The Right to Arm Oneself

By Cuauhtémoc Ruiz Ortiz, Partido Obrero Socialista, Mexico

The appearance of community police and self defense groups, in eleven states of the country, is one of the more amazing events of recent years in Mexico.

Thousands of people have been obliged to arm and organize themselves against narcos and criminals that extort and abuse them.

The enormous majority of these police and self defense groups are people from humble conditions–peasants, agricultural and farm workers, small and medium sized business people.

Where these community guards have existed they have been successful and considerably lowered criminality.

In Michoacan, the  performance of the self defense groups has been spectacular because in the month of December and the beginning of 2014 they have pursued and driven out the criminals from the cities and towns where they were hidden.

This popular determination to stop the criminals has turned into a energetic, quasi-military campaign with territories that the self defense groups liberate to the joy of the people.

The combatants understand that it is not enough to expel the criminals from their communities and that it is necessary to exterminate them and take them from their hiding places.

In the state of Guerrero, even though it is not so spectacular, the organization of the community police has advanced toward Chilpancingo and has important popular support.

This brave fight of the armed and organized people has highlighted the fact that the false war of (former president) Felipe Calderon against the narcos was a failure.

It was precisely in Michoacan where the then president initiated, in December 2006, the operations that supposedly were fighting against the criminals. Six years later, the Michoacan narcos were more powerful and shameless, and, in the country, were more than 70 thousand cadavers.

Michoacan in 2014 equally demonstrates the failure of the present President Peña Nieto in the matter of security. The leaders of the PRI knew that the narcos were kings in Michoacan but they tolerated and collaborated with them. Only the energetic action of the armed popular movement obliged the intervention of the federal government, more worried because the state government (in charge of the tricolor) was totally losing control before the organized people. Michocan and Guerrrero equally show that the PRD has suffered a strong set back.

In both states,  the yellow party governed  or governs  or (former presidential candidate) Lopez Obrador has a strong influence. The latter on February 10 spoke in defense of the prisoners in Guerrero–six months after they had been imprisoned!–but
not even this for Michoacan.

And never has been heard from the PRD a sympathetic word for the offended people and the important persons of the PRD are suspected of being narcos. The governor of Guerrero, from the PRD, is a ferocious repressor of the communitarios (community police)

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