Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Can Vigilante Justice Save Mexico?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 |

Borderland Beat

    Related story from Guerrero: Masked  vigilantes
 shoot at and injure tourists, story  follows first post
Hooded residents of Ayutla de los Libres, in the Mexican southern state of Guerrero, stand guard at a checkpoint on Jan. 19, 2013. Hundreds of civilians armed with rifles, pistols and machetes decided to create their own security squad for the communities of Tecoanapa and Ayutla de los Libres because of the presence of unidentified gangs committing robberies, kidnappings and murders
 
Can Vigilante Justice Save Mexico?
AYUTLA DE LOS LIBRES, Mexico — For almost a month now, hundreds of masked men wielding old shotguns, rifles, revolvers and machetes have claimed to be the law in the rugged mountains outside the faded resort of Acapulco.
Manning roadblocks and patrolling by the truckload, these citizen posses have been rounding up accused drug dealers, rapists, killers and rustlers under the wincing but winking watch of state and federal security forces.
Last week, the vigilantes paraded 54 captured men and women in front of thousands of their neighbors, the vague and unsubstantiated charges against them read aloud over loud speakers.
“Organized crime,” intoned a community leader as the accused were escorted into the covered square in El Mezon, a mostly Mixtec indigenous village belonging to Ayutla township, some 75 miles northeast of Acapulco. “Murder. Rape. Kidnapping. Extortion.”
Despite years of promised reforms,  justice remains cut from the thinnest of fabrics. Tens of thousands of purported criminals rot for years in Mexican state and federal prisons as they await trial. The convictions handed down for every 100 arrests can be counted on one hand, academic studies show.
Citizens "Court"
President Enrique Pena Nieto, scarcely two months into a six-year term, has vowed to move away from his predecessor's strategy of military-led offensives against drug trafficking gangs. Instead, the president plans to focus more on the robberies, extortion and violence that affect mostly ordinary Mexicans.
For Pena Nieto to pull that off, Mexican security analysts say he will need better local policing and criminal prosecutions, a high hurdle in much of the country. The villagers in these mountains aren't holding their breath.
“The federal and state governments haven't been able to do anything,” said Evert Castro, an Ayutla municipal councilman. “And we don't have the capacity to fight these criminals. So the people got tired and decided to act on their own. We see this as a good thing.”
Following negotiations this week between community leaders and Guerrero's governor, most of the detainees seem likely to be turned over to state prosecutors.
“They must be subjected to the established laws and institutions,” Gov. Angel Aguirre recently told local reporters in the state capital, Chilpancingo. “We are going to continue working to provide security and confidence so that a climate of harmony returns in communities where this problem is focused.”
But Bruno Placido Valerio, a founder of the volunteer forces that comprise the bulk of the vigilantes, told the crowd last week that the accused would remain in community custody for at least two more weeks, when another public assembly would be held.
“This is not taking justice into our own hands,” Placido Valerio told villagers. “We have to be just.”
 
Only a handful of the prisoners stand accused of murder and kidnapping. One youth was arrested for tending to three marijuana plants at his house — and for smoking the harvest. Another faces charges of stealing a cow.
“Considering that he's a parasite on society we want him to be judged according to the uses and customs of the people,” intoned the speaker of the supposed rustler, referring to the traditional justice that exists a world apart from official law. Punishment can mean everything from community labor to expulsion.
More than half the prisoners seem to have been taken for being “hawks,” or street corner lookouts, for a local criminal group headed by an Ayutla native known only as “El Cholo.” The gang leader's wife, brother, father and mother were all among the detainees. But Cholo himself had slipped through the dragnet.
The tightly-packed crowd murmured and shook their heads as the vigilantes read the most serious charges. Necks craned for glimpses of particular perpetrators. “He's from my village,” whispered a shotgun-toting man of one alleged murderer. “A fool.”
Anchored by Acapulco — which ongoing gang wars placed it among Mexico's deadliest cities last year — Guerrero state stretches hundreds of miles along the southern Pacific Coast, the high Sierra Madre range running through it like a backbone.
Many urban Mexicans have long considered these mountain hinterlands as “untamed.” Popular wisdom holds that the rough and ready people living here are best not riled.
“They call us the wild people,” concedes Evert Castro, the Ayutla councilman. “But it's not like that. This a tranquil area.”
These mountains, however, have earned a sordid place in Mexico's history.
 
