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"In neighbouring Guerrero, members of the Public Safety System (the name of the vigilante group) marched to commemorate the first anniversary of their founding." (courtesy

“Mexico has long suffered blistering violence and crime at the hands of its homegrown drug cartels,” reports. “Though the Mexican government has waged war on the cartels, the effort has struggled to go anywhere. More than 90,000 people have died in the ongoing conflict.” Pause. That’s not anything like an accurate description of what’s going on down Mexico way. You have four warring parties: the drug cartels, the federal government, the local police and the populace. As you might expect in a country so corrupt it makes New Jersey look like Switzerland, the cartels, federales and policia form shifting alliances, punctuated by extreme internecine violence. As my father used to say, the populace get the sh*tty end of the lollipop. Disarmed by the government, they’ve been brutalized by the drug thugs and their taxpayer-funded allies. But now they’ve taken up arms and all hell is breaking loose . . .

Fed up with a corrupt police force that is often in bed with the cartels and a military that has to this point been ineffective [sic], some Mexicans have taken it upon themselves to fight the cartels and protect their families — with an incredible conflict happening this week in the city of Paracuaro.

And elsewhere. In fact, the “vigilantes” are a popular army that’s taking control of vast swathes of southern Mexico. The American mainstream media doesn’t get it. Mexican forces struggle to rein in armed vigilantes battling drug cartel‘s headline proclaims. Here’s the play-by-play:

This week, the Mexican government stepped in, sending federal forces to the region and ordering the vigilante groups to lay down their weapons.

The smoldering situation has become a major problem for President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government, which has vowed to reduce drug violence.

In some areas, it hasn’t gone smoothly, with both sides refusing to back down in tense standoffs.

Mexican soldiers clashed with self-defense group members Tuesday in the town of Antunez, killing at least one person. And even as federal troops patrolled the city of Apatzingan, tensions ran high after a pharmacy burned down in a suspected arson attack just blocks away from City Hall on Wednesday.

By Thursday, Mexican authorities said they’d gained control of 20 municipalities in the region. But a top security official said he couldn’t set a date guaranteeing when the state would be safe.

Some vigilante groups have vowed not to hand over their guns until cartel leaders are captured.

“We want them to go rescue the towns where the people are still being massacred by organized crime,” said Estanislao Beltran, a spokesman for the self-defense groups. “When there is peace and security in our state, we will give up our weapons.”

I don’t think so. The public knows the unspeakable horror that’s been visited on them by the cartels and their government BFFs. They are unlikely to forget that lesson or surrender their weapons. Nor should they. The result would be [more] mass murder and mayhem. Because that’s what happens to a disarmed populace.

But before we celebrate the impact of Mexicans exercising their natural and civil right to keep and bear arms, it behooves us to consider the impact of our southern neighbor’s endemic corruption and weak Constitution:

Alfredo Castillo, appointed by the federal government this week to be a new commissioner heading up security in the state, offered an ominous warning Thursday.

In an interview with MVS Radio, he noted that the Familia Michoacana cartel — which eventually splintered and led to the formation of the Knights Templar — also started out as a group that aimed to defend the state’s residents in a push to kick out the Zetas.

The newly formed self-defense groups, he said, could become as ruthless as the cartels they claim to oppose.

“You can start out with a genuine purpose,” he said. “But when you start taking control, making decisions and feeling authority … you run the risk of reaching that point.”

We’ll keep an eye on the situation. Meanwhile, I wonder: how did these “vigilantes” get their guns and ammo?

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  1. A civil war in mexico could be very bad. If a full civil war breaks out i would not put it past the Mexican government to commit war crimes and atrocities. Things could get very dangerous in the border states too.

    • We’ll just open our borders up a little more to take in more future Democrats before the [GOP backed] amnesty kicks in. You don’t want to keep people out who are just fleeing from a civil war now, do you?

      It would be ironic if the US started arming the militias (as opposed to just the drug cartels), like we do in every other country involved in a civil war.

        • State Department, CIA. Not a hell of a lot of difference. As for “picking the wrong side”, that’s only from your point of view. They know what they’re doing; it’s just hard to see it that way from the outside.

