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Sunday, June 27, 2021

Avocado and Blackberry Producers in Michoacán Form Self-Defense Group in Four Municipalities

"Parro" for Borderland Beat

Pueblos Unidos members said they have been forced into protecting their farmland from organized crime because of authorities' inaction.
Fed up with being besieged by criminal organizations, avocado and blackberry producers in Michoacán formed their own armed group that is successfully keeping cartel members out of four municipalities.

Some 3,000 farmers and farmhands from Salvador Escalante, Ario de Rosales, Nuevo Urecho and Taretán have taken up arms over the past eight months to defend themselves and their land from attacks by criminal organizations. A spate of kidnappings in the area and frequent demands for extortion money motivated them to act.

Now, according to a report by the newspaper Milenio, an armed private security force — “a parallel authority” — operates in the four neighboring municipalities, located approximately 100 kilometers southwest of Morelia.

“With high-powered weapons, they have shut off access to their communities for drug traffickers and hitmen, choosing who comes in and who doesn’t,” the report said. Although the armed group — called Pueblos Unidos, or United Towns — has similarities to self-defense groups that have emerged in Michoacán and some other parts of Mexico in recent years, its members reject the autodefensas tag.

“We want to be very emphatic: we’re not autodefensas; we’re not a criminal group. Here in our lives, the only things we knew how to use were machetes. … Recently there has been the need to purchase some weapons, even though we’re afraid of not knowing how to use them correctly,” one of the men told Milenio.

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and Los Viagras posed the main threat as both criminal groups have sought to establish themselves in the region in recent years and have engaged in a turf war with each other.

But with their 54 roadblocks across all four municipalities the avocado and blackberry producers have kept the criminal groups out. One roadblock on the road to La Huacana, a municipality controlled by the CJNG that neighbors Ario and Nuevo Urecho to the south, is manned night and day by up to 150 heavily armed men.

A spate of kidnappings prompted the group’s formation. One of the latest is of member Raúl Medrano, who disappeared June 6. The group blames the other man on the sign for the alleged kidnapping.

Among the Pueblos Unidos members are men who have been hired by avocado producers to bolster the ranks of the fledgling security force.

“It’s cheaper to buy a rifle than to pay extortion,” one member said, referring to payments demanded of avocado producers by criminal groups, including Los Viagaras, whose members were reportedly asking for a 50,000-peso (about US $2,500) per hectare “protection” fee.

In the eight months that it has been protecting the four Michoacán municipalities, the Pueblos Unidos group has achieved good results, members say. It has driven criminals out of the area, and homicides, kidnappings and extortion have all declined.

One commander of the armed group told Milenio that there is no longer any trace of Los Viagras in Los Ates, a community in Ario.

“We had to follow them [the criminals] wherever they were. We combed the hills, walking — something that the government hasn’t done. We came together in groups of 20 to 60 to comb the hills, and we frightened them away,” he said.

The commander said that he and the other members of Pueblos Unidos don’t want to live “on the margin of the law” but have no choice due to authorities’ inaction.

If municipal, state and federal forces were able to guarantee their security, the farmers would return to full-time work on their land, he said. If the authorities don’t do that, he said, the avocado and blackberry producers should be allowed to set up their own government in the region and be given permission to legally bear arms, as has occurred in some other parts of Michoacán.

“They should give us permission to defend ourselves,” the commander said. “We also don’t want to be disarmed, and we want to be respected. … They should do the work we’re doing, and maybe we’ll withdraw.” President López Obrador on Friday made his views clear about the formation of the armed group.

“My opinion is that … autodefensas shouldn’t exist, because the responsibility for security corresponds to the state. I’m not in favor of people arming themselves and forming groups to confront crime because that doesn’t yield results,” he said at his regular news conference.

The president also said that self-defense groups are used to hide or shelter criminals. He said “they disguise themselves as people fed up with violence.” He called on Pueblo Unidos to trust authorities, including official security forces, claiming that they no longer collude with criminals, as occurred during past governments.

Pueblos Unidos rejects the term ‘self-defense group’ because such organizations have earned a reputation in Mexico for being populated by criminals.
However, the federal government, which officially inaugurated a new security force — the National Guard — in 2019, was unable to reduce Mexico’s high levels of violent crime in its first two years in office, with homicide numbers reaching an all-time high of more than 34,000 in 2019 and decreasing just 0.4% last year.

