Friday, January 31, 2014

A Legal Framework Will Not Solve Mexico's Vigilante Issue

The In SightCrime article without my editorial comments is posted on the Forum by Jack Hawkins.
DD Note;  The situation in Mexico is very different than what exists/existed in the the three countries that In Sight Crime refers to in this article.  In Peru and Guatemala the paramilitary groups were mainly used for combating insurgent rebel groups seeking to overthrow the government.   In Columbia, under the command of General Oscar Naranjo, the groups were used initially to fight the major drug cartel operating there.  

Until a few days ago, Naranjo had been serving as a security advisor to EPN.  Insight Crime states, “there is little indication that Naranjo passed along his paramilitary secrets” to the Mexicans.”

While there is not hard evidence to prove he encouraged use of paramilitary forces against the Templars in Mexico, it has been rumored that the government has encouraged or abetted the CJNG to battle the Templars. 

There have also been rumors/accusations (with no proof ) that the Government was involved in the formation and arming of the self-defense groups.  Probably those rumors/accusations have arisen because of Naranjo’s role as “Security Advisor”.

Naranjo has been recognized for taking down the largest cartel in Columbia and the killing of Pablo Escobar.  But he has been criticized for using paramilitary groups (in Columbia they are often referred to as death squads) to accomplish this at the cost of many civilian deaths.  

Naranjo became an advisor to candidate EPN and then was brought on board when EPN became President.  He has maintained a low profile since taking that post.  But barely 60 days after EPN took office, the first self-defense groups (in effect unofficial paramilitary groups) started emerging seemingly simultaneously.

One theory is that he was covertly behind the formation and arming of those groups.  When in less than a year the groups expanded and grew beyond anyone’s imagination, even spreading to several other states, it’s possible that EPN (PRI) feared a scandal in the brewing about the government losing control. 

EPN appointed a Federal Commissioner for Security in Michoacan, Alfredo Castillo, a close friend of EPN who had no law enforcement or security experience, but was known as EPN’s firefighter who handled previous potential scandals for EPN.   

If that theory was/is correct, it would explain Sec. of Interior Osario’s about face concerning the self-defense movement.  He had said numerous times that the govt. supported Dr. Mireles and the self-defense movement because they had hurt the CT.   

Then in the same time frame that Costillo was appointed head of security in Michoacan and General Naranjo announced he was returning to Columbia, Osario took a 180 degree turn around and announced the AD ‘s had to disarm and return to  their hometowns.   

 Probably all just coincidence.

From In Sight Crime, Written by Steven Dudley

If Mexico's government thinks that "legalizing" vigilante groups in the embattled state of Michoacan will solve its citizen security problems, it should have a closer look at the three other countries in the region -- Colombia, Guatemala and Peru -- that tried similar projects under similar circumstances with dreadful results.

The legal structure that will govern the self-defense forces in Mexico, while preliminary and abbreviated, formalizes them with a name -- Rural Defense Units -- and asks them to submit a list of their members to the government.

Various points of the law are somewhat vague. It says they can work with the municipal police, but does not obligate them to be part of the police. It requires them to register their weapons with the army, but does not say if they can keep their weapons, or what kind of weapons they have to register (Mexican law allows citizens to carry up to a .38 caliber).

The government also says it will help the vigilantes with their activities but does not delineate clearly what those activities entail. In fact, that remains the biggest question: exactly what are the Rural Defense Units going to do? What is their exact role and jurisdiction?

All of this, of course, will need to be more clearly defined via more formal legislation, presumably at the national level, because the militias are breaking several laws already and putting the current administration in a terrible public relations quandary: how do you embrace a paramilitary strategy without admitting that you have failed as a government?

When Mexico's Congress does sit down, it should carefully consider the efforts of three of its neighbors, who created legal paramilitary units to help them with their own security issues. Among these, Guatemala's was the largest in per capita terms. The so-called Civil Defense Patrols (Patrullas de Autodefensa Civil - PAC) numbered between 500,000 and 1 million members at their height, an incredible number considering the country's population was not more than 10 million at the time.

