HomeNewsBriefAttack Shows Fractures in Mexico's Guerrero Vigilantes
BRIEF

Attack Shows Fractures in Mexico's Guerrero Vigilantes

MEXICO / 20 MAR 2014 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

A dissident faction of a vigilante group in Mexico's Guerrero state has allegedly attacked other community police, in a sign this group, like their Michoacan neighbors, is experiencing major cracks in its leadership.

According to La Cronica de Hoy, a group of civilians headed by former leaders of the community police network known as the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities (CRAC) assaulted and fired on other vigilantes and their detainees at a courthouse in the municipality of San Luis Acatlan on March 18. The attack, in which one person was seriously injured, required the intervention of the Mexican army.

Milenio reports that the assault on the courthouse involved 80 people who were attempting to rescue two men who were taken captive by vigilantes led by CRAC coordinator Eliseo Villar Castillo. The men were detained for their alleged involvement in an attack on Villar Castillo while he was driving toward a nearby municipality on March 16.

Meanwhile, Excelsior reported that up to 300 unarmed people approached the courthouse and were received with gunfire from 30 community police led by Villar Castillo's faction.

The situation follows the emergence of an apparent division within the group, with dissident leaders forming a small regional assembly that accuses Villar Castillo and several others of defrauding the group of some $55,000.

InSight Crime Analysis

This case is further cause for concern as vigilante groups in the neighboring state of Michoacan also appear to be fragmenting. In both cases, these divisions have occurred amid accusations of irregular activity by the groups' leaders. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Mexico Vigilantes

In Michoacan, where the militia groups gained semi-legal recognition in January, these divisions have been quite serious. The attack in Guerrero comes on the heels of the arrest and incarceration of Michoacan vigilante leader Hipolito Mora on murder charges, while rival vigilante leaders in the state have hurled accusations amongst themselves of involvement with the Knights Templar criminal organization. Mora now claims he was betrayed in this ongoing dispute.

The recent attack is one indication the vigilante movement in Guerrero is seeing a similar process of violent fragmentation. The CRAC, which formed nearly two decades ago, has also faced recent pressure from the Mexican government over fears it may be spiraling out of control.

Recent events in Michoacan have made it clear that applying a legal framework to the self-defense initiative does not necessarily solve any problems. The question now is how the government will move forward in both states to prevent these movements from breaking out into criminal activity and taking the law into their own hands. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 12 FEB 2021

US authorities at both the federal and state level provided training to members of a Mexican special operations unit with…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 8 SEP 2021

Mexico remains the main international provider of marijuana for the United States, but this has greatly diminished since 2013, forcing…

MEXICO / 25 APR 2022

The Mexican government's shuttering of a special criminal investigative unit that worked with US anti-drug agents has added new cracks…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…