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Old January 15, 2014, 12:36 AM   #1
Caboclo
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Current Situation In Mexico

Seems the locals have gotten tired of the endless violence committed by the cartels, and have started gunning up (illegally) and forming militias/vigilantes. In some cases, they are even taking the fight to the cartels. The gov't, fearing civil war, has sent in the army to disarm the civilians, with no apparent plans of action against the cartels.

This is the view given by the media, of which I don't believe a word, just on principle. Does anyone have any inside info either confirming or denying this state of events?
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Old January 15, 2014, 10:00 PM   #2
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It's not really credible to me that law-abiding civilians in Mexico suddenly acquired dozens of semi-auto and automatic weapons, as seen on the news.

I'm thinking there is some involvement by other cartels in this 'vigilante' movement and it is not what it is being said to be.
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Old January 15, 2014, 10:27 PM   #3
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Yahoo News had a series of pictures covering this. Pictures showed a variety of weapons. Lots of AK and AR type rifles. Spotted a couple of H&K's, what appeared to be a well used Armalite and what could only be a Barrett 50 cal rifle mounted on a dump truck. Some of it I think had to be staged, like one picture where several men armed with AR's are passing out what appears to be 7.62X39 steel case ammo.

I have to wonder if this isn't a gang vs gang clash.
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Old January 15, 2014, 11:04 PM   #4
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All of the REAL civilian militias down there that I've seen pictures of have single shot rifles and shotguns, all hunting guns used for self defense. I agree - these heavily armed units didn't spring up overnight - wonder how many of the AKs we see are Fast and Furious guns...
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Old January 15, 2014, 11:14 PM   #5
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It's not really credible to me that law-abiding civilians in Mexico suddenly acquired dozens of semi-auto and automatic weapons, as seen on the news.
From what little I have seen in Mexico, "Law Abiding" is a loosely defined term ..... IME, everthing was for sale, for the right price, and connections/favors were as important as money .....
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Old January 16, 2014, 11:50 AM   #6
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Given the generally lawless situation down there in some places and the fact that gun laws only disarm the law abiding, I'd not be surprised if regular folks can get their hands on some decent guns. They may not have the connections the cartels do, but they will have some connections.

I would suppose that a vigilante group is the natural result of a government that either cannot or will not stem significant crime. Eventually the folks who want to be law abiding and get fed up; they'll decide that since the law can no longer be entrusted to the government they will take it back into their own hands... sometimes with horrible consequences.

It's always better for a legitimate government with a fair justice system to administer the law in an even handed manner. But lacking that, others will step up to administer another law, often in a heavy handed manner. If that means breaking gun laws to do it, then so be it.

I will add that the government's focus on the vigilante groups reminds me a bit of what I saw in school... the worst offenders tended to do what they wanted when they wanted. It was the basically good kids who sometimes stepped out of line to defend themselves from the predations of the worst offenders who ended up getting slapped down by the authorities. If the government isn't careful they'll end up undermining the rule of law, not reestablishing it.
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Old January 16, 2014, 10:19 PM   #7
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Articles I have read on this situation indicate that some of the vigilantes' weapons come from the police departments in their towns that they have taken over due to police involvement with the cartels.
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Old January 17, 2014, 11:25 PM   #8
johnwilliamson062
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When police officers retire they keep their guns. Until someone offers them a few hundred dollars for them.
THere are well stocked gun stores in most major Mexican cities, even if they don't have a sign on the door.
Hunting/Shooting clubs somewhat regularly have people show up with full auto weapons to shoot.
The cartels employ so many people in Mexico it is hard to separate anyone out entirely.
I would say that anyone who has spent their life in the US is probably incapable of understanding how the law works in Mexico and many other countries.
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Old January 18, 2014, 12:08 AM   #9
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That last statement if probably the most true - other countries don't quite have the same rule of law we do, I would think. My time overseas as minimal, but eye opening.
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Old January 18, 2014, 09:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
When police officers retire they keep their guns. Until someone offers them a few hundred dollars for them.
THere are well stocked gun stores in most major Mexican cities, even if they don't have a sign on the door.
Hunting/Shooting clubs somewhat regularly have people show up with full auto weapons to shoot.
The cartels employ so many people in Mexico it is hard to separate anyone out entirely.
I would say that anyone who has spent their life in the US is probably incapable of understanding how the law works in Mexico and many other countries.
True story. People here in the US and the first world in general are used to the concept of laws being enforced in a mostly fair and evenhanded manner, and being recognized and respected by the vast majority of the population.

It's very different in the rest of the world. Where being a truly "law-abiding" citizen who follows all he laws would be practically impossible and the laws are so selectively enforced that there is really little respect or sense of legitimacy for them. It's perfectly normal to view the laws there as more of a suggestion than a real rule and few people concern themselves with following the arbitrary ones like assault weapon bans or machine-gun bans.
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Old January 18, 2014, 03:01 PM   #11
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A friend of mine who was born and raised in Mexico, and who may or may not be here legally, told me that the gov't is corrupt at city, state and federal levels, the cartels own the various gov'ts, you can't trust anyone and everyone he knows has access to something or another that goes bang.

Miguel also told me their Constitution allows the RKBAs but in reality, it's impossible to buy a firearm or ammunition legally unless you are well connected, wealthy and can purchase from the "SINGLE" licensed gun store in the nation.
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Old January 18, 2014, 11:39 PM   #12
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By the time I left Mexico I viewed Mexican law as a lever the corrupt police officers could use to extort money from myself and others. To be clear, it is impossible to get a position as a local police officer without being corrupt. The process of getting the job is extremely corrupt.
They have a huge problem with officers selling information about upcoming raids on cartel locations. Officers knowingly selling information to the cartels so their fellow officers walk into an ambush. The price? 1000 pesos or about $80 is the standard.

