[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
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.