The PACs were not really collectively defined by one law but many, and were run under military despots, making their use somewhat arbitrary and, ultimately, brutal. In fact, the army commanders who controlled the PACs used them to systematically inform, torture and kill their neighbors, often at gunpoint. The Archbishop's report following the war said the PACs, together with the army, were involved in 1,799 human rights violations and 342 massacres.

In Peru, the government made a more concerted effort to place the "Rondas Campesinas" under a legal structure, which was loosely based on the historic "neighborhood watch" groups that had operated for years in indigenous communities.

The laws evolved to give the groups weapons -- a 1991 legislative decree even permitted the acquisition of 12-gauge shotguns. As in Guatemala, the army used the Rondas in their dirty war against the insurgents, although not in such spectacular and massive fashion, often putting them in harm's way. The Rondas became easy targets for the Shining Path, Peru's brutal rebel group, which massacred hundreds of peasants when the army left their villages.

Perhaps the most damning example of how not to administer state-sanctioned militias comes from Colombia, where the so-called Convivir were wrapped into a larger law on private security only to provide the backbone to what would become the region's largest paramilitary force.

Guerrero Businessman Accuses Mayor of Narco Complicity, an Hour Later His Vehicle Comes Under Fire, Killing1

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat

"The SUV we were traveling received over 100 impacts of high-powered weapons. It was a well-planned attack. "
On the night of January 28, Pioquinto Damian Huato, a prominent businessman in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, was traveling with his family aboard a van Honda Pilot, when they were intercepted by an armed group that open fired on them  them with  R-15 rifles.
Killed instantly was  Damian Huato’s  daughter in law,  Laura Rosas Cebrito, 28, the  wife of  his son Walter Damián Bautista.
"Everyone else miraculously left unharmed, although the SUV we were traveling received over 100 impacts of high-powered weapons."
It was a carefully planned attack, we were attacked  from the left side, the back and the right side, where the first truck,  without stopping, blasted us with machine gun fire,   the second, attacked with two types of weapons.
They were "catastrophic seconds" described Damian Huato.

Damian Huato, the president of the National Chamber of Commerce, holds  Mario Moreno Arcos , PRI Mayor of Chilpancingo, as responsible for the attack, along with his brother Ricardo Moreno Arcos, Director of the Municipal Government.
"Mario Moreno Arcos If you really want to assist in the investigation, you should take a leave of your position and  allow the investigation of the case to be conducted openly and ​​freely " challenged Damian Huato, who wants the attorney general’s office to take over the investigation.
Damian Huato standing
In August Damian Huato had publically denounced the police department, in Chilpancingo.  He said they worked for narcos and accusing the police of kidnapping people on behalf of a criminal group, who decided victims fate, either " killing , beating or asking for money from families in exchange for their release. "
He further asserted that flagrant impunity was rampant against crime operating in the capital where drug gangs have terrorized  society with  murders, kidnappings and extortions committed every day, and a fleet of  over 200 'narcotaxis' operating in the city.   The narcotaxis are unregulated taxis,  which act as lookouts for cartels.  They have been accused of sexual assaults against women, robberies, kidnappings  and murders of  passengers.
The businessman condemned Mayor Moreno Arcos, for allowing organized crime to operate freely, and accused the mayor of being directly connected to organized crime.  "Los Rojos" is reported as the cartel operating in the city.
"Los Rojos" is a remnant of the Beltran Leyva Cartel operating in the Central, Mountain and part of the Sierra under the protective mantle of authorities of the three levels of government, according to official reports.
The leader of this gang is identified with the name Leonor Nava Romero, "La Garra" or "El Tigre", (left) who was arrested in the town of Zumpango during a military operation and transferred to the maximum security prison in Tamaulipas, charged with crimes of murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking.
However, two months later, a federal judge freed the criminal leader, after  the deposit payment of amount of  13,238 pesos (apx 1300USD), in a court ruling issued on 10 November by the First District judge, in criminal proceedings based in Tamaulipas.
"La Garra” took command of the cartel after the execution of his brother Jose Nava Romero, "Don Che", (left)  who was killed inside a cock fighting arena, at dawn on June 16 in San Andrés Cholula, Puebla.
Damian Huato says the state faces a crime wave like that in neighboring Michoacán, where the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel has instituted a reign of terror.
“Thanks to Mario Moreno Arcos, the criminal model of Michoacán has taken root in Chilpancingo” Damian Huato told MVS radio.

