Vigilantes Take Mexico Town in Fight With Cartel

Say they're headed for cartel headquarters

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 13, 2014 11:57 AM CST

(Newser) – More than 100 vigilantes poured into a western Mexico town yesterday, disarming police and battling with alleged cartel members before eventually taking control of the town of Nueva Italia. Upon arrival in Nueva Italia, they were welcomed, the AP reports. But gunfire soon began in the town's center and eventually spread. At least one injury was reported. Vigilantes, who say they're fighting cartels after police and military have failed to do so, have taken over several towns in Michoacan state.

They say they're pushing toward the headquarters of the Knights Templar cartel in Apatzingan. While residents of the Michoacan town of Paracuaro reportedly backed them at first, the locals eventually rioted against them but were unable to drive them out, the BBC reports. Some believe the vigilante group actually supports another cartel, New Generation, which has been involved in a turf war with the Knights Templar. The vigilantes themselves claim no ties to the New Generation cartel; they counter that local authorities are backing the Knights Templar. Meanwhile, the state governor says he's seeking more help from Mexico's federal government to restore peace.

Vigilantes disarm municipal policemen during an operation to flush out alleged members of the Knights Templar drug cartel from the town of Nueva Italia, Mexico, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Vigilantes engage in a firefight in Nueva Italia, Mexico, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
A wounded vigilante is taken away during a firefight in Nueva Italia, Mexico, Sunday Jan. 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
A vigilante stands while organizing as the group prepares to move into Nueva Italia, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Vigilantes enter the main plaza of the town of Nueva Italia, Mexico, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
5%
22%
4%
55%
11%
4%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!