Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

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.

Under the moniker the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), these same paramilitary groups became the state's proxy army, committed massive human rights abuses and became the hemisphere's most powerful drug trafficking operation.

Time has helped judicial authorities render judgment on both the paramilitaries who committed some of these atrocities and the policies that helped create their deadly structures in the first place. In the recent decision to condemn imprisoned paramilitary leader Ever Veloza Garcia, alias "HH," a Bogota court said the Convivir policy had allowed: "the paramilitary groups to consolidate and expand their criminal networks and their ties with economic, political and state actors."

Considering this history, it is interesting that Colombia has provided Mexico with training and high-level consultants, including the former head of Colombia's vaunted police, Oscar Naranjo, who returned to help the Colombian government negotiate a peace deal with the country's rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

There is little indication that Colombia has passed on the paramilitary "secret" to the Mexicans. In fact, Naranjo knows better than most the damage they can cause long-term. After the AUC demobilized and signed their own peace deal with the government, dozens of smaller paramilitary groups emerged. The government called them Bandas Criminales (Criminal Bands), or BACRIM, in order to camouflage their origin.

The BACRIM have since dragged the country through another brutal phase of war in which the group that emerged as the most powerful, the Urabeños, has its roots in the original paramilitary group, the AUC.

The experiences of these other Latin American countries serve as a cautionary tale, and should be not be taken lightly by Mexican lawmakers as they move forward with formalizing the Michoacan vigilantes.


  1. Ni modo, que le vamos a ser. La revoluccion se va asercando para eliminar la bola de ratas y corruptos. Si te queda el zapato, pontelo. Vivan los ADs.

  2. giniral naranjas...told you!!!
    anyway,the problems on michoacan were caused way before pena nieto arrived with naranjas,the zetas have been murdering and abusing the people for about 13 years, the ct with the familia michoacana, abuses for about the same time, and the mexico city has been murdering robbing and kidnapping regular citizens for more than 40 years,with the help of military elements from different army specialties, from the military medical school to the olympic pentathlon and military college, lastly the gafes and ex-marines that have come to support and take over whole drug trafficking cartels. THE AUTO DEFENSAS AND THE COMUNITARY POLICE still are not the problem, the problem are the criminals and the shameless government officers that cover up and support their criminal activities for kickbacks.
    do not confuse the issues here,naranjas does what he does, but if he in fact helped the AD/CP, it may be the best thing he has done in all his life.
    AD/CP : ni un paso atras...death to the criminals and power to the people.

  3. Lmfao! Naranjo gave them guns? Hahaha sorry that cracks me up. I have autodefensa family and they told me how they got the first weapons, sorry i love BB but youre so wrong on that theory!

    1. really lucky all the .chicks must.think your hot only cause you know.papa pitufin I so hate you right now

  4. Chivis is it true they killed el sinaloa...whats goin over looks like there cleaning house

  5. In the context of things, the laws in Mexico are irrelevant. The cartels don't obey the laws, and neither should the ADs until they are applied equally. New laws need to be created were firearms are legal for the law abiding, and legalization of some arms under certain licensing -- again: only to the law abiding. Anybody, as has the history of the world has shown, that wants to govern an unarmed populace whishes to do so for holding absolute power, ulterior motives, and complete control.

  6. Excellent article. I keep fearing the same is going to eventually happen with the mexican autodefensas once corruption and greed infects the ranks.

  7. Thats not true the first self defense group started in michoacan in 2011 cheran michoacan in the town check it out people .

  8. Michoacanos are different than colomnians ok they just want to live in peace ok they will be more than willing to go back home and stop fightting but they the enemy is on the next town so the have to keep fightting
    Until cts organization is exterminated.

  9. This is nuts, apples to oranges.
    This report is missing some huge facts, although it does concede there is no connection to Mexican "vigilantes", not to mentions these are not vigilantes.

    How many of the Colombian , Peru etc groups were indigenous groups, with constitutional rights to autonomous government and policing?

    And since Mexican indigenous groups have become autonomous governments for 150 years, and at great success, I wonder how any reasonable person can draw a comparative between Colombia and Mexico?

    Insight is hit or miss-but in the case, someone sure did not do his homework on Mexico.

  10. This is so flawed! Why would anyone post this pot of crap?
    STUDY_RESEARCH_LEARN the substantial differences. One has nothing, NOTHING to do with the other.

    1. This shit thats going on in mexico is a good thing.the government always says violence is not the answer. If the people start treating the cops and the politicians the same as the cartel and kick them out of town.that would help.this is nothing like those other mexico the government helps the cartels
      Fuck the people. So why make deals with them.we need another pan president who will do like Calderon.