        • They usually try and pick the side that is more pro-american interest. So… unfortunate implications.

        • And unintended consequences. Vietnam. Cambodia. Colombia. Afghanistan. Tibet. Egypt. Syria. Do I need to continue? And William, I doubt very seriously that you were ever “inside.”

        • When it comes to arms sales, it doesn’t matter what side you’re on, but how many sides there are.

    • The border is and has been dangerous for a long time now. The border wars are just another way to impose restrictions on our civil rights. Don’t believe me? Take a trip down I-19 from Tucson, or I-8 West out of Casa Grande and meet your friendly DHS checkpoint staff.

      The best Youtube video imo was this one:

      • >> The border is and has been dangerous for a long time now …

        But people generalize from what the see on the news. Some parts are dangerous now, and other parts that are won’t be in the future, and other parts that aren’t may be in the future.

        Look, I’ve lived within a few miles of the border, and worked within a few hundred feet of the border long term on both sides. I’ve crossed the border, meaning driven, walked, and biked across the border thousands of times. I’ve also driven, walked, and biked *along* the border for miles. I’ve shot at a gun range no more than 100-200 feet from the border and I hope to relocate within a few hundred feet of both soon. All in Texas. I’ve never witnessed a crime or been in danger in all that time.

        Parts of the border absolutely are dangerous, and the struggle Mexico is undergoing is real as the article says pretty accurately in my opinion. Nonetheless you can’t generalize about the danger of “the border” as if it is a monolithic entity that exists on CNN.

    • A civil war in Mexico would be one of the few cases where direct American military involvement might actually be justified.

        • Um … Macbeth51. Who would I support in a dispute between you and anyone else? Why would I support anyone over anyone else? Just because you don’t know anything about Mexico, or any given place, doesn’t mean others can’t decide whether or not there are good guys and bad guys anywhere to be found.

          Now if you don’t trust our government to be able to discriminate between them I may not disagree with you. But if you can’t discriminate between good people and bad yourself, then you’ve got problems of your own. If you knew anything about Mexico you’d know that it is most certainly a minority criminal element tyrannizing a good populace. As it is in Iran or any number of other places in the world. The same as is ever was. What do you think the Midwest or the NE would be now if folks during the crime wave of the 20-30s had had the attitude “hey who knows who the bad guys are over there”, let’s just let them have the criminal war they have brought on themselves? Hint: the bad guys will win, and you’ll rest easy in thinking that they deserved it.

        • Mark
          You said “Now if you don’t trust our government to be able to discriminate between them”
          That is exactly my point. I do not trust them to choose good over political expediency, and the current administrations goals. Or do you think they did a sterling job in Libya or Egypt. Do you think the Muslim Brotherhood is an organization we she be supporting? Elements of our government have been subsidizing the Sinaloa Cartel for years, along with the corrupt Mexican Government. If our government chooses to involve us, odds are overwhelming that it will be on the side of that corrupt government
          Remember, if “we” get involved. it isn’t me, or you, that decides who to support. It is BO

        • Well MacBeth51, you were responding to int19h’s comment of military involvement in Mexico. You are conflating the question of whether the problem is the current US administration, or that it is a problem to have direct involvement generally.

          How is Mexico like any ME nation with questions about religion and Islamists? Or is it more like Colombia? I’d say the latter, where we had direct involvement. Equating Mexico with a ME country simply won’t work. You can’t invoke Egypt or Libya to make any point about that. You can invoke the misguided nature of Obama because there is a reason for that, a confused ideology that is plain to see for the few who actually pay attention.

        • I will not concede to this jingo bullshit for a single minute. We should NOT be the Policeman of the Globe; god help up if it goes that way.

    • We can take care of our border states. Not a problem.

      Of course civil war can be very bad, almost as bad as having a system which enshrines corruption at every level of government, condones a partnership between civil servants and gangsters, and tolerates massive and continuing violence against ordinary farmers and small businessmen. These last have to count every penny to make sure that the civil servants don’t take so much that there isn’t enough money left to pay off the cartel gangsters.

