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

EL MENCHO / 2 SEP 2021

As violence has continued to rise in Mexico year after year, criminal groups have adopted an increasingly militarized approach to…

HUMAN RIGHTS / 27 JUL 2021

Reports of migrants dying and disappearing in the US-Mexico borderlands are becoming increasingly common, propelled in part by a restrictive…

ELITES AND CRIME / 10 OCT 2022

Presidential assassination plots and the Jalisco Cartel's influence on government -- the juicy details of Mexico's SEDENA leaks.

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…