Last week in Nueva Italia, Mexico, heavily armed citizens seized a drug cartel’s bastion, and essentially stood up to defend themselves without the aid of the State. Over 100 pickup trucks filled with citizens ready to defend themselves arrived in the town of Nueva Italia, when they were hit with gunshots from presumed “Knights Templar” cartel members. The citizens were well armed, with AK-47s and bulletproof vests, among other equipment.
The Mexican state of Michoacán’s growing civilian militia took back more communities in recent weeks, continuing the pattern of self-defense that started in the past year or so in Mexico. Having been formed only recently, it seems these citizen militias are quite successfully defending their homes and towns, showing the world an agorist solution to the problems they face.
Later that day, two men were found hanging from a bridge on a highway leading to the town, though it is unknown whether the hangings were related to the advance of the citizens. Mexican cartels are known to hang people, as they have repeatedly done in the past.
“They shot at us from two locations and the clash lasted around an hour and a half,” Jaime Ortiz, a 47-year-old farmer and vigilante leader from the town of La Ruana, told AFP. (Source)
To compare what happened here to a Statist solution, President Enrique Peña Nieto deployed thousands of federal police and troops to Michoacán in May, and the reinforcements failed to curb the bloodshed.
A defense group spokesman, Estanislao Beltran, explained to the Associated Press the need for such self-defense measures:
“We don’t have confidence in the government,” he said. “We’ve asked for help for years and have received the same. The government is compromised by organized crime.” (Source)
The state of Mexico does not appreciate the success of these movements competing with their monopoly on violence, as Interior Minister Miguel Osorio Chong made a statement that the self-defense units are still illegal. Some claim that the government is protecting the cartels.
The militias have now surrounded the city of Apatzingán as well, considered the Templar’s primary stronghold in Michoacán’s avocado and lime growing area, Tierra Caliente.
In October, hundreds of citizens with minds set on self-defense marched into Apatzingán . However, they were unarmed, and were shot at. This time, they were well armed.
Mexican towns conceived vigilante forces around February 2012, with the declaration that they were fed up with the State, with the police’s unwillingness to stop the murders and extortion rackets.
There are, however, opponents of the vigilantes. These opponents burned vehicles in the past week to protest the incursions. Citizen militia members say the opposition is paid by the Templars.
Michoacán Governor Fausto Vallejo said “coordinated actions” with the federal government would be announced to deal with the “unrest.”
Perhaps this can teach the rest of the world how self-defense can be executed to safeguard communities and homes from violence and corruption, without the coercion of the State.
It seems this is a perfect example of Agorism at work, as we see history being written before us.
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Cassius Methyl is an activist for the natural right of people to self ownership, a writer for Activist Post, and an experimental musician.