#Narconoia Update: Apr. 10, 2014

Danny Benavides
April 10, 2014


I’ve been working on a longish piece about the vigilante uprising against Los Caballeros Templarios in Michoacan, including a bit of relevant backstory about the cartel and the “self-defense” movement that emerged. I aim to post the first part of this within the next few days, and I hope it can offer a fairly complete and accurate retelling of an important story that most English-language news and media has neglected.

In the meantime, here is this week’s selection of links…



Mexico calls on self-defense groups to join police or disarm via Richard Fausset @ The Los Angeles Times [first they assimiliated under control of the federal authorities, then they were told to register their members and firearms, and now comes the knee-capping of the autodefensas]

Human Rights Commission: Yurécuaro Self-Defense Leader Tortured by police via Chivis Martínez @ Borderland Beat

Former Mexican interim governor in embattled state ordered questioned via Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez @ The Los Angeles Times

Tense Situation in Tierra Caliente via ValorxTruth @ Borderland Beat

Jose Manuel Mireles asks for unity to prevent disarmament via Jose Gil Olmos @ El Diario de Coahuila/Borderland Beat [translated by "un vato"]

Mexican vigilantes protest against plans to disarm them @ BBC News

Mexican vigilante leader refuses government order to disarm via Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez @ The Los Angeles Times

15 Towns Demonstrate Against Disarming Self-Defense Groups via Ernesto Martínez Elorriaga @ La Jornada/Mexico Voices [translated by Jane Brundage]

Dr. Mireles is sole spokesman – Additonal arrests – Fake AD Facebook pages by Chivis Martínez @ Borderland Beat [an informative piece from a trusted confidant of Mireles]

“We Prefer to Die to Being Disarmed Now” – Self-Defense Leader, José Mireles via Reed Brundage @ Mexico Voices [from an interview of Mireles conducted by Aristegui Noticias]

The sins of Jesus Reyna via Raymundo Riva Palacio @ El Diario/Borderland Beat [translated by "un vato"]

Michoacán Self-Defense Groups and The Knights Templar via José Gil Olmos @ Proceso/Mexico Voices [translated by Amanda Moody]

Sinaloa Cartel in the news, including the “flipping” and “cooperation” of Vicente Zambada Niebla

Agents find two border drug tunnels with rail systems via Joseph Serna @ The Los Angeles Times

Mexican Newspaper Editor Who Investigated Corruption And Druglord El Chapo Guzmán Wounded In Armed Attack via Dolia Estevez @ Forbes

El Chapo’s Security Chief ‘El Bravo’ Killed via Chivis Martínez @ Borderland Beat [taking responsibility for Chapo's capture, or internal power struggle?]

Son of Mexico drug lord turns informant via Nick Miroff @ The Washington Post [a very interesting report about the previously-secret, unsealed plea deal with Mayo's son, Vicente Zambada Niebla]

Mexico drug-cartel figure has been cooperating with U.S. via Tim Johnson @ McClatchy News

Feds: Sinaloa cartel member cooperating with US via Sara Burnett @ Associated Press

Zetas boss pleads guilty, Gulf Cartel infighting erupts

Looking disheveled, top Zeta boss ‘El Talivan’ pleads guilty in federal court in McAllen via Ildefonso Ortiz @ The Monitor

Arrest of top Gulf drug cartel leader likely to lead to spike in inter-cartel fighting in Mexico’s Tamaulipas state via IHS Jane’s Intelligence Weekly

Gulf Cartel Future Uncertain as Alleged Infighting Escalates in North Mexico via James Bargent @ InSight Crime

Drug cartel internal feud leaves 28 dead in Mexico via Guillermo Barros @ AFP/Yahoo News [violent shootouts have been erupting with some regularity since last Saturday]


Some want to frame immigration reform as foreign policy via Ty Johnson @ The Brownsville Herald

DEA Chief’s ‘Mexico Cartels in US’ Marijuana Alert Smacks of Politics via Marguerite Cawley @ InSight Crime

After Official’s Death, Silence and Suspicion in Nuevo Laredo via Julián Aguilar @ The Texas Tribune

Faced with influx of unauthorized immigrants, local Border Patrol adds 100 agents via Ildefonso Ortiz @ The Monitor

A trashy tale: Sex, politics and a headache for the PRI @ The Economist

Tracing the U.S. heroin surge back south of the border as Mexican cannabis output falls via Nick Miroff @ The Washington Post [recommended reading!]

Operation Martillo reviewed at regional security conference via Angelica Fiona @ Infosurhoy.com

House seeks to authorize CBP, ICE via Ty Johnson @ The Brownsville Herald [while ostensibly about seeking "clarity" in DHS legislation, the real story is the admission that these agencies have been operating outside of Constitutional law and without oversight since the inception of the Department of Homeland Security...]