The Templarios’ main business is supplying crystal meth and other synthetic drugs to the U.S. market, the group has diversifications in extortion and kidnapping for ransom.
It was exasperation resulting from Caballeros Templarios crimes and the lack of response from authorities, that drove  Michoacán communities into forming  a autodefensas union in  February 2013.

Autodefensas are also being organized in Guerrero, and in other states compelled by the success of the Michoacán group.

Damian Huato was wounded Tuesday in the attack, so to his son, as they, along with his daughter-in-law Laura Rose Cebrito, were traveling through Chilpancingo, only Cebrito died.

The attack came an hour after Damian Huato confronted Mayor Arcos at a public event, accusing the city’s top official of ties to organized crime.

Damian Huato accuses the mayor of being behind the shooting.

“I am only a spokesman, a channel, to express the deep unhappiness there is against the complicity of this gentleman,” he said Thursday, referring to the mayor.

“Business owners in Chilpancingo have been driven to desperation by the municipal government’s collusion with criminal organizations.”

 “City hall is full of killers-for-hire” said Damien Huato
Sources used to write this post: LibertadGuerrero-SDP-Proceso

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Unraveling Recent Seizures in Southern California

Seizures in Southern California

As violence, insecurity, with a glimmer of hope consume Michoacan, several hundred miles away, and Chino Antrax awaits extradition from Holland to San Diego, across the Atlantic, the integral parts of the business remain.  Sometimes lost in the headlines, substantial or interesting seizures continue, in timeless fashion, with shipments of product moving north, and money and weapons heading south.

January 22nd 2014:  In the mid afternoon a 52 year old San Diego man was stopped as he attempted to cross the San Ysidro border into Tijuana. He was driving a 2011 Sienna minivan, and carrying 17 high powered weapons parts, and 64 boxes of ammunition, about 2500 bullets total, and seven magazines.  He was placed into the custody of Homeland Security, with an immigration hold.  That same week in Tijuana, a man linked to Caballeros Templarios, a weapons broker and buyer for the troubled cartel, was arrested Manuel Alejandro Zuniga Garcia, 'El Pelon'.  He made statements to the PEPOS (Special Police for organized crime), saying in essence he was in Tijuana to buy weapons to take to Michoacan, coordinated by his two uncles, one in the States, and on in Michocan.  He was in Tijuana to receive a shipment of weapons.

January 23rd 2014: Last week at the San Clemente U.S Customs & Border Patrol checkpoint, between Tijuana and Los Angeles, officers intercepted 670 pounds of cocaine, from a 2011 Hyundai Elentra.  It was nearly 1:30 am when the compact car rolled into the station, likely eerily vacant, with piercing floodlights and tired agents, on their third cup of stale coffee from the break room.  The man, 54 was dressed in a suit and tie, which is odd for the hour, and after discovering he was not a US citizen, as claimed, he was pulled over for inspection.

K-9 units alerted on the car, and officers pulled out 45 cardboard boxes, each neatly packed with wrapped kilos of cocaine, 304 in all. His name was not released, and he was turned over to the DEA.  The San Clemente station is known to be open sporadically, perhaps between the late hour, and the haphazard details of a large shipment, it could be speculated that someone assumed the stop would be closed.  Yet, there was no front car, or run through to check, on the smugglers part?  At that late hour?  A suit & tie works for early morning, or evening, even midday…yet stands out at 1:15 AM.  Likely  nothing will ever be known about the driver, or his case, or the origin of the seized drugs.  It is very possible this wasn't a random interdiction. 

