HomeNewsBriefMexico Official Cautions Against Amnesty for Vigilantes
BRIEF

Mexico Official Cautions Against Amnesty for Vigilantes

MEXICO / 11 DEC 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

As plans to pass an amnesty law for Michoacan’s self-defense forces move forward in Mexico, the state’s security commissioner warned that more investigations are needed to prevent criminals from taking advantage of the proposal.

On December 10, Michoacan Security Commissioner Alfredo Castillo stated that before the proposed amnesty law is passed, officials need to investigate the vigilante forces to determine which individuals used the self-defense movement as an excuse to commit crimes, reported Cronica.

“There needs to be a differentiation between those who at the time were fake vigilantes, who tried to fool the authorities, and those who also committed other types of crimes,” Castillo said.

Meanwhile, legislators from Mexico’s opposition parties are trying to form an alliance to pass the law, which the federal government and ruling party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), are opposed to.

InSight Crime Analysis

As Castillo warned, the proposed amnesty law raises the possibility that criminal elements in Michoacan’s self-defense forces could take advantage of the pardon to evade justice. Although the amnesty proposal is based on the assumption that individuals joined the militias to protect their communities, there have been reports of vigilantes joining forces with criminal groups. At the height of the self-defense movement in 2013, federal authorities accused the vigilantes of ties to the Jalisco New Generation cartel, and there have also been reports that former Knights Templar cartel operatives are among the members of the vigilante forces.

SEE ALSO: Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

The amnesty law, which was proposed in September, would pardon more than 380 vigilantes detained in Michoacan between March 7, 2013 and September 1, 2014 who meet certain requirements. One of these requirements is having joined the vigilante groups to protect their families and communities from criminal organizations, but this condition will likely be difficult to prove.

If the law passes, detained vigilante leader Jose Manuel Mireles would most likely be among those to receive amnesty. Mireles’ arrest in June set off a wave of protests, including a movement in which supporters shaved their heads in solidarity following the appearance of a photo showing a bald Mireles in prison. 

Compartir icon icon icon

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

MEXICO / 9 MAR 2012

In response to the rising number of smugglers' tunnels found along the US-Mexico border, the House Judiciary Committee passed a…

HOMICIDES / 30 DEC 2013

In an unsolicited response to what is a typical portrayal of violence in Mexico, Mexican security researcher, analyst and professor…

EL CHAPO / 2 NOV 2016

Recent reports point to disorder within the leadership of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, as pressure from security forces and competing organizations…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…