In Michoacán state, militias fighting the Knights Templar cartel get smashed by the government.
Mexico Confronts Cartel-Fighting Militias
The Mexican military confronted armed vigilantes that had organized to repel a crime cartel from their rural southern state, Michoacán, in deadly clashes on Tuesday.
There were no reports on arrests or confrontations with cartel members on Tuesday, prompting some confusion among Michoacán residents over why the military seemed determined to disarm the militias but not the cartel. Others were concerned over the vulnerability of unarmed and readily identifiable militia members if Knights Templar members seek to retaliate.
A spokesman for the vigilantes, Estanislao Beltrán, said during a news conference that Tuesday’s confrontation began when soldiers who had confiscated weapons from the militias in the town of Antúnez were blocked by townspeople.
It was unclear how many people died during the morning clash. Mexican media, citing unofficial accounts by the military, put the number at two, while Mr. Beltrán said four had died.
Interestingly, the attack on the militia coincides with this:
In recent days the vigilante groups appeared to gain the advantage over the cartel. On Sunday, they entered Nueva Italia and encircled Apatzingán, the town of 100,000 where the cartel is based.
Mexico has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the hemisphere.
Was it John Adams who said, “An armed man is a citizen; an unarmed man is a subject”?
Militia Mayhem for Mexico
En español: Fausto Vallejo, gobernador de Michoacán, en la unidad de quemados,