Mexican Citizens Topple Cartels And Are Rewarded With Government Retaliation
...Joel Gutierrez, a militia member of the Michoacan region, says residents were “sick of the cartel kidnapping, murdering and stealing.”
“That’s why we took up arms,” says Gutierrez, 19. “The local and state police did nothing to protect us.”
The militia men have been patrolling their towns and inspecting cars at checkpoints like this one for nearly a year. All that time, federal police did little to stop them, and at times seemed to encourage the movement.
But that tacit approval appeared to end last weekend, when the number of the militias mushroomed and surrounded Apatzingan, a town of 100,000 people and the Knights Templar’s stronghold. A major battle between the militias and the cartel seemed imminent.
The federal government sent in thousands of police and troops to disarm the civilian patrols. A deadly confrontation ensued. Federal soldiers fired into a crowd of civilian militia supporters, killing two....