[QODLink]
Americas

Mexico arrests well-known vigilante leader

Jose Manuel Mireles and 100 other members of 'self-defence' group battling drug gangs detained by police.

Last updated: 28 Jun 2014 11:15
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Mexican authorities arrested Jose Manuel Mireles, one of the most senior leader of vigilante groups that have been battling drug gangs in the western state of Michoacan, officials said. 

A co-founder of Michoacan's vigilante or "self-defence" movement tasked with battling drug gangs, Mireles was arrested on Friday with illegal guns, said Alfred Castillo, the federal government commissioner of Michoacan state, to local media. 

Along with Mireles, more than 100 armed men who claimed to be self-defence force members were also arrested in the port city of Lazaro Cardenas, an army source told the AFP news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Mireles entered the town of La Mira on Thursday with some 600 followers armed with automatic rifles. He claimed that the locals had called him for protection against criminal gangs.

Vigilantes in Michoacan, mostly farmers and other civilians, took up arms in February 2013 claiming that the local police was too incompetent or corrupt to protect them from local criminal gangs, especially the Knights Templar drug cartel.

The government was slow to react, but finally in May 2014 they agreed to give the vigilantes uniforms and weapons and legalise their movement. However, they vowed to arrest any armed group that failed to register with the authorities.

206

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.