HomeNewsBriefVigilantes Launch Attack on Town in West Mexico
BRIEF

Vigilantes Launch Attack on Town in West Mexico

MEXICO / 16 MAY 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Vigilantes in Mexico launched an audacious assault on a Michoacan town and were apparently on the point of executing the local police when they were beaten back by a military counterattack.

Over a hundred heavily armed members of the Tepalcatepec self-defense group shot up the mayor's office in the town of Coalcoman before capturing seven members of the municipal police, reported Milenio.

The masked vigilantes disarmed, beat and tied up the police before taking them to the town plaza, where they were reportedly going to execute them.

However, the police were rescued after a 40-minute shootout between the vigilantes and the Mexican military and state police.

There were no reported injuries in the clash and the military say the area is now under its control.

On the same day as the attack, the mayor of Tepalcatepec, Guillermo Valencia Reyes, accused his predecessor Uriel Farias Arias, and a former leader from the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Martin Barragan Cerna, of supporting the vigilantes, while also repeating suspicions the groups have ties to organized crime.

The assault came a day after self-defense forces elsewhere in Micoacan briefly seized control of the mayor's office in the municipality of Los Reyes amid calls for citizens to take up arms because the municipal police are "in the service of the CT [Caballeros Templarios or Knights Templar]."

InSight Crime Analysis

The situation in Michoacan appears to be deteriorating by the day, as the ever bolder self-defense groups face off not only against the dominant criminal force in the area -- the Knights Templar -- but also against the authorities, who the vigilantes accuse of working with the criminal group.

Whether the vigilantes in Michoacan are purely an expression of the communities' exasperation with the authorities' corruption and inability to provide security, or whether they are being manipulated by power-hungry politicians or the Knights' rivals in the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation -- as the authorities have claimed -- remains to be seen. Whatever lies behind the groups' rise, more violence in Michoacan seems inevitable.

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

MEXICO / 25 MAY 2021

The Cárteles Unidos was formed by the Cartel de Tepalcatepec, the Viagras, and others, to combat the Jalisco Cartel in…

CACHIROS / 28 DEC 2020

A rush of drug plane traffic from South America, coupled with traffickers smuggling large cocaine shipments after coronavirus border restrictions…

MEXICO / 30 SEP 2020

A federal prison that housed some of Mexico’s most powerful crime bosses will shut down, marking the end for a…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…