HomeNewsBriefGovernor Signs Pact to Legalize Vigilantes in West Mexico
BRIEF

Governor Signs Pact to Legalize Vigilantes in West Mexico

MEXICO / 24 APR 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The government of Guerrero, Mexico, has signed an agreement with local self-defense forces to begin the process of legalizing these groups, in an attempt to address fears over growing vigilantism in the region.

Governor Angel Aguirre Rivero and the leader of vigilante umbrella group the Union of People and Organizations of the State of Guerrero (UPOEG), Bruno Placido Valerio, agreed to start the process of legal recognition and regulation of self-defense groups through a "Community Security System," reported El Universal.

The agreement aims to legally define the self-defense groups' responsibilities, obligations and powers, the governor said. It also sets out plans for the groups to receive training from the Mexican Army in human rights and security strategies.

Aguirre also raised the possibility of paying members, although Placido expressed concern that this could see the groups co-opted by the state, as they would no longer answer primarily to their communities.

InSight Crime Analysis

While vigilante groups have emerged in a number of Mexico's conflict hotspots, much of the recent activity is concentrated in Guerrero.

The UPOEG has roots going back to a self-defense movement created in the 1990s (although this relationship is now strained), strong ties to indigenous communities, and has previously cooperated with the state.

This stands in stark contrast to some other regions, especially in neighboring Michoacan, where vigilante groups have come into conflict with the security forces, and both sides have accused the other of working with drug cartels.

Plans to legalize the Guerrero groups may help reduce the threat of an escalation in vigilante violence. However, there is still a serious danger of corruption -- either from criminal groups, or from cooperation with the security forces, who themselves suffer high levels of corruption and criminal infiltration.

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

GENDER AND CRIME / 7 AUG 2019

A key witness in Mexico has stated that she will not give further evidence against leaders of the Zetas drug…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 7 JUN 2016

Nearly 13,000 guns have been lost or stolen from Mexico’s public security agencies over the last ten years, according to…

MEXICO / 9 JUN 2015

A meeting between self-defense forces in Mexico's southwest state of Guerrero ended in violence that left 16 dead, a troubling…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…