If anyone hears or sees the words, “armed Mexicans,” they immediately think of the violent members of the nations several drug cartels. But now there is another category making itself known in that country. According to the Washington Post:
“Hundreds of armed vigilantes have taken control of a town on a major highway in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, arresting local police officers and searching homes after a vigilante leader was killed. Several opened fire on a car of Mexican tourists headed to the beach for Easter week. Members of the area’s self-described “community police” say more than 1,500 members of the force were stopping traffic Wednesday at improvised checkpoints in the town of Tierra Colorado, which sits on the highway connecting Mexico City to Acapulco. They arrested 12 police and the former director of public security in the town after a leader of the state’s vigilante movement was slain on Monday.”
I’m not going to endorse everything done by this group. For one thing, I’m not a fan or armed checkpoints and road blocks. On the other hand, I don’t think Mexicans have had much experience in their own country with such rights being honored by either the Mexican “authorities” or by the drug cartels.
However, with all the journalists who are tortured to death, and the lack of protection provided by the official government of Mexico, I can’t condemn people for trying to protect themselves and restore law and order to their communities. If the state won’t or can’t protect them, from either the drug gangs or from the corrupt police who are more likely to work with the drug gangs, they have to protect themselves. And since this is an obvious example of the exercise of the common law principles that are behind our own Second Amendment, we can expect the American mainstream media to spin their story as negatively as they possibly can. But, as I read the story in the Washington Post, they look like they might be a credible group protecting their community:
“‘We have besieged the municipality, because here criminals operate with impunity in broad daylight, in view of municipal authorities. We have detained the director of public security because he is involved with criminals and he knows who killed our commander,’ said Bruno Placido Valerio, a spokesman for the vigilante group. Placido said vigilantes had searched a number of homes in the town and seized drugs from some. They turned over the ex-security director and police officers to state prosecutors, who agreed to investigate their alleged ties to organized crime.”
Time will tell how this will work out. Fewer than seventy years ago, some Americans returning home from World War II found themselves facing a situation when government had become criminal. This had gone on for years. Despite repeated complaints and requests for help, the broader levels of government never intervened to help the people. The veterans had to arm themselves and besiege a municipality. We now know of this event as the Battle of Athens.
In 1946, returning veterans tried to run against a corrupt political/crime family that resorted to violence, plunder, intimidation, and election fraud to stay in power. On Election Day, the incumbent forces used violence and illegal arrests against anyone who asked to verify that the ballot box was empty before the voting began—a legal right in Tennessee. They eventually took the ballot boxes to the jail to count the votes, as they claimed. Not trusting them, the veterans armed themselves, and attacked the jail, opening fire. In the end they won entry to the jail, and retrieved the ballot boxes, finding most had been tampered with.
By their actions, the veterans restored law and order to the community. I am hoping and praying that the communities and families of Mexico are able to do the same.