López Obrador asserted Friday that his administration is now making progress in the fight against violence, a claim supported to some extent by data that shows that homicides fell 2.9% in the first five months of 2021.

“We’re advancing little by little but we’re making progress,” he said before acknowledging that the security situation had “broken down a lot.”

Sources: Milenio; MND

31 comments:

  1. Oh booboo..mexican government is not liking this news when poor people trying to arm themselves against criminals. AMLO will act accordingly by send 10000 soldiers to crush this units and pave ways for the cartels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now you know why Mexico ranks #1 in curuption and homicides.

      Delete
  2. Good for them fighting back, and I thought Biden said some funny things AMLO takes the cake guys always spewing out nonsense about how safe everything is and how not corrupt the government is,

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's interesting that the president is in disagreements with the notion of civilians arming themselves for protection. When neither the state nor government forces help with this problematic issue.
    IMO people can't trust the protection entitled to its citizens by state/ federal government. A sign of a failed state. Rather the county.
    The killings continue & no end in site for calm and tranquility.
    My partner's family has an avocado farm which he leases out while in the states. Much safer this way.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amlo can go to hell!! The audacity to say they should trust the government when the government hasn't/isn't doing shit!!!!

    ✌️LMV saludos cochos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Im sure one of the previous oligarchs in office would have done a much better job…not

      Delete
  5. That is what Mexico needs, to chase the criminals to the sea! Then let them drown like the rats they are!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 12:03 if that were to happen, the Curupt government of obrador, would not get any bribe/blood money coming in. So in other words they will let the cartels flourish.

      Delete
  6. https://twitter.com/elcacasamlo2/status/1409166431468634115?s=20

    ReplyDelete
  7. From whom do they procure arms ? The guy who sells arms illegally may belong to some gang for sure. And how come self defence group emerge mostly from Michoacan ? Either these groups will slowly become cartel in future or they are supported by some other cartel to drive rivals away. Anyway, arming citizens is must for a country that is corrupted at most levels.

    Kathi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They mostly emerge from Michoacan, because other states are afraid to start up a defense group.

      Delete
  8. I take my hat off to these men, protecting what they work hard for, while the criminals just wanna take. Keep it up and all the best to them for the future.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Reminds me of stories I used to read here about Dr. Morelos. I do agree that if the Gov't can't/won't protect you then honor those who take a stand and give them legal rights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mireles was a Freemason so was Lazaro Cardenas and Profirio Diaz the guy QUESO has for his avatar.

      That Freemasonry shit shows you how corrupt these guys in politics, music, sports, film, etc around the world really are. They promote philanthropy but low key on some evil shit. Anyone deeply involved in this knows what they’re really into and what they practice

      Delete
    2. Long live the Good Doctor !

      Delete
  10. The Viagras de el Camaleon trying to pass off as a self defense group. They got chased out of Ario de Rosales by the Templarios. Just a precationary measure when Carteles Unidos dissolve.

    ReplyDelete
  11. So many self-defense groups start out as self-defense groups and end up joining the cartels. It’s happen time after time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes because most get infiltrated.

      Delete
  12. The greatest Narco alive today is known as "Rodriquez." He is one of the most powerful men on the planet. His real name is totally unknown. He is like a ghost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight

      Delete
    2. Greatest narco is Amlo, disarm citizens sounds like a commie country

      Delete
    3. @2:47 lmfao

      Delete
  13. Pueblos Unidos is not a legitimate movement they're colluded with c.u.
    The people from tancitaro and san juan.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice place. Good weather. Ario de Rosales is where Marco Antonio Solis is from. I met his Padrino there. Nice people. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Where do they get the guns from?

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  16. 9:48 they prolly used to be viagras, posing now as Pueblos Unidos because new governor is about to start governing, and he is MORENA party, aurioles is about to go a chingar a su madre with the viagras leadership.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I know a friend of a friend that works for one of the main avocado distributors in Southern California is supplying them with guns and money to protect their interests down south.. but you didn’t hear that from me

    ReplyDelete

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