    2. Behind all of this is the 'hand of el chapo' just like the hand of God we saw w/ Maradona. EPN is in cohoots w/ Naranjo, who is in cohoots w/ Chapo, who in turn is supplying autodefensas w/ arms/money/soldiers.

    3. Fuck the PANochas and that Borrachin Calderon they were no better than the PRI themselves, they were equally as corrupt...

  11. Steven Dudley's "analysis" is very superficial and flawed. The Michoacan autodefensas have very little similarity with the paramilitary groups that Dudley compares them with. The Pena Nieto government has signed an accord with the ADs to try to control a situation that is rapidly getting out of control. The Mexican government is not asking the ADs to join it in its efforts to fight organized crime. Rather, EPN is trying to make sure the AD movement doesn't spread throughout Mexico.

    For Dudley's comparison to be even a little applicable, the ADs would have been armed by the military, would have acted as an extension of the government and military to commit extrajudicial executions and would operate in the dark. Instead, one of the most notable aspects of the Michoacan AD movement is its transparency; the whole world knows who they are, what they want and what they are doing. Very different from the paramilitary in the countries that Dudley picks as examples.

    I hate to say it, but with the ADs entering into an agreement with the government, the risk is that they will be defeated by corruption, not by the Templarios. Sad.

    1. Its to late to stop this.people seen it work.there aren't enough soldiers to go every where.the cartels are hated. There's thousands of people just waiting to join up in self defence.

  12. after rudy guiulianni left his job as mayor of ny city, he worked as a security consultant with the mexico city police, hired by the top guns of the government, i am still curious about his performance, is the country lucky for not having there the jihadistas, the taliban or al qaeda screwing it up?
    or is mexico awash in corrupt and corrupting arab elements working in more subtle ways to screw up not just mexico, but the whole continent?
    are those arabs even working for themselves?
    maybe the richest man in the world has something to say about the whole rigmarole, if someone wants to ask carlos slime helu, i'd love to hear his answers if you can catch up with him...

  13. vigilante issue? I thought CT was the issue.

  14. Bla bla bla WHAT A CROCK here we go again, let's make it look like the auto defensas are the issue, and not a reaction to a fucked up situation that isn't so complicated to explain. That's two dumb ass articles posted by my count, sounding as though the intent of the article is to instill doubt and such; no se hagan pendejos BB, I'm sure there's other shit out there more post-worthy. Bunch of retards who can't speak Spanish trying to discuss and dissect issues they've never had to deal with first hand. THE ISSUE IS CORRUPTION AND CARTELS GO HAND IN HAND, no more complicated than that. Dumbass article.

  15. The Issue?
    The 'issue' varies depending upon the perspective of the viewer. Not their intelligence.

    The 'solution' also varies depending upon what one sees as the 'issue'.

    The CT are the insurgents, the DA are the revolutionaries, that are not revolutionary, but property owners and businessmen. Farmers, ranchers and what in the US is called the 'Middle Class'.

    Doctor Mireles, Mora, and Papa Smurf Beltran are many things, but indigenous peoples are not one of them. What they are looking for, seems evident from what they have said...

    The rule of law AND someone to 'vet' the next generation of the members of the AD.

    The only idiots are those that do not look beyond their own projections.

    Oh andthe use of local militias, as defenders against the insurgents, that was tried in El Salvador, in the early 1980's.

    In Peru, the majority of los Ronderos were about as indigenous as people get.

    1. Hello mr hawkins. It makes total sense as you mention in the articles. But here is the issue , I see. Corruption at all levels of government!! Quick equation for you. Poverty +abuse = angry folks. Corruption+cartels= civil disobedience. Civil disobedience ×years of corruption= fucken civil war.

  16. I read this piece on Insight when it first came out, earlier in the week. It's WAY off base.

    Many of the posts above note the errors in comparing the autodefensas to paramilitaries in Colombia, etc, especially, 10:36 and 9:34.

    I would just also add the US angle to the autodefensas. Many of the leaders (Dr. Mireles, Papa Smurf, La Bonita, El Americano), came down from the US, returning to fight for their country. And the autodefensas are getting a lot of support from hard working Mexican and Michoacanos in the US.

    The Insight article is really an uninformed slur on the autodefensas who are changing Mexico's future. These ivory-tower analysts, sitting at a desk a thousand miles away, are always looking for the easiest explanation for things.

  17. I think the ANARCHY (look it up, it may mean something you are not aware of) of the peoples uprising is what is bringing results. the gain confidence exactly because they are not part of the government. once sanctioned they will become the beast... they have no choice. now they are disrupting things and ignoring the government's rules. that gives them strength. the fact that the uprising is barely organized, follows social norms, not government rules, has guns, and a will to provide their own safety has worked so far. intelligent people continue doing what works and not what doesn't. the government doesn't know how to handle any situation except to ultimately use force. given enough time, and it has happened quickly enough, the force of the comunitarios will be able to stalemate the goverment into concessions. IMHO.

