody.

  17. When the army pulled out of Ciudad Juarez, the murder rate dropped from 8 per day to 1 per day. Draw your own conclusions.

  18. So, basically, the Mexican government is trying to maintian the illusion that they’re still in charge by legalizing what the populace had already been doing, sans government permission.

  19. Somebody needs to monitor after hours pizza deliveries at DEA and CIA HQs. I’ll bet it’s nearly continuous.

  20. This situation in Mexico gives me hope. Our rights can be mangled, trampled, spat upon, neglected and trashed in many ways but they still remain our rights. They stand at the ready anytime we’re willing to buck up, fish them out of the trash heap, dust them off and reinvigorate them. Thank you Mexican Citizen Militias (I refuse to call them ‘vigilantes’) for giving hope to all the world.

  21. I did not even need to read the article, just read the Headline and was like I bet you they expect them to register themselves and their weapons and the government is planning to shut them down ASAP claiming the self defense groups are no longer needed.

  22. Trust us ,we’re from the government….this will end very badly for the’vigilantes’…..they should stay free and uncontrolled… with ‘politicians’ are never for the good….of anyone..EXCEPT ..the ones suggesting the terms….HISTORY IS A RECORD of such abuse….imho

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