Ayutla was the birthplace of a 1854 rebellion launched against Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Mexico's dictator of the moment. Then, in the 1970s, a leftist guerrilla movement that swept through the Sierra Madre was eventually crushed by a ruthless military campaign. The state police put down a similar rebellion in 1988.
Police dispatched by a governor ambushed and killed 17 unarmed protesting farmers near Acapulco in 1995. Soldiers in 1998 killed 11 suspected guerrillas and local village leaders meeting at a rural schoolhouse outside Ayutla.
As in much of Mexico, criminals began to besiege Ayutla and other nearby towns about six years ago, when gangster violence erupted along the US border and down both coasts.
Kidnappings, extortion and murders all spiked. Unemployed people started using cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs, many of them going to work for the dealers as lookouts, sellers, even assassins.
“It was very quiet here and then from one day to the next it seemed to all go bad,” said Celerina Garcia, a housewife taking in the late afternoon air at Ayutla's crowded plaza. “You couldn't leave your house at night.”
Garcia and other residents say things have calmed considerably since the vigilantes started patrolling. In addition, hundreds of state and federal police, as well as soldiers, have set up highway checkpoints of their own in recent days, keeping a wary but respectful distance from the village militiamen.
As planting season approaches, ongoing talks with the governor aim to return the armed farmers to their plows.
“We are going back to the fields but we are not going to give up our weapons,” Placido Valerio told the assembly last week. “We are going to start building a system of justice."
Mexico Vigilante Group Shoots at Tourists Injures Two

A group of vigilantes in the Mexican state of Guerrero has injured two tourists heading to the beach.

The masked men, who say they have taken up arms to protect residents against increasing drug-related violence in the area, were manning a roadblock when the pair approached in their car....-continues on next page-
The couple from Mexico City said they were scared by the sight of the masked men and sped through the roadblock.
The vigilantes opened fire, lightly wounding the two.
Guerrero State Governor Angel Aguirre said he was reinforcing the police force so citizens would not feel the need to arm themselves.
'Imprudent'
State authorities also said they would offer the couple medical and psychological help.
The attorney-general's office of Guerrero has opened a criminal investigation into the incident.
Members of the so-called "community police" have been patrolling roads and towns across Guerrero.
"Community police" groups have held impromptu trials for suspects they have caught
In some cases, they have made citizen's arrests, parading the detainees and holding them in community halls until police arrived.
Bruno Placido, a member of one of the vigilante groups active in Guerrero, told local media the couple had acted "imprudently" when they had refused to stop at the roadblock.
The couple said they were headed to Playa Ventura, a beach town on the Pacific coast, to spend the weekend there.
Guerrero is one of the Mexican territories disputed by a number of powerful drug gangs.
Global intelligence analysts Stratfor say the Jalisco Cartel CJNG  has been expanding into the state and is fighting the Knights Templar cartel for control of the drug routes leading from the Pacific coast inland.
About 70,000 people are estimated to have died in drug-related violence in Mexico over the past six years.
President Enrique Pena Nieto has made the fight against organised crime one of his main priorities and has announced the creation of a new federal police force to help drive down murder rates.
Video below is of a tribunal citizens court in session




Sources: Global Press-BCC-Grillonautas

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49 Borderland Beat Comments:

chip tatum said...

when will this world stop being so greedy CIA is involved in all this borderland just reports minors stories its an 80 billion dollar a year business this is just minor busts but many prayers to all the victims of mexico and all this mayhem -- may the evil finally come to an end -- you can thank princess ms. hilton and lohan for powdering their nose -supply and demand and the last time i heard the cartels dont even feel human it makes them more dangerous the next generation is more brutal reviving what their ancestors did.

Anonymous said...

I pray these villagers have a few AR's and ak's handy when the camera's are off,godbless these people the government can't do shit so they have every right to defend there homes from the scum.
I also pray it spreads across the country and not just the rural areas,fuk YEAH!!!!!....