January 28th 2014: Less then a week later, an Uzbakistan national, permanent US resident was stopped, driving a car carrier, northbound.  National Guard members, after a K-9 alert, performed an X-Ray inspection, which led the Guardsmen to irregularities in the bumpers of two Acura MDX's on the back of the carrier.  The bumpers held 49 bundles of cash, with markings indicating amount, and covered in silver duct tape.  The packages held 1.5 million in US currency.  The money, the cars, and the driver were all detained and held. 

The same day in Pine Valley, interstate 8, 15 pounds of cocaine were seized from the frame of a vehicle.

Two days later, USBP patrolling the I-5, stopped a vehicle headed south, and discovered a 39 year old Mexican national, with a valid Visa.  Also, carrying 10,000 in his pockets, and 49,900 in a jacket, and a bag in the vehicle.  He claimed the 10,000, as his, denying knowledge of the other stash.  He was remanded to the custody of the Department of Homeland Security.  

Are there links and interconnected webs of commerce, investigations, and alliances?  Certainly.  I cannot begin to unravel them here, leave the readers to their own conclusions.  Is the Uzbakistan national and the 1.5 million, headed north linked to organized crime in Mexico, and the US? Or different syndicates at play?  Money from down the coast, prostitution, drugs, stolen goods, headed to Russian bosses in LA?  Or was it related to drug sales and Mexican TCO's?  Going to LA to be laundered, or transported south, via ship or plane?  Invested in property?Theres rumors in San Diego, and unofficial statements pertaining to the triple murder of three San Diego young adults, in late December.  Two were found murdered on Christmas Eve, at a mall, in a violent late night shooting.  A brother of one of the victims, and fiancee of the female victim was found weeks later, decomposing in the trunk of his Camry.  Italians from Utah with no record, who worked in a small Italian restaurant, owned by family members, nonetheless drugs and money are the whispers.  

Blood, drugs, money, investigations, arrests, articles, it all wears on in a tireless, endless, existence, for everyone involved.  A civil war rages in Michoacan, the crystal crosses the border, and an addict burglarizes a home, or steals a car, high on meth.  7.62's rip through birthdays, school clothes, flesh, bone, and leave nameless victims laying in a burning state.  Prices rise, spokesmen and women give statements to the press, people get their 35 years, and final words to the District judge.  And, it all means nothing, or everything, dependent upon your perspective.  


AFN Tijuana

O.C Register
NBC San Diego
10 News San Diego
Zeta Tijuana

Mexican Army reinforces southern Chihuahua

A Mexican Army rifle unit arrived in Parral in southern Chihuahua state Thursday totaling 100 effectives, according to Mexican news reports.

According to a news report posted on the website of El Diario de Juarez, the unit, arrived in 21 vehicles at the base of the 76 Infantry Battalion, part of the 42nd Military Zone.

The reinforcement comes on the heels of a violet week in Parral and nearby municipalities which saw 12 violent deaths in one week, and other violent incidents.

Meanwhile in the capital Chihuahua city Chihuahua state governor Cesar Duarte lamented the spike in violence saying that those who commit violent acts will go to prison.  Gov. Duarte came into office in late 2010 promising to crackdown on the crime of kidnapping by having that state impose life sentences.

However, since the start of the Enrique Pena administration less than 15 months ago, kidnapping has spiked, so much so that the Mexican federal Secretaria de Gobernacion has launched a new program intended at stemming the crime.

Kidnapping is an especially critical issue in remote regions of southern Chihuahua.  Kidnappings are routinely used by local criminal gangs to impress shooters into their ranks.

An initiative early last year by the new Mexican federal government was to provide additional funds to municipalities for crime prevention among Mexican youths, but very little has been mentioned of the program since it was announced.

Mexican Army deployment have changed since the start of the new federal government last year. Whereas in past years, army units were routinely rotated in and out of areas, incidents in Michoacan appears to be straining military resources. 