      I really do think that when Caballeros Templarios began demanding that villagers turn over their daughters and wives to be Templario sex slaves, the people finally started to get the message. Nieto is a disgrace. PRI has not changed. Change has to come from ‘below’ as every claim of reform from the top turns out to be a lie, nothing but a stalling tactic.

  2. Mexico is a failing state. The govt is corrupt with little to no control. They are being over run with illegals from central america. They have tried to seal their southern border which has so far failed. If we think we have a problem with illegals now, just wait to see what happens if a full-blown civil war breaks out. This is really a sad situation with no easy answer. I cannot imagine our govt being able to help. The failing UN will also be no help.

  3. The last revolution they had, millions died. If it turned into a civil war; millions more would die. Yep. nothing would be civil about it.

    “How can you have a civil war?” ( What was the comedian that said this? His name is on the tip of my tongue.)

  4. “We’ll keep an eye on the situation. Meanwhile, I wonder: how did these “vigilantes” get their guns and ammo?”

    From Eric Holder, you silly Goose!

  5. This problem with the drug cartels started to get real bad as soon as the government started to crack down on them. The “drug violence” was 100% created by the government by criminalizing recreational substances.

      • Of course. It’s about control.

        If I were president, I’d stay out of Mexico but bring our troops back from the middle east to guard our border but let refugees in freely; just make them take a purple card and carry it on them at all times.

        And let people hire them if they want to, but collect withholding tax.


        • I would like to hear you say you’ll bring the troops home, and put them to work rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, starting with the railroads.

          I don’t want you to tell me what I want to hear. I’d just like you to do it.

    • I’d entertain that thought, stand at the border and hang’em on their side of the fence buzzard buffet. We got enough stinking Illegals and dealers, then there’s the trouble helping our own.

        • Women have a duty to fight to reform their own nation, just as men do. So far they haven’t. Children are always caught in the trouble. That is not our fault, and will not end if the present corruption from the top continues. If the women don’t stay in Mexico, their men will capitulate and the system will never improve. Better the matter should be settled so that many generations of children are not condemned to the same misery.

      • It’s because of sick unhinged little minds like yours that I’m glad I own guns. Try to enact your little plan & I’m sure you’ll get yours in the end. As you face the border, it’ll probably come to you from behind.

    • To save money you won’t even need passports or anything, just drive on down. Take some body armor and lots of ammo and a good cleaning kit for your primary and secondary arms. Don’t forget to have a trustworthy person who can speak their language, can’t count on finding a good local right off to fill the roll.

      The next part is how you treat the people you meet. You will want to build alliances with the good people you find, be willing to train them, and educate them that important part of “never again” goes with “shall not be infringed”. May be good to take a stock of highpoint handguns and mags to hand out in an easy to get cartridge.

      The main advantage is you would be able to build up a good resistance and form a better government. The difficult part will be keeping out the corruption. It is more about diplomacy than “trigger time”, although it will be a vital part of survival, it alone will not improve the situation at hand for future generations.

      P.S. It would be best to exclude the likes of Denny, if your group comes off as hostile you will not get anywhere fast and instead of improve the situation you will merely add to it..

  6. Isn’t this good news? The population has finally reached its boiling point.

    I know many innocents will die and that is obviously not good. But would it be worth it if they could start again, with a functional government?

    • It could be. Politically, things that don’t get worse almost never get better. See American Revolution. Whether it works out that way or not we’ll see, but it’s good to see at least someone thinks a positive outcome is possible. If it isn’t, we in the US are screwed too and the government soon either takes complete control of the populace or we degenerate into another CW. I’d take the latter.

  7. The Mexican people can blame our Government starting with Nixon.
    Shows how well 45 years of the War on drugs has gone.
    What a waste of time and money on our side for thinking you can stop me from smoking a joint. Or doing a line.
    Not that I do.
    But people will do what they want to.
    Just because you tell them they cant.
    I put the whole Mexican problem on our wonderfully useless DEA and no one else’s shoulders.
    Except maybe Obslamas and Holders too while Im at it.

