[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
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.