More of these story's Chivis please, the
world needs to know there is proud
and honest people in mexico
ready to fight SCUM.

Anonymous said...

One problem, if people see a roadblock in some parts of Mexico with masked men carrying guns trying to stop them, they`ll run for their lifes. So I understand the vigilantes, but when they use the same tactics as the cartels shit will happen.

Anonymous said...

Mexico. We are soldiers of Christ. As we mentioned on previous posts, we are here to help the innocent. 777

Anonymous said...

Making a big show of resistance and perceived justice is one thing. To man a road block means little if it can not be kept going. It takes a lot of men, man hours, weapons, vehicles, and infrastructure to name a few things to actually combat organized criminals. A vigilante group must finance. The money needed is huge. The seekers of justice end up being dangerous criminals. Its an old, old, story.

Anonymous said...

So liberals don't mind if all guns are confiscated from law abiding citizens hmmm good luck protecting yourself.

Cloned Police SUV Confiscated in Falfurrias

Toggle Photos/Video

Posted: Feb 4, 2013 6:35 PM

Updated: Feb 4, 2013 11:08 PM
3

BROOKS COUNTY - Falfurrias authorities say their officers confiscated a cloned police SUV.

Investigators said the SUV is one of the latest cloned vehicles confiscated in the region.

"It's just a constant flow, a constant flow of vehicles coming in and out of this county having to do with illegal traffic," Brooks County Deputy Sheriff David Davila said.

Davila said they had never seized a fake police unit.

The black SUV even had real law enforcement plates. All the chrome parts were spray-painted black.

A Falfurrias police officer noticed the sloppy spray-paint job and tried to pull over the vehicle.

The officer turned on his emergency lights. The driver of the SUV also turned on the emergency lights on the vehicle.

Davila said investigators are shocked at the detail of the clone job.

"To actually to take time, to wire it up, to make sure the lights work and to make sure if for some reason law enforcement did stop them they could just turn the lights on and everything would be fine," Davila said.

The SUV pulled over after a short pursuit and the occupants fled on foot.

Falfurrias residents said they were shocked to see a cloned police vehicle north of the Rio Grande Valley.

"It's a concern, because you don't know who you can trust. Policeman pulls you over and he's not real, what's going to happen to you," Maria Galindo said.

"What possible damage could that vehicle have done if it went undetected in our own city. There's only 5,000 people here. ... For it to go unnoticed that long is kind of surprising," Homer Morales said.

Investigators did not find anything in the SUV. They said the vehicle has not been linked to any crime.

Police said the SUV and license plate were stolen separately from Harris County.

Anonymous said...

ROFL, Soldies of Christ?
OMG,Wont be long before you Vigilante Groups are up to your necks in Drug Money

Anonymous said...

It's only a matter of time before they start kidnapping, robbing people, and trafficking drugs themselves. There is a very good reason that vigilantism ended in the USA. It will turn into a mafia over time.

Anonymous said...

They should do that in all the states.
The president finilly trying to do something smart focus on crime like robberys rapes kidnaps cuz drug trafficking dsnt afect Mexico at as much it affects the u.s.a. More than anybody

Anonymous said...

yup, cause when they run short on money to operate, they start doing small runs of dope to buy shit and then when the produce season starts again they think about all the back breaking work and then they say fuck that!! then they start doing more and more, soon they give themselves a name like the templars did...

Anonymous said...

Nothing can save mexico except a nuclear bomb dropped directly in the center!

Anonymous said...

now they need to rise up and remove everyone from all offices in gov and start over or this will never end with such a corrupt gov.

Anonymous said...

chip tatum
"you can thank princess ms. hilton and lohan"?
Go and cry somewhere else you spineless little man,this story is about men taking up arms to protect themselves and their families,what are you whining about?Fuckin idiot,blame p,hilton?God save us from spineless politically correct cowards like you.Sometimes you gotta fight,a whining bitch like you wouldn't know about these things,you just want to play the blame game like a little girl.Can we blame Columbia for making the drug you fuckin clown?Blame Asian countries for making the precursor?Blame,blame,blame,and on and on.Respect to these men who take a stand.Yes they can win.Take a look at the big cartel players,did you see the CJNG sicarios?Really professional looking

Anonymous said...