    • you are correct we as a govt have not helped mexico in any way shape or form. prohibition has never worked, does that mean I want to see all drugs legalized hell no! I do not have an answer to this problem, but i do belive we will be dragged into it and it will be very ugly. sorry not dragged into we caused a great deal of the problem, either way it will not end well fo anyone.

      • How’s the poppy crop looking in your neck of the woods, BT? Just curious. It’s been going on for centuries now. I remember the “Golden Triangle.”

        • we will never shut the heron trade here either. I can’t wait to get home end of next month. i don’t see much differnce in third world contries. at least i would understand more language in mexico, but i still won’t go

        • The Afgans trade in long-legged freshwater and coastal birds? Oh the horror.

          *Snark off*

          Hurry back brother, although it’ll be the longest plane ride(s) of your life.

      • “does that mean I want to see all drugs legalized hell no! I do not have an answer to this problem, ”

        You just gave the answer in your first sentence. You refuse to see the answer because the answer is, in fact, total relegalization of all drugs. (none of them was illegal before the Reefer Madness.)

        Look at it this way. The people who want drugs have drugs. The people who don’t want drugs don’t need a law anyway. Without the war, the SAME PEOPLE who are doing drugs now will continue to do drugs, and those who don’t won’t. It’s just that the drug warmongers wouldn’t be spending billions of your tax dollars and disrupting millions of lives for no purpose other than to maintain their smug self-satisfaction that they’re fighting sin, or saving people from themselves, or some such insanity.

    • Nonsense!! Drugs have nothing to do with criminal gangs in Mexico, except maybe financing some of them. Jose Arambula, Emiliano Salazar,, terrorized Mexico before Nixon was even born. Mexico has, since the days of the revolution at least, been run by a series of criminal and/or government gangs.

      Mexico was born in serfdom. Where we’re headed if we don’t shake off the idea people have to be provided for by the government.

      • +1

        Much of South America is the same. Eliminate the Drug Trade and criminals will simply shift to something else. There has always been a black market, there have always been criminals, and there will always be organized crime. Every major country has organized crime, and what they are engaged in varies. Ending the war on drugs will not change a criminal thug into a model citizen.

        • Not artificially raising the stakes in illicit trade to the point that the profit and risk make mass murder a viable business proposition can go a long way towards reducing the epidemic of violent crime just about anywhere. Your statement seems to suggest this is a constant state of being but that is not the case.

        • The Mexican government was managing the cartels for many decades, just as the DEA does, by playing them off against each other, though ultimately favoring one to keep the others down. At that point the government became a de facto partner with the cartel (e.g. Sinaloa). Cartel profits and government graft became a negotiated agreement, as court records in Mexico and the US make clear. Modern communications, foreign eyes, and increasing availability of guns for the masses are changing the calculus.

          Not that it matters, but I favor the devolution into town militias and a rebuilding of the ‘civil contract.’ The government forces, especially regional police and regular army, have too many skeletons in the closet, to much blood on their hands, to peacefully go legit. Perhaps a South African style amnesty could work. Maybe. But first there will be blood.

        • “Ending the war on drugs will not change a criminal thug into a model citizen.”

          While that may be true, that does not change the fact artificially creating an opportunity for a black market (via drug prohibition) gives organized crime a strong source of funding.

          The US government’s War On Some People Who Use Some Drugs not only turns peaceful people in the USA into criminals, it enables and supports criminal organizations (both in the USA, Mexico and elsewhere) by the creation of the black market for illicit drugs.

          In short, the US drug war supports the Mexican cartels.

        • “Ending the war on drugs will not change a criminal thug into a model citizen.”

          Ending Prohibition changed a whole class of “criminal thugs” into “model citizens.” The bootleggers simply opened stores..

          Did the country die of alcoholism?

    • Mexico’s problems are of their own making. The corruption in Mexico has infected all aspects of society. We may have had an occasional indirect role in manipulating the situation over the years, but ultimately the blames belongs to the Mexican people and government. Mexico was a virtual dictatorship for over 76 years. It had one party rule, a disarmed populace and a societal escape valve known as the United States for millions of the disenfranchised who lost hope in their country. History has shown that change can come to Mexico, but it is usually extremely violent and chaotic. We, as well as the Mexicans, have forgotten this historical lesson. The worse is yet to come, but the Mexican people must learn to use their God given right to self-defense and fend off both the drug cartels and their own viciously corrupt government.

