Mexico: Michoacan’s fighting priests
Catholic priests, with the encouragement of their bishop, are actively encouraging people to fight the Knights Templars:
Priests take the lead in fierce revolt against drug gang in Mexico’s Michoacan
The anger of the clergy is aimed with equal vehemence at gangsters and at government officials, who they say have not done enough to rein in crime and extortion. That vexation will get a vast airing at morning Mass this Sunday, when priests across the Apatzingan diocese will read a scathing pastoral letter from Bishop Miguel Patino Velazquez that accuses federal police and soldiers of doing little to capture Knights Templar bosses.
“Their leaders are fully identified and yet no authority stops them,” the letter says.
In his letter, Patino evokes the Nazi era, saying Christian believers should not only console the victims but also halt the Nazi campaign to kill its enemies.
“We ask politicians, the government and the Interior Secretariat to give people of our region clear signals that in reality they want to halt the ‘killing machine,’” Patino writes.
The vigilantes are fighting against corruption,
Since February 2013, a vigilante campaign by armed civilians has spread across nearly a third of Michoacan. The vigilantes call themselves self-defense groups or community police, and they have won broad citizen support from nearly everyone, from large farm owners down to tortilla vendors and doormen at public restrooms.
In barely 11 months, the vigilantes have occupied at least 15 townships. In each, they have disbanded municipal police and run off politicians believed linked to organized crime
As you may recall, the government clashed with the militia last week.
It’ll be interesting to see how it develops. Will the militia turn into criminal paramilitary groups, as the did in Colombia? Or will they clean up Michoacan?