  18. Anybody hear El Tio is only being charged with gun posession. He will be out in a year or two. Why the fuck would he have such a reward for him tgem?SMH.

  19. The EPR, the leftist army fighting without any success in Guerrero for nearly 20 years, agrees with Insight: the autodefensas in Michoacán are paramilitaries!

    I say they're jealous the autodefensas in Michoacán have achieved more in six months than the EPR has in 20 years.

  20. @4:31 whattacrock of issue,BB is reporting what is happening, it doesn't exactly qualify anybody as anything, la puta tuta and the government are accusing the AD of causing the problems, the government and its envoys are trying to fix the AD by spreading them around and sending them away from their hometowns,all smoke and mirror, to save their cabelleras kagadas and their corrupt associates running the government that covers up the criminal activity,did you crockpot of popo see how many people saw the prior article and today's, stating their views and disagreement with the government agreements,also the rumors about giniral naranjas involvement, which has caused a lot of resentment between the ruling pri party and their former associates,crooks and local governments.if you don't like what the management and administrators do,what are you doing here, looking for some more suffering? are you looking to be disciplined?

    1. @304 apples and oranges sir. Apples and oranges. You can't compare Mexican ADs with shit from other countries as they have entirely different circumstances surrounding them. If I like or don't like what I read, what is that to you? Done with you son. You're not the only one with an opinion or the ability to read.

  21. So why don't you post my message about the EPN guerillas in Guerrero coming out against the autodefensas in Michoacán? Apparently they think that the gov't wants to convert these guys to paramilitaries to go after political insurgents in Guerrero as well. My question is, did they never support them, or is it only after their signing a pact with the government that they decide they are opposed to the autodefensas? I even included the link to the Proceso article. You let any moron post whatever crap occurs to them but I guess these questions aren't worth talking about??? Very disappointed.

  22. It's different. In Colombia he used Cali Cartel sicarios(Los Pepe's) to go after Pablo. So basically, it was Cartel pitted against Cartel sponsored by the corrupt govt; it wasn't a citizen uprising to push out Cartels.

  23. There have also been rumors/accusations (with no proof ) that the Government was involved in the formation and arming of the self-defense groups. - End of quote

    There's absolutely nothing wrong at all with the government forming and arming the self defense forces.
    In fact, if the Mexican government really has the interests of Mexicans at heart, the idea of such self defense forces should have come from them, long ago.
    As it is, one can see from the pictures in this article that the self defense forces are armed with very primitive weapons compared with the state-of-the-art ones used by the drug cartels.
    But even with such primitive weapons, the heroic people of Mexico are still willing to do battle with these cartels.
    That speaks volumes about the complete ineffectiveness of the Mexican government.
    It's a bloody disgrace!!!!!

  24. 5:09 an expert in subversion do not handle the dirty little details,he just opens the door, the cabelleras kagadas did not have enough weapons to supply the autodefensas even if they voluntarily delivered them. also it does not matter where the AD weapons came from,not to me,and not to them either, as long as the movement keeps up until the AD finish the job as best as possible, what can't be denied is naranjas fingerprints are all over the operations, and it is because of something, he is gone from pena nieto, anybody's guess...

  25. 4:29 oscar naranjo,"giniral" naranjas, was epn's apple of his eyes.
    nobody compares the AD with the pepes, a paramilitary organization absolutely funded by pablo escobar's rival drug traffickers that just wanted to steal his business, acted secretively and had the support of te colombian government; the michoacan autodefensas on the other hand get what they can on their own,do not act at night,do not get much support from the corrupt government owned by the criminals, and do not wear masks to carry on with terrorist operations against anybody, post to your heart's content, no problem,just trying to debunk and find a bigger truth, naranjas is still gone and until better info comes up, we will be wondering why...sir.

  26. Colombia and Mexico are different scenarios.Los Pepes were financed by The Cali cartel they recieved Intel by the Colombian forces and USA Delta Force Spec ops.The Auto Defense recieve arms and money from CJNG and federal government looks the other way. EL Chapo will eventually take over Jalisco and Michiocan

  27. 5:25 chivis recommends to post the times you are answering to, don't hate because the chicks do not like haters, on top of being wrong, that does nothing for your case, you may need an overhaul from top to bottom, so start by painting your toenails a very bright red, and show them! it helps, ask the chick you love the most, but you will need to show your toenails, i am wondering who she may be, are we in love with the same most beautiful woman in the world? i wouldn't blame you, i amthisclose to hating her too for i love her that much, but i will not, ever, that is my choice...


Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;