  8. Think we might be closer to a failed state then we want to admit.
    Problems South would be another reason to secure the border

    The cartels aren’t using recreational drugs, they are in a high volume high value commodity biz and dont care about rules

    war crimes? folks hanging from bridges? headless bodies? mass graves? I think they are already happening.

  9. RF said “You have four warring parties: the drug cartels, the federal government, the local police and the populace.”
    Correction RF is required…you have FIVE parties…you forgot to add per the testimony of ATF agent Dodson the US GOVERNMENT meddling in this crap. DEA, ATF, FBI, Intel community, and god knows who else. Picking winners (seems to be a hobby of our Federal gov’t huh), supplying intel and arms to various groups in return for free play in drug trade up here. In fact there were so many hands in the mix they had to have a “deconfliction” meeting to work out who was who. Recent reports of “contractors” flowing south on jobs is a sure sign things are way out of control. But none of this is reported by any MSM. Seemingly not acknowledged by State or POTUS. Hell POTUS didn’t know about NSA and Hillary didn’t know about Benghazi so what else is new?

    • And they called Donnelly crazy for the armed citizens to patrol the boarders. Looks like it will bite them on the rear before they wake up.
      We know the cartels are operating in California, just waiting for a headless police chief or two to show up. The it will mean the war has truly spilled over.

    • At least it would be a quick flight home. also how many times have we said let’s try someplace nearer the equator and away from the mid-east.

      i agree will not deploy to mexico

    • At some point, deploying to Mexico will be a better long-term proposition than trying to contain the war at the border when it spills over. Unlike most other conflicts that US has got itself involved in in the last century, this is literally the house next door burning down. The chances of it setting yours on fire are non-nil.

    • How about deploying to the border and keeping the war out of our country? Let them fight it out, as long as they keep it south of the border. It will be utterly brutal, and we don’t need it up here.

  10. What they have now is not a government of the people. The government is yet another faction in a land of wide spread corruption. I believe there needs to be government/militia cooperation. Instead of disarming, the Militia and government should be working together and keeping each other honest. Mmmm, I wonder where else government/public cooperation could be effective.

    I’m kinda thinking the people in Connecticut need a march in numbers like we see in the photo above although maybe not armed.It would probably be good to show just how many are against those stupid laws.

  11. The cartels run amok and the Mexican army stays in their barracks and does nothing.

    The people tool up to protect themselves and the Mexican army leaves their barracks and does everything it can to put the people down.

    Just in case you didn’t know whose side the army is on, now you do.

    • Totally. Couldn’t make that one easier.
      Incidentally, this is a topic that I definitely want to see more of on TTAG. This thing is a powder keg, and there sure as shit any coverage to found on the tv.

      • The media gets paid in various ways to suppress stories like this. Don’t want to bust anyones bubble but check out the drug WAR (and I do mean WAR) going on in Puerto Rico. PR is US territory. But near zero coverage of how drug gangs have essentially taken over island.

        • Puerto Rico…hmm, seem to have heard of that place, but I don’t think I could find it on a map. Rumor has it the majority wants to become the next sate, and I also recall a judge there found that there was an actual right to keep and bear arms….

  12. Another excellent article from TTAG. I can only offer one comment – the “vigilante” movement is largely based in the Mexican state of Michocan, which is in southern Mexico, not northern as stated.

      • The president is the commander in chief, so you execute the plan inasmuch as possible. I’m not sure what it’d take to, say, deploy a carrier group that was destined for Japan to Siberia, though.

  13. WOW and it’s reported on the Communist News Network every night.. Seems like Amerika has already been taken over , but they are just not telling you YET! Welcome to the NEW WORLD ORDER/1984!

  14. “You can start out with a genuine purpose,” he said. “But when you start taking control, making decisions and feeling authority … you run the risk of reaching that point.”

    ¿Eso suena no muy parecido a el Distrito de Columbia…?

