Mexican Town Besieged by Rival Gangs, as Police and Army Stand Aside

Deborah Bonello, Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2015

They arrived carrying rifles, machetes and sticks, their faces covered with ski masks and scarves.

About 300 armed civilians poured into the small town of Chilapa, in the troubled state of Guerrero, on the afternoon of May 9, a Saturday, hitting people and breaking into their houses in a seemingly systematic rampage.

Behind them came white pickup trucks loaded with young men sporting high-caliber weapons. Cellphone video taken by residents shows armed people in civilian clothing threatening people on the streets.

“At first we thought that they might be community police,” said Felipe Nava Reyes, 24, a truck driver who was in the center of town when they arrived. Community police and self-defense teams are common in Guerrero and the neighboring state of Michoacan.

“But then on Sunday, they started to take people.”

The armed men and women who rode into town that Saturday were members of a criminal gang known as Los Ardillos, or the Squirrels. What unfolded over the next five days was a narco standoff between them and a rival drug gang, Los Rojos, or the Reds, that usually controls Chilapa, according to witnesses, social media and local news reports.

As so often happens in Mexico, the ordinary residents of the town were caught in the middle.


By the time the outsiders left on Thursday, at least 16 people, all of them male and aged 14 to 30, were taken from the streets of Chilapa, according to families of the missing.

But residents believe that nearly twice that number may have disappeared and that their families have been too fearful to report them missing. {snip}

Chilapa was locked down for five days by its occupiers despite the presence of the Mexican army, the gendarmerie (a national elite police force) and municipal and state forces, none of which intervened. Cellphone video shows residents admonishing soldiers for just standing around, and residents said that when they asked soldiers and police to act, they were told that the forces were under orders to just observe.

Schools and businesses were closed, and the town’s famous Sunday market didn’t open. The mayor fled.


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  • The Mexican government should go to war with the Cartels, but they are steeped in
    corruption and in no position to do so. Things will only worsen (and spread North).

    • LHathaway

      No, president Obama should address the American public and ask that they abstain from lighting up a doobie. 50,000 drug war deaths south of the border since his inauguration are enough. That’s what he should do, but apparently, some sacrifices are just too much to ask.

      • John Smith

        Legalize it and grow it here – bring jobs back to the USA.

        • LHathaway

          lol, I suspect you are going for humor, but the fact this actually makes sense . . . well . . . Perhaps you have a career option available as a politician? It would be nice to send your comment back in time, or rather, if those in the past were allowed to somehow glimpse a normal comment from the future and read yours . . .

          • John Smith

            I’m serious. Why let foreign criminals cause trouble here or South of the Border and rake in almost all the profits? Let Americans earn the dough, the govt. tax it and keep criminals, foreign and domestic, out of it. This has to drive illegals up here, if only the more criminal of them.

        • Albert


    • MBlanc46

      Is there a difference between the government and the cartels?

      • The distinction is blurry, to be sure.

  • dd121

    I hope the million American expats who live there realize they may be caught in the crossfire.

  • Mangosteen, $1000 chair

    Can’t wait til this comes here on a large scale! Yay for vibrant diversity!

    • Light from the East

      The Mexican gang vs black thugs, who will win?

      • The Worlds Scapegoat

        The thugs that control our government.

      • Mangosteen, $1000 chair

        Whoever wins, whites lose.

      • Albert

        Mexicans have enough solidarity and determination to cause a seldom heard of phenomenon called “black flight.” I’m not making this up. They’ve been known to move into neighborhoods and frighten the blacks out.

  • Chip Carver

    The cartels have been beheading more people than ISIS. The true scope of the violence and cruelty in Mexico, normal for these stone-age peoples, is hidden by the MSM. Just wait until the Amerindians, Mestizos and other “latinos” hit critical mass in the US.

  • Christopher Perrien

    The migration of Central and South American people to the US, and the lowering of living standards, It would not surprise me if there will eventually(50years?) be a new country ” Mexi-America, or maybe just “North America” in its entirety.

    When the population of North America will be more than 50% Hispanic what else is to be expected. No argueing with growth rates.

    Only way for Mexico to fight these cartels is for the United States and Mexico to legalize most illicit drugs. Marijuana , cocaine, heroin/opium , methamphetamine. That would remove their extremely over-inflated black market value.

    • Rurik

      And once we legalize all drugs, the Mexican cartels will just shrug, say it was a nice racket while it lasted, and go get a job flipping burgers? Now pull the other one.

      • Christopher Perrien

        They are “narco-terrorists”, US Dollars from the illicit drug trade is what “makes” them. Without that they die. Surely involved with them are other facets of organized crime – the police ,the banks, Mexican mafia , that are into other “vices”,- smuggling of contraband besides drugs, gambling, prostitution, slavery, but the narco-terrorist rely on US drug dollars. Remove the dollars, the Narco -terrorist can’t buy guns or get people to “work”- for them anymore.

