Post by ibrake4rappers13 on Jan 13, 2014 21:41:11 GMT -5
Nueva Italia, Mexico - Vigilantes seized a drug cartel's bastion in western Mexico on Sunday, sparking a shootout as civilian militias gained new ground in their struggle against the gang in a violence-plagued region.
Hundreds of armed civilians riding in more than 100 pick-up trucks rolled into the Michoacan state town of Nueva Italia and were met by gunfire from presumed members of the Knights Templar cartel when they reached the municipal office.
“They shot at us from two locations and the clash lasted around an hour and a half,” Jaime Ortiz, a 47-year-old farmer and vigilante leader from the town of La Ruana, told AFP.
Two members of the self-defence unit were wounded, he said, standing in the 40 000-population town's main square, surrounded by hundreds of men armed with AK-47 assault rifles, bulletproof vests and radios.
Some sidewalks were soaked in blood in the town's empty streets.
The growing civilian militia movement, which first emerged in Michoacan nearly a year ago, has seized more communities in recent weeks in their bid to oust the Templars from the state.