    • In Mexico many heard this little speech implying the self-defense forces were just another budding band of future thieves and thought “yes, this exactly describes the PRI and Mexican government.”

  15. I am so confused. Why did the Army side with the Templars? If the Army rolls in and disarms the citizens, it will roll out in a few days or weeks, leaving the people unarmed–again. Why does this not make any sense?

    Or maybe it does. Is the government terrified of what an armed populace will do?

  16. Many seem to forget the biggest drive of the cartels, American money! All the pot, crack, cocaine, etc users are supporting the Mexican cartels. The cartel violence is just to protect the huge profits they get from American drug users. Trying to get corruption out of Mexico is like trying to get the stink out of farts. La mordida (a little bite of the action) is so accepted it would take generations to be rid of it. Add to that the corruption and sheer stupidity in America that sends weapons over the border. There’s no possible benefit to The US to get involved. Who started the move to turn every country in the world into another America anyway. The people define their country and we can’t change that.

    • I don’t think “the people” had much to do with defining their country. I don’t think they believe so, either. I think they remember the Spanish. I think they remember US money taking over the cattle and oil businesses. I think they remember Pershing. No doubt they remember William Buckley’s father and the other oil lawyers. They probably remember General Smedley Butler, prior to his apostasy.

      It could take many generations. Or, it could take one rather bloody generation rebuilding from the bottom up, not the top down. We cheer our revolution, but we happily subverted theirs. As for the drug money, that was late in the game after several US invasions of soldiers and of capital. The history is not obscure.

    • Violence is very, very regionalized there. Many places are safer than the US. Find out about where you’re going in advance…

  17. Too bad this really hasn’t been covered in the MSM , but that is not what they want the folks here to know how these people are fighting tyranny with guns , because it would not look good if the agenda that they are pushing is the same type of agenda that has been going on in Mexico for decades . I wish these patriots well , they have learned that it takes blood from the tree of liberty to get things right , I hope they end up with a better government and rid themselves of the drug cartels . Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  18. Sadly many more good innocent people will die regardless of whatever happens in Mexico. It is a good point that this new group’s leadership might go corrupt since that seems to be the way of things especially down there in Old Mexico.

  19. Things took a turn for the worse in the late 1950s when the CIA made an arrangement with the Mafia to enable drug smuggling in return for various levels of assistance. I think the signs point to James Jesus Angleton (Mexican mother) as the instigator here.

    From the early 1960s, everywhere American interests became military interventions, there was some large resource involved: either heroin (Vietnam), oil (Iraq), or cocaine (Mexican under the radar adventures). There is no doubt America is backing the narco state of Mexico, and favoring one cartel or another in the process. The School of the Americas in Georgia has been training South and Central American dictators in oppressing and torturing their populations for decades. Many of these techniques come from the Nazis the US saved from Soviet arrest.

    Unfortunately none of these activities come under Senate oversight, but are well covered in numerous books by authors who were involved.

    The rise of the armed Mexican population threatens CIA interests as much as the cosy cartel/US government arrangements. This is why the Mexican “Government” is so determined not to let the people have a say in their own lives, which up to now have been at the mercy of the cartels and equally voracious Government thugs.

    Anything the US Government does to address this situation will only make matters worse, as the people in charge do not understand basic humanity or the value of human life.

    • “Things took a turn for the worse in the late 1950s when the CIA made an arrangement with the Mafia to enable drug smuggling in return for various levels of assistance. I think the signs point to James Jesus Angleton (Mexican mother) as the instigator here.”

      JJ Angleton looked as if he’d spent his entire life in a sub-basement, and that’s probably not far from the truth. He spend his entire career in counterintelligence (well, practically) hunting an extremely highly-placed “mole” in the U.S. Government. He never found him. IMO, probably because HE was the mole, and you know how hard it is to find oneself! 😉

  20. “Once they had taken control of the town, the vigilantes began disarming municipal police, whom they accuse of being corrupt and in league with the cartel.”

    I think a few people here would like to do that in New York.

  21. “You can start out with a genuine purpose,” he said. “But when you start taking control, making decisions and feeling authority … you run the risk of reaching that point.”
    So basically, Government.


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