A Milenio news report Thursday hinted that a number of military units based in Tamaulipas have been retasked to Michoacan, leaving paramilitary units such as Policia Federal to take up the slack.

Starting with a promise of moving Mexico's military forces from the streets "back to barracks" early last year, no question a change has occurred whereby that goal has been rendered inoperative as security conditions have worsened nationwide.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for and He can be reached at

5 die in Tamaulipas

A total of five unidentified individuals were killed in two separate incidents with Mexican federal security forces in Tamaulipas state since last Tuesday, according to Mexican news accounts.

A new release published on the official state government website said that four unidentified armed suspects were killed in Mier municipality Tuesday after they encountered a Mexican security detachment.  The incident took place near the break Las Morenas on Kilometer 108 on the Mier to Nueva Ciudad Guerrero road.

A total of six rifles, 96 weapons magazines, 2,486 rounds of ammunition were seized in the aftermath.

In a separate encounter, one unidentified armed suspects was killed last Sunday in San Fernando municipality, according to another Tamaulipas state government news release.

The incident took place at the break near Rancho El Angel on the San Fernando to Reynosa highway.  A Mexican naval infantry unit attempted a traffic stop of several vehicles but instead exchanged gunfire with a number of armed suspects traveling in a convoy. 

An unknown number of suspects escaped the encounter, abandoning their vehicles at the scene including one Dodge Dakota pickup truck, one Chevrolet Tahoe SUV and one Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck.

The armed suspect who died was said to be in his 20s.

Marines seized three rifles, 23 weapons magazines, an undisclosed amount of ammunition and a bag of poncha-llantas, used to puncture vehicle tires.

In a separate news account posted on the website of Milenio news daily, federal security forces have temporarily left Ciudad Valles to reinforce security on other areas of Tamaulipas state.

The news report quoted a spokesman for the Grupo de Coordinacion Operativa Huasteca Gilberto Almendarez Marín saying that federal security forces including part of a permanent Policia Federal detachment in the municipality has been sent to Ciudad Mante, Tampico, Huasteca and other areas of Tamaulipas.  According to the report a number of federal security elements have been retasked from Tamaulipas to Michoacan.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for and  He can be reached at

Captured "Menchito" Son of El Mencho Leader of CJNG

Borderland Beat

At Dawn, in  Zapopan,Jalisco,(Guadalajara Metropolitan Area) the Army captured,  Rubén Oseguera González, "El Menchito" or "El Junior," son of the premier leader of the Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG), Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes "El Mencho".
The Attorney General of Jalisco reported, that elements of the army carried out a search in farms of  fraccionamiento Villa Universidad in Zapopan
Backed by a helicopter, dozens of soldiers sealed streets and raided properties in the Zapopan section of Guadalajara, a city of 4.4 million people in western Mexico.
It was then, in response to the operation, the criminal group attempted  to impede the arrest ,  by setting fire to three vehicles forming a blockade  at various points in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara.
In his account twitter Prosecutor, Luis Carlos Nájera said that a code red was implemented in the city,  however urged the population to remain calm.
An official, who asked not to be identified, identified the suspect is considered the group's number two leader..
The cartel operates in the state of Jalisco, of which Guadalajara is the capital.
Jalisco is the neighboring state of Michoacán, where a violent conflict between Caballeros Templarios and CJNG is ongoing.

At entry of "University Gardens" neighborhood where Menchito was captured
source:Union Jalisco-Universal-FB

The Autodefensas of Tierra Caliente and the Example of Cherán

A Member of the citizens’ council of the self-defense groups surrounding Apatzingán, Michoacán, January 2014.   
Photo By: Heriberto Paredes
By: Romeo LopCam

January 26, 2014- Given the voices who see the emergence and spreading of the armed Self-Defense Movement against organized crime and the government inaction against those in Michoacán, as a worsening of the problem of violence in the state, I would like to compare a series of arguments pointing in the opposite direction.

