Years of government impotence against the powerful Mexican cartels have given birth to an unsettling trend:  hundreds of Mexicans citizens have taken up arms against the cartels and are creating the premise for even deeper unrest and chaos in a country where the police is outgunned and outpowered by the drug dealing gangs. 

But is there truly an alternative to this popular 'uprising'?  Not really, if you go back and analyze the situation in Mexico.

The drug wars, because such they are, have been raging in Mexico for more than a decade, with tens of thousand of people, many of them innocent civilians being killed and brutalized by the cartel. 

The latest episode, which saw a fierce gun battle between the vigilante groups and the cartel in Nueva Italia, opens a new chapter in the bloody conflict. 

The problem with this action, however, is that vigilante groups are a grey area in Mexico.  Many believe that different groups have different agendas in mind, and that they could be rival drug cartel men who pose as vigilante to retain or regain a lost turf, in some instances. 

The posse of vigilante reached Nueva Italia to rescue its citizens from the Knights Templar drug cartel late last week.  

The Federal Government has already been called to stop the internecine violence.  But it is going to be hard going to stop them.  The vigilante group in Nueva Italia laid siege to the police station and disarmed the local police. 

The violence is now on its fourth day.  Even though newly elected president Pena Nieto has sent hundreds of 'federales', the situation is still completely out of control. 

The vigilantes are often armed with high caliber weapons, the kind only military personnel have in Mexico, throwing further suspicions on the groups.  

The US State Department has issued a travel ban for the state of Michoacan, where violence between vigilantes and cartel groups has been ongoing for a year.

The presence of vigilantes further endangers the visitors to those areas, since foreigners or outsiders are immediately viewed with suspicion as being either part of a rival cartel of people that have come to contrast their activities. 


Source : The Guardian/ 1.13.14. 

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