....THEIR IS POWER IN NUMBERS. MORE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN STOPPING CRIME, MORE EMPOWERMENT FOR THE PEOPLE....

....IF WE AS A NATION IN THE WORLD USED THE DEATH PENALTY FOR PRISIONERS WHO ABSOLUTELY HAVE BEEN ACCUSED OF MURDER, RAPE, DRUG TRAFFICING, ANY CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY, THE DEATH PENALTY IS THE ONLY ANSWER....

....GODS LAWS...LOOK IT UP...GODS LAW...
....EMPOWER YOURSELVES, AND DEFEND YOURSELVES, GODS LAW, DON'T BE IN BONDAGE TO LIES,= BABYLON=BONDAGE TO THE SYSTEM....EMPOWER YOURSELVES TO TRUTH AND COME OUT OF BABYLON....

....AS THE SAYING GOES, UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with comment at 301a.m. Last summer while driving south on hwy 20, around a bend in road were two men, one on each side of road with assault rifles and pistols on there side. I thought there pickup was blocking the road, it was not, lucky for us. I told my friend just dont stop, we drove by them. wonder what they were doing out there?

Anonymous said...

I just hope these vigilante groups dont lose sight of their mission. Protecting the innocent people of mexico. A lot can go wrong with groups like this just as it did with the tourist near acapulco. The should be indentifiable by the people n try not to look so much like narcos. I dont blame them for what they are doing... may GOD help them.

Anonymous said...

People like you are incopotent to the cuase. It's people like you who luagh at the genocide going on in Mexico. It's people like you that we reject your application even if you would die for the good will. It's people like us who will free Mexico of these killers. It's people like us that will bring justice and peace and stabilize the regions economy. We are the ones sick of beheadings by individuals who are coersed into this mayhem. God speed. 777

Anonymous said...

Good to see they are holding the politicians accountable. That is what it is going to take to change Mexican society at this point. Basically a social uprising against the political system that has become too integrated with crime.

Anonymous said...

Why is it fair for them to put innocent people in their so called jails?? These prisoners are getting beat andare barely getting fed if anyhing at all and if so their food gets thrown on the ground as if they were dogs! What news people dont tell you is that a 17 year old was beaten in his genitals sobad it caused a hernia and he had to be taken to a hospital for an immediate operation!

Anonymous said...

Its people like you that should go to prison for kidnapping innocent people and beating them every night!

narcomexicodrugsgangs said...

Good article Buela

Anonymous said...

"Good to see they are holding the politicians accountable. That is what it is going to take to change Mexican society at this point. Basically a social uprising against the political system that has become too integrated with crime."

Last time that was attempted, the US gave Mexico its full support to crush the Zapatista movement. We don't want a bunch of communist leaning indians living next door (saracsm).

Anonymous said...

@ 777
Brother if you are for real and you aint wack,i got no problem with you.
Sometimes violence is legitimate,of that there is no doubt no matter what cowards and talkers would say.It is kind of hard to believe in what you say,but,if you are for real it does not matter what people hear think,for 99%of these same people are the ones who talk,trying to justify why violence can never be an option when history and the present prove what violence can achieve.We can see now,citizens rising up through frustration and government impotence in the face of this violence which is disrupting the more productive members of our society's.Saludos

Anonymous said...

People, not Govts, People, not Govts!! Left alone people will solve problems. Govt. lends itself to abuse,corruption,overreaching, ALL AT THE EXPENSE OF THE PEOPLE. Mexico along with the USA are examples of the FAILURE of Govt. The present imbalance of power is UACCEPTABLE Mexico and the USA. People can provide better,security,food,clothing,education,infrastructure ETHICS. F-Govts

Anonymous said...

sounds to me like the birth of another cartel in the making.... isn't that the same way cjng started to with the same honest intention and ended up fucking over Jalisco?

Gringo Campesino said...