My wife has a hard time accepting that most police here will not take bribes for traffic violations. That most police officers would need a bribe of multiple times the ticket cost to be tempted. In Mexico $4 will get you out of almost any traffic violation.

The law on firearms in Mexico contradicts itself in several places. It seems this is a convenient way to allow authorities as much leeway as they like. In practice it seems 22lr and single/double shotguns are fairly easy to get legal access to if you are not in the lower class(remember, tiny upper, small middle, and huge lower class). 22lr and birdshot aren't difficult to get either.
As I understand it everything from before the mid 60s is grandfathered, but can't be transferred outside of families or repaired and ammunition is not available.
To legally buy other firearms you must have a letter issued by the military commander of your state. The letter is issued to "families." At that time there were supposed to be less than 15 approved "families" in Veracruz state with a population of eight million. This license was really intended to cover people traveling with an entourage openly carrying firearms. Think multiple vehicles and AK 47s.
In my experience the actual gun ownership rate was higher than in the US. Although people owning many firearms wasn't nearly as common and most had a single pistol('purchased from retired cop'). Few had any idea whatsoever how to operate a gun.

No gun has ever made me feel as safe as when I was in a BMW 7 Series High Security Vehicle though. I must have spent 15 minutes opening and closing the doors the first time I rode in it. I was so impressed by how easily they pivoted on the hinges even though the doors weighed a ton. Much better finish than the converted Suburbans that are the norm. Everyone must have thought I was an idiot as they watched.
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Last edited by johnwilliamson062; January 18, 2014 at 11:58 PM.
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Old January 19, 2014, 12:11 AM   #13
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The recent articles in the WSJ indicate that in one town there were about 20 cartel members who were driven off by several hundred vigilantes.... With that lopsided ratio, the vigilantes would not need state of the art firepower.
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Old January 19, 2014, 11:49 AM   #14
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The problem is that those "hundreds of vigilantes" if they're not a paid mob are likely your typical decent folks who just want to live and be left alone. They're not the type who are going to be on a permanent war footing and use any opportunity to retaliate with brutal/naked force. So it's not surprising that in this kind of lopsided situation, the narcos would flee. However, you can bet they'll be back and likely in the wee hours of the night and have no aversion to indiscriminate killing. This is one of the reasons I don't go to Mexico anymore...even the resorts. It's completely unsafe.
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Old January 19, 2014, 10:25 PM   #15
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Heard about a mass grave recently unearthed in an area I had connections to today. Several hundred bodies found and still counting. Mostly young women. More details, but not post-able due to sensitivity of situation.

No big news though. Hard for people who hoped they would one day see their loved ones again. There must be a mass grave around every city in Mexico at this point.
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Old January 28, 2014, 04:23 PM   #16
Glenn E. Meyer
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A move to legalize vigilantes

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...44d_story.html

Details and concerns it will produce human rights violations has have been mentioned before.
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Old January 29, 2014, 10:47 AM   #17
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Human rights violations?

The failed state of Mexico is beyond human rights violations. They are so corrupt and lawless I think hitting the reset button is the only course of action. When that happens I suppose the cartels will officialy take over.
The people are screwed either way.
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Old January 30, 2014, 12:20 AM   #18
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I read of this "legalization". All it will do is hand the cartels all the info on the armed citizens they could possibly want and allow the government to disarm them prior to the slaughter.
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Old January 30, 2014, 08:48 AM   #19
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I don't know much about the vigilante bands but it will require more than guns to change anything down there. Untrained, unorganized peasants stand small chance against well trained and well organized cartel member that have most of the police and military on the payroll. At this point the only real hope that the common people have is for the United States to start a war with the cartels, and barring a major escalation of cartel related violence on this side of the border, that's highly improbable.
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Old January 30, 2014, 10:44 AM   #20
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And let us not forget the very real possibility that any particular band of "vigilantes" is quite possibly a group of folks rounded up by the rival cartel who may not even know who they're fighting for. They kick out one group of drug banditos and the next group swoops right in to the vacated territory.
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Old January 31, 2014, 04:35 PM   #21
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I wish I still had the article, but about a year ago I first read about this, and it described how some of the earliest action involved ambushing cartel members and confiscating their equipment.

Basically a small drug shipment with 4-5 armed guards runs into 20+ citizen defense members. Even if the guards have full auto, and the citizens hunting guns, the odds aren't in the guards favor and most of them surrendered.

If you make a practice of it, you could have a decently armed core group in a relatively short time.

Especially since it appears they raided the armories of corrupt police and even a few cartel armories over the past year.

Certainly rival cartels would be idiots not to try too support action that weakens the Templar Cartel, and the so called leaders of the "Vigilantes" as our news insists on calling them have admitted to uncovering attempts to infiltrate their group by cartels.

The scary thing is according to some reports I've read, the Templar cartel originally started as a similar vigilante group and became corrupted over time replacing the cartel they formed to eliminate.
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Old February 12, 2014, 08:53 AM   #22
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And let us not forget the very real possibility that any particular band of "vigilantes" is quite possibly a group of folks rounded up by the rival cartel who may not even know who they're fighting for. They kick out one group of drug banditos and the next group swoops right in to the vacated territory.
True. But they have the same issues there with the military and police.
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