The WSJ also reported on the vigilantes successful take over of Neuva Italia, a small town in Michoacan.
Hundreds of armed vigilantes stormed a town in rural Mexico on Sunday morning, forcing out most of its local government, witnesses said, and declaring they were close to ousting a powerful drug cartel that has menaced the region.The LA Times is reporting that the vigilantes are holding 11 local police in custody, whom they blame for collusion with the Knights Templar drug cartel.
The takeover occurred in the southern Mexican town of Nueva Italia and was led by one of the area's so-called self-defense groups: armed squads of vigilantes that are making fast gains in some areas against organized-crime groups that Mexico's security forces have failed to defeat.
This has implications for U.S. policy.
First, our brain dead drug policies are partly to blame for the situation. Legalization of marijuana and other drugs would vastly reduce the money available to the cartels to fund weapons buys. I don't approve of abusing drugs, I just know that preventing drug abuse through police enforcement is a cure worse than the disease.
Second, the government is ineffective in Mexico at maintaining the law. It must take high levels of fear and frustration to get ordinary people to turn to vigilantism to defeat criminal gangs. This is one reason why citizens have an inherent right to possess firearms; you ultimately can't fully rely on government to protect you. Governments the world over have failed to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, no amount of wishful thinking will change that.
Third, the anarchy in Mexico doesn't bode well for our ability to maintain economic ties, which depend on a reasonable ability to cross the border with goods and services. The worse the anarchy, the tougher we will end up making the border crossing.
What You Should Be Reading
- WC Varones details the disappointment of a few folks who are actually helped by the ACA and details more flaws in the system.
- Ari Fleischer rebuts Obama on the roots of income inequality.
- The latest polling on the San Diego Mayoral race; because electing a junior council member who was Filner's closest ally on the council would be a travesty.