I truely wish finding justice in the world around us was explicit and only a matter of deduction; that evidence pointed to clear and unmistakable conclusions... Ya right.
However, it does remove a huge load off of ones shoulders to not try to be judge and jury, after all, "Judge not lest ye be judged." Vigilanty justice is supposed to be a back up system when all other options have failed. But it is a temporary fix. What's better than vigilanty-ism? For the citizens of a nation to establish civil law and hold themselves to the same high standards that they hold their leaders to. Then they aren't telling the politicians to do as I say and not as I do.
It is also a far healthier view of government. A view that realizes I should start with myself and then move out from there. Not, living undisciplined and without principle and then turning to the government as a catch all, 'fix' it for everything. That was never the intention of governance in the first place.
All that said, it is sad that the various interests couldn't just stop all the proxy and meddling. I doubt that just asking those who abuse power to 'please just stop' would do any good... But one could dream.

Anonymous said...

Vigilantism...will not work, in the long term! The lines between the "good guys and the bad guys," will become blurred over time! Power and control leads to corruption without "checks and balances!" Plus these villagers are only nabbing the weakest of the criminals! What's going to happen, if a cartel sends in a large convoy of heavily armed sicarios? That will be the end of the vigilante movement...literally!

Anonymous said...

You are correct. It's start and ends on corruption. 777

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Well said. 777

Anonymous said...

You are now seeing our organizations work. We started at the govefnment corruption level. You will here more about it in the future. As for the innocent people, we will only target those who we have intel on and make peace in mexico. We are eradicating marihuana fields daily and working with the locals to produce other agriculture. It's long term. But we see it as an evil target. 777

Anonymous said...

CJNG was never a vigilante group. it was first and foremost a cartel that sprang up from Milenio. Mencho is the head of CJNG. He was with Milenio before then. To compare these brave people to cartels is wrong. they came up through necessity. Their people were getting robbed, and kidnapped, and killed. They had to do something. They are upholding their laws. They are turning over prisoners to the authorities. They are holding the authorities accountable. They are transparent with their activities. They are having public trials. And they are allowing the accused to defend themselves. Those they find innocent are being set free. Justice is not perfect. I find them honorable up to this point. And they have my full support.

Anonymous said...

" And we will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those ( Including the government) who attemp to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know our names as lords when we lay our fingers upon thee". 777

Anonymous said...

Well i dont know how id feel if masked gunman had a roadblock going on... Because me being a gringo and my wife from GRO we once were driving in two cars from GDL to acapulco where shes from after a visit of family in GDL but while in michoacan driving through a sparsly populated area About 1 hour after you get off the autopista i was the car in front alone an my wife an daughter were in car behind me it was early and the fog in this area was crazy thick and outta no where theres 25 or so kids ages 5-16 all holding machetes and blocking the road now for me as an american on my first visit to mexico i damn near shit cuz i didnt see guns but was thinking ok get the fuck outta my way or ill run u over and i didnt speak spanish at all during this time so i basically crawled thru there pack and once thru my heart pounding i see my wife roll her window down an hand them some coins and i already had it in reverse like ill run as many of you down as possible then after a min or so she calls my phone an says when you see kids with no guns they generally just want a few coins an there happy, i was like wow mexico is fucked up and i been here over a year now and ive seen way worse but thats just one thing i wanted to share... Wtf do you do when in a situation like the 2 tourists who were shot

Anonymous said...

If anyone gets in front of me on the highway they had better be law enforcement or military. Anyone else will be plowed down before I allow any harm to come to my wife or child from some psuedo-vigilante. These so called citizen enforcers break more laws than they enforce.

Anonymous said...

the answer is no....they themselves will become a new cartel later on

Anonymous said...

why destroy the cannabis fields, thats just so unessessary, cannabis is such a versatile plant: you can press the oil out to use for cooking and fuel, and use the fiber for making strong ass rope and all sorts of things, but really look it up and you will find out. cannabis helps humanity..

Anonymous said...

"before I allow any harm to come to my wife or child from some psuedo-vigilante"
At least their trying,who else is gonna do shit?But we come on here and say"These so called citizen enforcers break more laws than they enforce"Now how the fuck would we know that?
February 5, 2013 at 6:54 PM. Has the best comments,,"They are having public trials. And they are allowing the accused to defend themselves. Those they find innocent are being set free. Justice is not perfect. I find them honorable up to this point. And they have my full support" At least they are trying,the men have the balls to mask up and put themselves on the line.

