Autodefensas

crime & drugs

The Vigilante Protagonist of an Oscar-Nominated Drug War Movie Speaks From Jail

The documentary Cartel Land portrays José Manuel Mireles as a flawed hero who stood up to one of Mexico's most barbarous drug cartels, but who also succumbed to the temptation of abusing his new power.
Nathaniel Janowitz
2.4.16
News

We Talked to One of Mexico's Leading Vigilantes

The former leader of a group of vigilantes in Mexico has just been released from prison, and is now eyeing a career in politics. VICE News speaks with Hipólito Mora about life after his release.
VICE News
8.27.15
americas

More Bloodshed in Mexico: Activist Who Led Search Parties for the Missing 43 Is Shot Dead

Miguel Angel Jimenez had returned to his hometown, where he was shot in his taxi. Fifteen people were killed this weekend in Guerrero, and 20 were reportedly kidnapped.
Daniel Hernandez
8.10.15
americas

Mexican Town Blames 12-Year-Old’s Death on Military Gunfire in Vigilante Dispute

Community leaders said Mexican soldiers fired indiscriminately, killing Edilberto Reyes and injuring six others in the restive state of Michoacan.
Charbell Lucio and Laura Castellanos
7.22.15
News

El Chapo's Prison Escape Represents Yet Another Failure of the Mexican Government

The director of the new documentary "Cartel Land" describes how Mexican citizens have been driven to vigilantism because the police and military are unable or unwilling to help.
Matthew Heineman
7.22.15
americas

Town Booted Out Mexico’s Political Parties, But Now Some Residents Want Them Back

Yearning for a return to the 'bad old days,' some people in Cheran, Michoacan, say the town's high council is as corrupt as the political parties of before. Dissidents accuse council leaders of old-fashioned vote-buying.
Melissa del Pozo
5.18.15
americas

Where Mexico’s Drug War Was Born: A Timeline of the Security Crisis in Michoacan

In December 2006, former Mexican president Felipe Calderon sent thousands of troops to Michoacan, fueling a tide of violence that has not abated. Here is what you need to know to understand the situation in Mexico's "hot land."
Andrea Noel
3.12.15
americas

Mexico Releases Michoacan Vigilante Leader Involved in Fatal Gun Fight With Rival Militia

Hipólito Mora's December gun fight with his rival "El Americano" lasted two hours, leaving 11 dead, including his 32-year-old son. Mora's name is also being floated as a potential candidate for Congress.
Andrea Noel
3.10.15
americas

Mexican 'Viceroy' Sent to Pacify Michoacan State Leaves Murky Legacy

Alfredo Castillo was sent to Michoacan one year ago, on personal orders from President Enrique Peña Nieto. Today, local cartel chief 'La Tuta' remains at large and self-defense militias are battling each other in fatal shootouts.
David Agren
1.23.15
americas

Michoacan, Mexico, Breaks Bad — Again — After Shootout Between Rival Militias Kills 11

The son of the founder of the first civilian militia in Michoacan is among the victims. One parish priest tells us: "We used to know who the bad guys were. Now we don't."
David Agren
12.18.14
americas

Dissident Militia Leader Arrested With Drugs in Mexico, Authorities Say

Dr. Jose Manuel Mireles, the symbolic leader of the vigilante movement in Michoacan, faces drugs and weapons charges after his arrest.
Rafael Castillo
7.1.14
mexico

New Rural Police Force Emerges After the Death of Mexico's Autodefensas

The force will be temporarily active and its members can join the municipal police force, after regional security has been reestablished.
Charbell Lucio
5.12.14
0102