Everything indicates that the Self-Defense Groups or comunitarios (as they like to call themselves) of Tierra Caliente emerged on February 24, 2013, in an almost simultaneous movement carried out in two villages.  This is how it’s been stated in various interviews by two of the most famous people in the movement; Hipólito Mora of La Ruana and Dr. Juan José Mireles Valverde of Tepalcatepec.
As the latter has said, in a way, they took the example of the people of the P'urhépecha Plateau, particularly of Cherán, where the popular organization managed to expel not only drug traffickers, but also illegal loggers and political parties, who they say just divided the people.

Being a town where the indigenous people are the majority, Cherán is governed by a system of practices and customs (self-governance), therefore the city hall was replaced in 2011by a council of 12 members elected by an assembly and its Community Police has full legal recognition.  Today, although they are still harassed by criminal groups, the inhabitants of Cherán are living in one of the safest places in Michoacán.

If you would like to learn more about Cherán and how they operate watch the video below about the Guarda Bosques (Forest Keepers)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tamaulipas: 4 Tons of Marijuana Discovered in a Camargo Warehouse

Borderland Beat

Almost made it to Texas-Click on map to enlarge

Military elements confiscated more than four tons of marijuana found  inside a building in the town of Camargo, Tamaulipas.
The operation was executed using the coordination of federal and state forces, state authorities announced in a statement.
A spokesman reported, that staff from the Eighth Military Zone arrived at the property, located in Colonia Cuauhtemoc border town of Camargo, after a citizen tip warned of suspicious practices at the location.
The military elements managed to secure a total of 749 packages wrapped with plastic tape.
Thank you Tyrone!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Self-Defense Groups Advance towards Yurécuaro & Los Reyes

Self-Defense Movement Advances towards Yurécuaro

January 28, 2014—In the community of Yurécuaro, Michoacán, hundreds of people rose up in arms this Tuesday morning; they said that they were fed up with the injustices carried out against the citizens from organized crime.

It was approximately around 10:00 hours when the movement arose on the streets of the center of the town, which is also the county seat, where most of the economic activity is concentrated in.

Nearby communities have also taken up in arms: El Sabino, Santa Cecilia, Rancho Las Palomas, La Joya and San Antonio.  It is expected that during the next few hours, other villages and towns will hopefully join.

Yurécuaro lies between the boundaries of Michoacán and Jalisco.  It is in this area where multiple violent acts have been carried out such as kidnappings, the burning of vehicles, extortions, and various executions.  For these reasons it is seen as a red flag for security experts, who have not addressed these acts and now its inhabitants, have decided to rise up in arms in order to defend themselves.

Estanislao Beltrán “Papa Smurf”
Yesterday a leader of the Self-Defense Groups, Estanislao Beltrán, stated that they will not stop advancing and declared “We are going for the 113 municipalities of Michoacán because there is a problem in all of them.  It is clear that there are bigger problems in the Tierra Caliente region.”

Self-Defense Groups Enter Los Reyes


The municipal president of Paracuaro expresses support for the Cinco5
DD Note;
The citizens self-defense movement is entering a crucial phase.  As it has grown and expanded very rapidly, several strong leaders have emerged.   Overall that is good thing even though there will inevitably be tensions and disagreements between strong leaders.   That is the natural course of things. 

But the risk is there that personality cults can develop.  As their power increases will ambitions and goals increase past the original purpose of defending their families and property?   
The self-defense movement has not been an insurrection against the government, it has been an insurrection against the lack of government.   Could the movement evolve into armed groups trying to seek political change through force?   
I applaud the citizens in other states that have shed their apathy and stood up for themselves, but some of them seem to have  a goal based on political change rather than self-defense. That could spell trouble for the self-defense groups don't maintain that distinction.   
A group in Pueblo recently announced their formation of Common Front For Peaceful Civil Resistance (FCRCP).   According to an article in Proceso, The FCRCP emerged out of protests from past local elections, held in July, in which armed individuals who were favoring the success of Rigoberto David Martínez Rosas, nominated by the PT (Labor Party in Mexico), as mayor of San Gabriel Chilac.

