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Victory or Death...'Compañeros'!

LA FAMILIA MICHOACANA / 20 APR 2011 BY STEVEN DUDLEY EN

In an audio recording attributed to Servando Gomez Martinez, alias "La Tuta," the Familia Michoacana leader pleads with his followers to fight to the death against government invaders and rivals like the Zetas criminal organization. The speech, played during Primer Noticias de Carlos Loret de Mola and covered by El Diario, includes rhetoric more often heard coming from guerrillas in the jungle than urban-based drug dealers, but it is consistent with the Familia's quasi-religious ideology. "Compañeros," Gomez says, evoking a Fidel Castro-like tone, "Pay close attention to your weapons; keep them by your side. Tell all your 'compañeros' not to forget anything -- food or anything else." The Familia is holed up in strongholds in the Michoacan state, and may also possibly be at war with itself. A section, which calls itself the Knights Templar, may have broken from the pack, creating a more chaotic situation in that already embattled state.

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