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Video: Vigilantes fight back against the Knights Templar in Michoacan

January 22, 2014

The western Mexican state of Michoacan is currently on the brink of a three-way civil war between the army, the Knights Templar cartel and armed vigilantes describing themselves as self-defense groups.

Abandoned by the state and fed up with the extortion of local businesses and the kidnapping and rape of their wives and daughters, many men have risen up across Michoacan in the last year to combat their tormentors, the pseudo-religious Templars.

Having done nothing to defend the rural Michoacan communities from this onslaught, the Mexican government initially tolerated the vigilantes, many of whom are equipped with bulletproof vests and automatic weapons (the Templars claim they are backed by the rival Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion, an accusation they vehemently deny), as they seemed to be doing the state’s dirty work for free.

However, as the conflict has escalated and the vigilantes have advanced to the outskirts of the Templar stronghold of Apatzingan, the government has sent thousands of troops into the region in a vain attempt at restoring order. This immediately resulted in the death of several unarmed civilians last week, as documented in the above video.

The subtitled video contains graphic and distressing content but also explains why these vigilantes feel compelled to put their lives at risk and take a stand.

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