HomeNewsBriefMexican Vigilantes Face Off Against Military in Guerrero
BRIEF

Mexican Vigilantes Face Off Against Military in Guerrero

MEXICO / 6 AUG 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Self-defense groups in Guerrero, Mexico have detained at least 60 soldiers and announced plans to take over a municipal government building as it becomes increasingly clear that authorities' attempts to co-opt the state's vigilantes are failing.

Clashes began on August 5, when a military patrol detained members of the local "community police" from the Ayutla municipality, who had a number of weapons stored in the trunk of their vehicle that legally can only be used by security forces.

In retaliation, various allied self-defense groups set up roadblocks, and at one of the blocks one group detained an estimated 60 soldiers, reported CNN Mexico.

After the action failed to secure the release of the arrested vigilantes and the return of the weapons, members of a self-defense group and residents of Ayutla announced they would take over the municipal government building, reported Milenio.

Bruno Placido Valerio, coordinator for one of the most prominent groups, the Union of the People and Organizations of the State of Guerrero (UPOEG) also took the opportunity to denounce military collusion with criminal elements. Placido told La Jornada that people had witnessed strange men dressed in black in the communities, who he said were members of paramilitary or organized crime groups that worked with the army.

InSight Crime Analysis

Until recently, the situation in Guerrero has contrasted with that of neighboring Michoacan, where vigilante groups have been involved in numerous confrontations with the security forces and local authorities. Groups in Guerrero, which have roots pre-dating the current drug war violence, even signed an agreement with the state government to legitimize their organizations. The pact includes clauses banning the vigilantes from carrying weapons that are for the exclusive use of the army and from setting up roadblocks.

This previously collaborative relationship now appears to have collapsed, and it is becoming clear that trust between the self-defense groups and the authorities has broken down. The increasingly combative stance taken by the vigilantes means more clashes are likely, and the situation could well spiral out of control, as it has in Michoacan, where self-defense groups, drug cartels and security forces are currently locked in a chaotic and violent confrontation.

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

EXTORTION / 18 AUG 2014

Organized crime groups are profiting from post-hurricane reconstruction efforts in the western Mexico state of Guerrero as local criminals display…

COLOMBIA / 13 SEP 2011

An attention-grabbing report by an Internet security company plays with figures to declare that cyber crime is bigger than drug…

MEXICO / 26 APR 2013

A Mexican newspaper has denied officials' claims that one of its photographers, killed this week, was targeted because of his…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.