In addition to announcing that they’ll be monitoring the entrances and exits of the municipality, Alfaro also said that they’ll also be preventing the swearing in of Martínez Rosas as mayor on February 14. 

That sounds more like a revolutionary talk than self-defense.  There have been times that I have thought that a revolution might be only way to clean out the corruption that permeates Mexican government at all levels.  But then I think back to the consequences of the last revolution – 1,300,000 Mexicans killed and the creation of a government that evolved into PRI.   No one should want to see that happen again.   As hard as it is for me to put any trust in any agreement the EPN administration enters into with the people, maybe the agreement entered into yesterday with the self-defense movement can accomplish some good.  

Video: Interviews and footage of Tuta, Hipolito and Citizens

Borderland Beat forum BB reader from the UK "Spoo" found this well done video. 
Since I was a little boy I have always been ultraistic ....La Tuta"

Video with new footage and interviews with autodefensas leader Hipolito Mora, La Tuta
and the mother of one of the autodefensas killed when the army open fired on citizens

Video click on for full size...
Screenshots from the video:

La Tuta
Hipolito Mora below
Source:channel 4  (UK) 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Self-Defense Groups Will Become Institutionalized

Agreement for the Federal Security Assistance of Michoacán
January 27, 2014—The Self-Defense Groups that emerged in Michoacán signed an agreement today along with the federal and state government that will transform them into elements of the Rural Defense Corps, an existing organization under the control of the military.  Rurales, groups of armed volunteers who were once used to keep peace in rural areas when security forces were unavailable, once existed between 1861 and 1914, during Mexico’s turbulent 19th century. 
Group of Rurarles in 1922

The signing achieved under the Agreement for the Federal Security Assistance of Michoacán (Acuerdo para el Apoyo Federal a la Seguridad de Michoacán), states that the government of the Republic and the state of Michoacán came to a “conviction of rebuilding peace and public order”.  The Self-Defense Groups also agreed to provide a list of all of its members.
Alfredo Castillo Cervantes
Alfredo Castillo Cervantes, commissioner for the security and integral development of Michoacán, said that the agreement, although it’s a first step, is critical in fulfilling the security strategy in the state.

Apart from Castillo Cervantes, Michoacán’s Governor Fausto Vallejo Figueroa and along with representatives from communities such as Churumuco de Morelos, Nueva Italia de Ruíz, La Huacana, Parácuaro, Tancítaro, Cualcomán de Vázquez Pallares, Aquila and Coahuayana de Hidalgo were present.
María Elena Morera de Galindo
Also, the signing was witnessed by the president of Causa en Común (Common Cause) María Elena Morera de Galindo and the General Commissioner of the Federal Police, Enrique Galindo Ceballos.

Enrique Galindo Ceballos
Here are the eight points of the agreement reached between the governments and the Self-Defense Groups:

A Minister's Story: I Was a Templario for Two Hours

By: Rafael Camacho 
Pedro Preciado is a big man, standing in at 1.90 meters and weighing 120 kilos leaves no doubt about it; his speech is slow and soft.  He has a voice that lulls, one that transmits peace.  Pedro is a Christian pastor in the ministry of the Free Methodist Church that serves the area of Tepalcatepec and parts of Coalcomán, both municipalities of the Mexican state of Michoacán.

Pedro and his family were kidnapped by the Knights Templar cartel twice in the same day. This is his detailed story, which sounds like a horror movie.

