Government authorities in the Mexican state of Michoacan have signed a deal allowing the police to work with local vigilante “self-defence” volunteer groups.
The agreement with vigilante leaders incorporates their groups into old and largely forgotten quasi-military units called the Rural Defence Corps.
Vigilante leaders will have to submit a list of their members to the Defence Department, and the army will apparently temporarily oversee the groups.
Members will be allowed to keep their weapons as long as they register them with the army.
It’s not known if the army will offer salaries.
Meanwhile, authorities in Michoacan announced that Vigilante groups helped capture of one of the most wanted drug lords from the violent Knights Templar cartel. Dionisio Loya Plancarte, known as “El Tio” (“The Uncle”) was wanted on money-laundering charges.
Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia, a senior security official explained: “the detainee was also under investigation for organised crime and drugs crimes. He is also linked to 14 investigations for his likely participation in crimes.”
The Knights Templar demanded extortion payments from local businesses and farmers, but the vigilante groups have gained ground against the cartel in recent months.