This Is What Happens When Vigilantes Take On Drug Lords - PHOTOS

by
Sameera Ehteram
For the last few months, a group of vigilantes in the Mexican state of Michoacan have been embroiled in a battle with one of the country's most powerful drug gangs - The Knights Templar cartel.

Vigilantes VS Drug Lords

For the last few months, a group of vigilantes in the Mexican state of Michoacan have been embroiled in a battle with one of the country's most powerful drug gangs - The Knights Templar cartel.

Drug trafficking gangs have been waging battles over trafficking routes in various parts of Mexico for the last decade. Getting tired of the situation and the local police’s inability to address the situation, self-defense groups have taken control of a number of towns in an effort to drive out the drug lords.

The government initially appeared to tolerate the vigilantes, probably in the hope they could drive out the members of the drug cartel.  However, they now fear the vigilantes have been infiltrated by drug cartels from neighboring states and the government risks replacing one criminal gang with another.

Mexico's interior minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong has asked the vigilantes to either join the police force or lay down their arms.

The vigilantes argue that federal forces should concentrate on targeting the Knights Templar drug cartel before asking them to disarm.

"Our objective is to clean [this area] of the Knights Templar," says Estanislao Beltran, head of a vigilante group.

"If the federal government catches all the top leaders of the Knights Templar, like alias Chayo, alias Tuta, and alias Quique, which are the ones behind all the kidnappings, then we can see what we do," he adds.

This standoff has resulted in a clash between Mexican security forces and the vigilantes, causing several casualties.

 Here’s what it looks like:

Vigilantes VS Drug Lords

Vigilantes VS Drug Lords

Vigilantes VS Drug Lords

Vigilantes VS Drug Lords

Vigilantes VS Drug Lords

Vigilantes VS Drug Lords

Vigilantes VS Drug Lords

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