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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, November 15, 2021

Hundreds Of Pueblos Unidos Gather To Fight CJNG In Ziracuaretiro, Michoacan

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat 

The self-titled “community guard” group which is known as “Pueblos Unidos de Michoacán” has advanced a caravan of armed men in pickup trucks into Ziracuaretiro, Michoacan, in order to combat members of organized crime. Through messages on social networks, Pueblos Unidos justified the need for their organization by stating that they only take up arms in order to defend themselves from the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG). 

Beginning on November 10, 2021, a convoy of 50 pickup trucks carrying armed Pueblos Unidos men drove in the municipality Ziracuaretiro, which is centrally located within the state of Michoacan. Ziracuaretiro lies just outside of Uruapan, which is the second largest city in the state. The convoy specifically made way for the town of San Andres Corú, which is in the north western side of the municipality. 

The members of Pueblos Unidos were seen carrying AK-47 style rifles, AR-15 style rifles and pistols of all calibers. The influx of men continued over the next few days, into November 13, 2021, as men traveled through the highways and country roads of the region. 

The total number of Pueblos Unidos men gathered in the area varied by publication, some estimated them at “more than a hundred” (La Jornada) to “at least 300 men” (Infobae, Excelsior). The men gathered at one point for a group meeting in what looks like an amphitheater

The newspaper La Jornada writes that Pueblos Unidos’ aim with this movement is “combating organized crime that has been dedicated to extorting, kidnapping and even robbing producers of the so-called ‘green gold’ of their orchards.” The green gold referred to in this instance speaks of the profitable avocado agriculture in the area. 

La Jornada adds that this move was also made in response to the the CJNG contesting and gaining ground in “Ario de Rosales, Patzcuaro, Nuevo Urecho, Salvador Escalante, Taretan, Múgica and Uruapan.” 

Based on mapping out these municipalities mentioned, it would appear the CJNG is making a push from south going north and Pueblos Unidos’ aim is to hold Ziracuaretiro as a northern front, preventing their expansion further north. Meanwhile, publication Excelsior writes that Pueblos Unidos’ aim by entering Ziracuaretiro is more simply to extend “its influence in municipalities in central Michoacán.”

According to the commanders of Pueblos Unidos, they intend to arm all the neighboring municipalities of Ziracuaretiro, where avocados are produced and where avocado growers suffer extortion. Pueblos Unidos claims that the CJNG is the ones that extort avocado growers in the region - demanding monthly quotas of between 5,000 and 10,000 pesos ($243-487 USD) per month. They also assert that the CJNG kidnaps, murders and forces avocado growers off of their land.

Excelsior writes that unofficial data indicate that more than a hundred families have been forced off of their orchards in the nearby municipalities of Uruapan and Tancítaro.

Carlos Torres Piña

Carlos Torres Piña, who represents the state of Michoacan in Congress, stated that armed self defense groups will not be allowed to take justice into their own hands or continue to expand their dominion. He added that there have been citizens who have testified about abuses by these self defense groups, who they say block roads and commit a series of irregularities under the justification of fighting criminals. The state of Michoacan has a long and storied history of being plagued by criminal organizations that masquerade as “self defense” groups. 

For a more detailed history of false “self defense” groups in Michoacan, please read the article The Security Strategy in Michoacán, published by Nexos and written by Eduardo Guerrero, a partner at Lantia Intelligence.

Pueblos Unidos

Pueblos Unidos first announced itself as a so-called “self defense entity” on August 6, 2020. Just recently on July 22, 2021, members of Pueblos Unidos were interviewed in Patzcuaro, Michoacan as part of a program by Ciro Gómez Leyva, with the interview translated by Sol in this previous story. In the interview, the armed men say they have arrested three alleged crystal meth dealers but the local government refused to detain the alleged drug dealers when the men presented them to law enforcement.

The interviewer told them that “The Michoacán Prosecutor's Office informed us that he couldn’t receive these 3 individuals because the amount of drugs that they seized was too much.” The Pueblos Unidos men are not shown providing a response to this.

CJNG In This Region

Of all the CJNG subgroups which are present in the state, the group the closest to Ziracuaretiro is Cártel Zicuirán Nueva Generación (or the CZNG).

In May 2020, Cártel Zicuirán announced via video their new alliance (or franchisement) with the CJNG. During this video they announced they had renamed themselves to the Cártel Zicuirán Nueva Generación (CZNG). Cártel Zicuirán had previously been acknowledged as an organization in relation to the extortion of avocado producers by the State Attorney General’s office in 2019.  

A International Crisis Group analyst Falko Ernest theorized that this announcement video was ruse and actually a Carteles Unidos ploy to “heat up the plaza”, with the intention of triggering a government response in the area that would benefit them. This may mean the true name of the CJNG group operating in the area is still Cártel Zicuirán and CZNG moniker is irrelevant. 

Regardless of the organization’s true name, the group is thought to be led by Miguel Ángel Gallegos Godoy, alias “El Migueladas” or “El Señor de Zicuirán”. In 2015, Migueladas was considered the main exporter of meth in the Zicuirán region, municipalities of La Huacana. Migueladas is currently believed to be leading a CJNG-aligned group who operate in the larger La Huacana area. His group was accused of being behind the detention of 14 members of the Army in 2019.

In 2019, El Universal wrote of Migueladas: “The most recent intelligence work indicates that seven local deputies answer to Migueladas, that he has the mayors of several municipalities in his pocket, and that his people are in the state attorney general's office as well as in the Public Security Secretariat.” For more information on El Migueladas, please see this previous article

Sources: Official Post From Pueblos Unidos, La Jornada, Excelsior, Quadratin, 24-Horas, Infobae

Background Sources: Business Insider Mexico, Associated Press 

Further Reading:

July 22 2021 Pueblos Unidos Video Translation 

Notable Figures: CJNG in Michoacan


  1. How long before they are carrying golden weapons and extorting/dealing drugs?

  2. If the mexican goverment dont take the chichita away from them, maybe they’ll push back cjng.

  3. Pueblo onidos not afraid to fight cjng.
    I am a new cheerleader 😁.
    I hope PU takes action, not looking ke the other Cartels do Mantas, that they will fight CJNG, but never happens.

  4. Cjng is in michoacan and there's nothing the united cartel can do

    1. I here they. Will kick azz on that ruthless cartel. Cjng should stay in thier own turf, instead of trying to take all of Mexico.

  5. All thats on their minds is fight a little rob a lot they all start we here to protect the citizens and once they see that the cause has no future its let's see what I come up on

  6. I wonder where they got their rifles from?🤔

  7. It looks like a dick parade up in there ! Talk about festival of dicks holy shit ! Hide the Modello or its about to get weird !


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