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

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Federal Forces Leave Chiapas as Self-Defense Groups 'Hunt' For Narcos

"Anonymous" for Borderland Beat

Members of the El Machete self-defense group took control of the municipal government building at midday on Monday.

A recently-formed self-defense group forced state police, soldiers and members of the National Guard to withdraw from a highlands municipality of Chiapas on Monday after the official security forces refused to raid the homes of suspected criminals.

Members of the “El Machete” self-defense force, which formed in Pantelhó earlier this month, demanded that the state and federal security forces raid the homes of people who allegedly belong to a criminal group called Los Herrera, which has been blamed for a recent wave of homicides and is accused of having links to the municipal government.

Citing the absence of warrants, the security forces refused and were consequently run out of town by the self-defense force members.

El Machete proceeded to carry out the raids themselves. Armed with guns as well as other weapons including crowbars and sledgehammers, the self-defense force went house to house searching for Los Herrera hitmen, the newspaper El Universal reported.

They set at least 12 homes as well as cars, motorcycles, a police vehicle and an ambulance on fire and managed to detain 21 suspected members of Los Herrera.

Among the homes targeted was that of Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) Mayor Delia Janeth Velasco Flores and her husband and mayor-elect Raquel Trujillo Morales. However, they were not among those detained. Dozens of Pantelhó residents fled their homes during the rampage and sought refuge in neighboring municipalities.

The autodefensas also took control of the municipal government building, and issued a statement directed to President López Obrador from its balcony.

“We know that you already have knowledge of all of this,” one self-defense force member read from a statement. “If you still want to support us, the indigenous people, … that will be up to you. If you don’t, it’s better that you don’t keep intervening [in Pantelhó],” he said.

Residents who don’t support El Machete called for official security forces to return to the municipality, located about 60 kilometers northeast of San Cristóbal de las Casas. The 21 men detained by the self-defense group appeared in photographs with their hands and feet tied.

The newspaper Reforma reported that they were transported on Tuesday to the community of San José Buenavista Tercero, where many El Machete members are based.

The autodefensas said earlier this month that their aim was to expel gunmen, drug traffickers and other members of organized crime from Pantelhó in order to avoid more deaths of indigenous residents. Thousands of residents from 86 communities in Pantelhó gathered on July 18 to show their support for the group.

The Tzotzil Mayan citizens also declared that they didn’t recognize the legitimacy of the current and incoming municipal governments and would choose new authorities.

El Machete’s seizure of the municipality comes just two weeks after Los Ciriles, a criminal group allegedly linked to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), took control of Pantelhó. Federal and state security forces had regained control but official authorities now find themselves deposed once again.

The PRD has been in power in Pantelhó during the past 20 years, a period during which residents say almost 200 indigenous people have been killed and countless people have been displaced.

A spokesperson for Pantelhó residents said recently that the “narco-council” has been murdering Tzotzil people for the past two decades, forcing locals to take up arms.

Sources: Reforma; El Universal; MND


  1. Lol these "self defense" groups always turn into small criminal groups, I dont believe it no more

    1. Those guys are common criminals burning homes and detaining people with no police experience someone innocent is bound to get killed by these mobs and cops didn't confront them and ran out of town: these with not happen in The US

    2. "Okey dokey"
      What a bellend this guy is.
      Fuckin sad life you got bro,ok chief

    3. 9:10 it seems the ok chief guy got into your head 🤣🤣🤣

    4. These people have been getting treated very badly for long time.
      It's their home. They do not play games!

  2. This is a beautiful story. Good luck to these brave people standing up to evil.

    1. Would be if their intentions were true.
      Many are in collusion with criminal organizations for vested interests.
      Preaching proverbs to those unwilling masses.
      Isn't this how it's been in many states?
      Good people would think 2wice due to insecurity and deaths. Something the Mexican government has failed to do.

    2. "Many are in collusion with criminal organizations for vested interests"
      It doesn't mean these are,these are indigenous and Mexico treats them like shit,then cry about racism in the US lmao

  3. Of course the people will clean up their communities on their own. Those are true blooded mexicans, inhabitants long before foreign anglos arrived to rape the land. They have a lot to lose if they don’t protect their home land. Good luck to them!

    1. Only indios are originol..mexican is a mix of foreign anglo plus for originol my pure mayan friends told men"anglos".built the for Rape the land..didnt the aztecs do that to their neighbors? How many did they sacrifice? Maby look in the mirror first for your hatred.

    2. "inhabitants long before foreign anglos arrived to rape the land"
      Blow it out your arse sad sack,goofy motherfucker talkin bout shit from centuries ago,some serious sad losers on here always hating with their race bollocks

    3. "Those are true blooded mexicans"
      Do you mean like you sittin in the US safe?Like that do you mean?

  4. Wake up ALMo, more autodedensas mean you are not doing your job good enough. You work for the people so clean this shit up and stop crushing on chapos mom. Not nice you gave her the corona.

    1. You did not read the mx constitution, right ???
      But who cares, you do not even know the US constitution.

  5. Machete don't text

  6. What's that guy going to do, Shoot them with his knife?
    The cartel is heavily armed, these guys are walking right to their graves

    1. They got guns too and numbers and the heart & heuvoes!
      They don't play games! Eso!

  7. Chiapanecos don’t play around.

  8. Why would they feel it necessary to burn no less than a dozen houses? Is not without danger too, does easily spread from home to home through entire neighborhoods. But also it's a waste of material and so on and it don't make your community any cozier either. If they have already taken the criminals it of those homes, well, I don't know - maybe they don't really have much faith they will (even) be prosecuted after this momentary capture anyway. Guess that must be it, they are making sure they CAN'T return.


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