Anonymous said...

@February 5, 2013 at 6:54 PM
"CJNG was never a vigilante group.To compare these brave people to cartels is wrong. they came up through necessity.They are transparent with their activities. They are having public trials"
Great comments brother,agree wholeheartedly with you,they sprang up through a pressing necessity.Through the impotence of so-called government authority,they were allowed to be victims.They decided,no,we wont be victims."Justice is not perfect"No matter what many people say and believe.Hopefully these good people stay good and become a model to show it can work.

Anonymous said...

Do them boys look like you should fuck with them?
Fuck the cartels,if Ayutla got enough people all the way down with them,they will be alright...Convoy of sicarios makes a great target !

Anonymous said...

Hemp is a bid less plant. You are right. It can be used for clothing, seed make oil. The US used hemp to lubricate equipment ect... We eradicate the Bud producing fields. We also go for the money and we hit the hard a couple of days ago. Over two million in cash headed south. We do not publish names, videos or Marcos. We have learned that by doing that it glorifies the cartels.

Anonymous said...

They are accusing many of them of kidnapping wich they themselves are doing! Some are accused of being hawks for el cholo but wouldnt hawks have phones money nice clothes etc??? How would they notify the bog guys with no phones ummmm Intead of worring so much about police they need to worry about getting better schooling! Have of them can barely speak well enough or read enough to hold the court!

Anonymous said...

They were losing money from new dealers in the areas so they had to do something!!

Anonymous said...

If you are so proud of what you are doing then why are you so afraid for people to know your name??

Anonymous said...

@11:26 why would hawks have nice clothes and money???

Guerita Ashley Mead said...

Because working for one of the big guys im sure would be putting some money in their pockets and sure wouldn't be dressed in torn and dirty clothes! Also to be able to actually warn them they would have a cell phone dont you think? If you look at the picture where it says citizens court underneath it that boy was accused of being a hawk when he had no phone no money and was on his qay home from visiting his grandma they have had him since January 6th he dis nothing wrong and everytime it the day for viaitation they refuse to find him! Its sad! He gets beat and barely gets fed! He is innocent! I wish could understand how it feels to have a family member in there especially when thwy are innocent.... and when all is said and done it will be people like 777 and his people that will go to hell for torturing the innocent!!

Guerita Ashley Mead said...

If they feel what they are doing is so right why the masks? Why hide their identity?? How do people know if they are the real criminals or not? You Support a group that are taking children to prison for nothing?? They have no proof and will not allow anyone to speak at their meetings... they refuse to listen to anyone outside their little farmer people!

Anonymous said...

The innocent are still getting beaten by these people you say are so honorable!

Anonymous said...

K good. This NEEDS to gain momentum as its Mexico's only chance. clearly a town can gain access to weapons if it really needs to judging by the guns obtained here by the townsfolk. While they are not armed with state of the art firepower like cartels, they certainly have something! and if they continue like this its more likely they will obtain more guns.

Pretty dumb move though shooting tourists *facepalm* don't get paranoid and end up turning into the scum you are trying to keep away! (the cartels).

Anonymous said...

Great pros and cons debate on vigilante groups.

I definately support the Civilian Defense movement (and do not think the term "vigilantes" is quite right, given that the Mexican government is corrupt and impotent. In fact, the Mexican Government has to be culpable in the mess that Mexico is, and has been, for generations.

Ideally, there can be checks and balances along with a code of conduct ... and enforcement means to protect the integrity of the Civilian Defense group.

The Civilian Defense idea is starting to spread in the region and it may become an unstoppable firestorm that may lead to a "much needed" fundamental Revolution in Mexico and Central America.

In time, Of course, the USA and other nations will become involved. This whole thing is a global explosion in slow motion.

Even the lowly taco vendor understands that his nation has been hi-jacked by corrupt oligarchic powers and that his Mejico Lindo is now a bloody naked myth in which Santa Muerte and Satanas have shoved aside Jesus Cristo and La Vigen Maria.

Mexico-Watcher

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