> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Mexico: Citizen Militias vs. Drug Cartels



Mexico: Citizen Militias vs. Drug Cartels

An interesting read on the rise of ad hoc bands of armed citizens - some from the U.S. - who got fed up with the local drug cartel and took up arms in their own defense.

Mexico has been in a state of quasi-failure for a long while now, with drug cartels owning whole towns and regions. Criminal feudalism that, in many ways, is a crap-hits-the-fan situation of its own.

As I see it, while most folks are most worried about random mobs and roving gangs in a collapse scenario, the bigger threat will come from corrupt groups trying to assert themselves as the 'new' government or regional power...exactly what the cartels have done here.

These aren't going to be groups that randomly come together, but existing organizations with manpower and resources pre-collapse. Likely, organized criminal gangs will make a play for power, as will extremist groups...but also, government and political organizations would make plays to retain or expand their power, too.

A band of four or five poorly equipped thugs a survivalist family or two can fend of. A large, well-equipped criminal organization or despotic officials with corrupt, militarized law enforcement on a leash...less likely.

Resistance to these levels of threat to safety and freedom would require numbers, some level of training and logistic support.

Further complicating matters, the 'good guys' would likely be starting far behind the curve and at a disadvantage to whatever organization was trying to assert itself as the new boss in town.

Anyways, a few thoughts for ya'll. Worth thinking about.


  1. Newbie here, Happy and healthy New Year to you.
    I'm glad I read that article, it put things into perspective. I have to agree, strength in numbers, right? Besides your own community, during a crisis of continental proportions, who will we align with? Will there be 2 or more factions of the military or former military? I think/hope we will have some time to organize a little better while the big boys square off.

  2. Agreed completely. Anarchy never lasts very long. History has taught this lesson time and time again. Someone, almost always someone will less than noble intentions, will try to exert power over everyone else. Usually its several someones who will then duke it out until one is victorious.

  3. An interesting read is Charles Tilly's article "War Making and State Making as Organized Crime." He makes a compelling argument that government in general is simply the child of organized criminals and gangs having a turf war. His article is 17 pages and about 4-5 pages of bibliography. He was a terrific scholar and brilliant mind. Here is a link:


    Google the article if you want to read but don't trust a link posted by an anonymous individual.

    Keep in mind I am not making a moral or political judgement here. I'm saying government is necessary and as KingHoju said, anarchy in the Hobbesian sense never lasts long. Order is created by both force and need.


  4. I think it's high time for those citizens in Mexico to get off their butts and take these matters into their own hands. It's also high time they quit coming here and trying to change our ways and start changing their own laws into what they want.

  5. I live by the border with Mexico, and have many family members who still live over there. About 6 years ago I used to visit them every weekend, until the violence escalated and it all fell apart. A lot of crazy shit has happened that is not covered by the news. In this particular town where my family lives there is absolutely no law, and I am sure it is the same way in most of the hotspots in Mexico. When the cartels took over, law enforcement was poorly equipped and poorly paid. They were already corrupt but there was some sort of order in the city. However, when the cartels began imposing their power the police started to work with them. Citizens had nowhere to look to for help. Carjackings, beatings, rape, murder, torture, it all became extremely common. People were afraid and could not report that their car had been stolen or that their daughter was raped. The cartels were infamous for driving around the city and picking up young girls, raping them, and letting them go after days of abusing them. Years later as their power grew there was no reason to kidnap them. They would simply go to your front door, take your wife, and tell you to have your daughter ready to go when they returned from raping your loved one. To make matters worse, other small bands of criminals started to form to take advantage of the lawlessness. They began extorting businesses for money, so much to the point that many had to close down. They then began demanding money from families. To make matters worse, cartels started hiring children to be their eyes on the street. They pay them well, give them cell phones and weapons, and ask that they report all activity in the neighborhood. It is all just one incredibly huge clusterfuck and the government has been unable to control it. Only in "Tierra Caliente" (the area of the states of Michoacán and Guerrero) have the people been able to restore some peace. A bunch of farmers and fishermen armed themselves with illegal weapons, killed cartel members and pushed them out of their areas. I hope this mindset spreads to other parts of Mexico. My point being, I have learned a lot about the atrocities that happen when there is no order. We should learn and prepare ourselves not only to survive, but also to fight back.