Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mexicans Protecting Themselves Deemed Vigilantes

The situation in the narco-state on our southern border is just plain ugly.

Kidnappings, mass-beheadings, rapes by armed gangs, assassinations of public officials and brave journalists, corruption, and a government barely able to slow the cartels down are the norm in Mexico.

Who gets negative press?

"MEXICO CITY – The rapid spread of vigilante-style community "self-defense" groups is drawing debate in Mexico, after the latest group popped up with suspiciously sophisticated weapons, printed T-shirts and clothing that doesn't reflect the usual mix of participants.

The new group of vigilantes is armed with some assault rifles, in addition to the mix of shotguns and single-shot rifles used by other similar groups that have appeared recently.

The group appeared this week in Tepalcatepec, in the western state of Michoacan.

A stubborn crime wave has caused groups of farmers in other towns to set up patrols and checkpoints, but they are usually raggedly-dressed farmers, unlike the better-dressed Tepalcatepec vigilantes.

Assistant Interior Secretary Eduardo Sanchez said Tuesday that the government was seeking to negotiate with the vigilante groups."

What could Mr. Sanchez possible want from these people? Have them turn in their weapons and take whatever the cartels elect to dish out?

When the people, far past being wearied of living in fear and living without hope of any appreciable protection from their own government, take action to protect themselves, they get tabled as vigilantes.

Although most societies have the resources to provide for a military  a national guard-type organization  and police, the existence of these bodies does not mean that the people are not obligated to protect their communities.

This is the basic concept of the militia; all citizens are obligated to be prepared and willing to stand in defense of their lives (and of the young, old and infirm) and property. No sane person will deny that having professionals available to fight crime is a good thing, nor will an honest person claim that the fact that having these bodies means that the rights and obligation of the people have been nullified.

If the Mexican authorities cannot protect the citizens, then the latter do not become vigilantes for stepping into the void.

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