The Washington Post has an article about local militias in Mexico which are beating back drug cartels when the government doesn’t seem interested in it. The citizenry began their operations with sling shots, machetes and old hunting rifles, but they’re arming themselves more appropriately with the weapons that they take from from the cartels;
“We are coming together with only one thing in mind: Kill or be killed,” said the doctor, JoséManuel Mireles, 55, who described what is happening as an armed social movement and estimated that thousands of citizen-fighters are pursuing the gangsters into the hills. “The only training we have is the courage we have inside.”
The rise of the self-defense movement in Michoacan is a desperate reaction to an increasingly oppressive drug cartel and to the security vacuum created as [President] Peña Nieto took office last year seeking to avoid a direct confrontation with the cartels.
As with everything that seems to work effectively, the government is trying to disarm the militia groups;
In Tepalcatepec, a core group formed that included many cattle raisers angry that the cartel was about to take over their association’s governing board. They decided to make their stand at the semiannual association meeting.
“When those criminals climbed onto the stage, we said, ‘How is this possible? We are many, and they are so few,’?” Reyes said.
Hidden shotguns and even machetes came out, and the crowd swarmed 15 men whom they recognized as gang members. Amid clashes over the next hours and days, locals detained many more, handing them over to the state prosecutor in the town of Apatzingan, a cartel stronghold.
After 12 hours, however, the prisoners were released.
Since then, Mireles said, “we decided not to detain anyone anymore.”
That’s probably a lesson we should apply to our Guantanamo experience.