Source: Subversiones

El Tío Apprehended: Caballeros Templarios Leader 2nd in Command

Borderland Beat also  posted on BB Forum by Itzli
EL Tío was found hiding in the closet-a 16 year old child was with him
Executive secretary of the National Public Security System, Monte Alejandro Rubido, confirmed the arrest of Dionisio Loya Plancarte....
Dionisio Loya Plancarte was captured at a safe house in Morelia by the Army and the PGR , Federal Government officials have confirmed   He was found hiding in a closet and was taken without a single shot being fired. 
Dionisio Loya Plancarte, alias “El Tío”, is one of the premier leaders of Caballeros Templarios.
Loya Plancarte, for whom the PGR offered a reward of 30 million pesos, was arrested at dawn, federal government officials confirmed.
The detainee was taken to the premises of the Deputy Attorney Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime in Guerrero awaiting transfer to Mexico City..
Dionisio Loya Plancarte,  is  considered the second in command of the cartel, and  is accused, along with Servando Gómez Martínez,  La Tuta , for the execution of 12 officers of the Federal Police in July 2009.

click on any image to enlarge
El Tío, was thought dead, until last May when he reappeared in a video challenging  autodefensa leader, Hipolito Mora, to a death match.
After the challenge, Mora responded by saying, "I find El Tio funny".  
The following is a transcription of the interview conducted by Luis Cardenas of MVS Radio :

The situation in Michoacán is really dangerous, it´s a situation where violence is very real, it´s a situation where organized crime has arrived at different places in Michoacán and simply taken absolute control, they don´t allow the entrance to food trucks, they don´t allow social workers, they don´t allow the vaccination programs, they have isolated the population, they don´t let them in or out or do anything. Some days ago a video emerged in YouTube, in that video “El Tio” from the Knights Templars threatened Hipolito Mora, leader of the Communitarian Police in La Ruana, in the video “El Tio” tells Hipolito “We either have a dialogue or we have a death match”

I want to thank Hipolito Mora, leader of the self-defense group in La Ruana for answering this call.

LC: Mr. Hipolito, good evening, how are you?

HM: Fine Sir, how are you?

LC: Fine, tell us, have you seen the video? Have you heard what “El Tio” from Knights Templar told you?

HM: Yes I have

LC: What do you think about it?

HM: Well, I have no problems with him! Ha hasn´t offended me, he has not hurt me, I have no anger towards him. I think I don´t have to dialogue with him because I don´t know him and I have never done business with him. I don´t have to duel with him because I have no problems with him. If he´s got problems with me, well I don´t know.

LC: It appears El Tio has problems with you…

HM: Well, yes he does but I don´t. If he wants to have a shootout with me, then maybe he has his reasons, but I don´t, that´s why I announce publicly I´m not going to accept his invitation because I don´t have problems with him.

I only set free my town and my people from them, they had them scared, they killed people whenever they wanted, they arrived at midnight scaring people without caring for the wives and children suffering, they just took them and killed them and we never knew about them anymore.

LC: How was La Ruana before you arrived with the self-defense groups? What did the Knights Templar did to you?

HM: The charged taxes on everything, they forced people to close their businesses anytime they wanted because they were going to sell in the only garden we have, they came to sell beer, wine and everything. They had the lemon controlled, the owners of the packing factories had to pay them a tax as they call it, the owners of the packing factories could not choose who they hired or from who they bought lemon, they were the ones taking the decisions.

The worst is they told them who to buy from, someone from them arrived with three thousand boxes and they bought it right away, some poor farmer arrived with twenty and they had to tell them they were full, they had no space for them but at the same moment they were buying two thousand boxes from them (Knights Templar) and they had us fucked.

LC: How much did they tax those who could even pay?

HM: About 1.5 pesos for kilo to all those who could even deliver lemon, besides that every truck had to pay 500 pesos to them; it was a lot of things they did to us. That´s the problem “El Tio” has with me.

To read the full interview posted by Tijuano, please use the blue hyperlink above.

According to the federal government the organizational structure of Caballeros Templarios is:

Primer tier: Servando Gómez Martínez, alias "La Tuta" o "El Profe"; Dionisio Loya Plancarte, "El Tío", and  Enrique Plancarte Solís, "La Chiva" o "Kike".

Second tier: Ignacio Rentería Andrade, "El Nacho" o "El Cenizo"; Samer José Servín Juárez, and Pablo Magaña Serrato, "La Morsa".

Note:  The government officially deems El Chayo..Nazario Moreno Gonzalez as deceased.
 source: Milenio, proceso and la voz michoacan