        And legalizing drugs would remove the need for most of this police state we have now and also that Mexico has now, and put a good portion of the DEA and other police agencies, and their informers and shills, like yourself,
        into the burger-flipping business.

        • Rurik

          You did not take the trouble to explain why those terrorists, once deprived of their drug racket, would not just diversify into some other illegal activity. I happen to believe the criminally inclined thug is the problem, and will always find a crime.
          And I do suspect that there are a bunch of people who become twitchy about “legalizing drugs” from self interest. If it makes you feel better to stick labels on me, I’m able to handle it.

          • Christopher Perrien

            The people at the top of the narco-terrorist “system” are already involved in other vices. Organize crime is an octopus. Legalizing drugs would cut off a very big arm. That arm is the one that does the most killing and causes the most civic harm . Mexico is the case in point.

            “And I do suspect that there are a bunch of people who become twitchy about “legalizing drugs” from self interest.”

            Hell yes, and that is exactly why they remain illegal. Big pharma loves to control access to all pain-killers and other drugs made of illegal substances. Big banks love to launder drug money. Politicians and police love bribes and confiscated assets. Narcs and DEA love that they have employment. Head choppers love chopping heads off of informers. Religious people love to have “stuff” to rail against. Some people love watching Zeta mundo-narco films.

            Your apathy in not wanting to remove any of this evil, is fairly typical.

          • Christopher Perrien

            “And I do suspect that there are a bunch of people who become twitchy about “legalizing drugs” from self interest.”

            For “funsies” I’ll approach this a different way. The “twichy” made me think. Perhaps you were an addict and are worried for all addicts about easy legal access to any “dragons”. Those dragons, people have, or had, to beat themselves, or die. I know.

          • Rurik

            No, a sometime former user who walked away when I found it no longer interesting. You can speak for your self, as long as you wish to keep digging.

          • Rurik

            Actually, what you are objecting to is not “my apathy, but my disagreement.” You seem to support my position by example.

          • Christopher Perrien

            I don’t think so, though I disagree with your idea of “criminally inclined”.

            I’ll leave it at that.

  • Luca D.

    That whole damned country is one hot mess. Boycott Mexico.

    • Mexico used to be a fun place to visit, back in the 1980’s.

    • Caesar Avgvstvs

      We need to do more than just boycott Mexico. We need to erect a fence along the US-Mexico border and allow it to be heavily patrolled by American soldiers, instead of allowing them to fight wars for Israel in some Middle Eastern country.

      • Fair Dinkum

        A fence? I’m thinking machine gun towers and land mines.

        • Rurik

          With triple rolls of concertina wire, tanglefoot, and claymores. Flares, and also motion detectors to alert to tunneling. Covered by random armed patrols as well as automated gun emplacements.

          • Albert

            Meh. A wall and patrols would be far more costly and less effective than simply enforcing the immigration laws currently in place (and I hope to heaven above Obama cannot change them). It’s illegal to hire illegals or permit them to rent property.

      • John Smith

        Mines and automated gun emplacements.

  • Ringo Lennon

    In my store I heard a guy talking with a foreign accent. I asked where he was from. Italy, he said. I called him a Dago. Said I was half one. We laughed. How refreshing it was to hear a European man instead of a Hispanic.

    • The Worlds Scapegoat

      (Joke) How do Italian helicopters sound as they fly through the air?

      Dago wop – wop – wop – wop -wop.


  • HE2

    “Mexican Town Besieged by Rival Gangs.”

    Take it from this Mexifornia resident:
    The above is coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
    In the farming village of my birth, scarcely a day goes by without a “rival gang” shoot-out near a convenience store.
    For some reason, greaseritos love to hang out at convenience stores.

    • Tarczan

      Obviously then, we need to ban convenience stores.

      • HE2

        Why did I not think of that? You are a genius.
        It would kill two birds with one stone.
        Convenience store operators, invariably Pakis, Indians, other Asians who supplement their income illegally buying EBT cards would be put out of business, greaseritos would stop terrorizing decent, law-abiding citizens on emergency candy bar runs. :]

  • jayvbellis

    Birth control Si

    Illegal alien amnesty No!

  • jayvbellis

    War on drugs works fine in Singapore.

    Han Chinese with inherited British colonial institutions.

    Strict laws against everything that threatens public order.

    President Lee banned Black Hip Hop Rap music from Singapore.

    My kind of town Singapore is, my kind of town.

    • Singapore has also banned chewing gum.

      • jayvbellis

        I ll ban chewing gum if I get a ban on Muslims

        • newscomments70

          There is actually a large Muslim community in Singapore…Singapore even has a Muslim flag. Some of their strictest laws came from Muslim culture. They seem different than “European” Muslims…who are basically lawless.

      • newscomments70

        Not really. You can’t buy it there, but such rules are not enforced that much. They really know what to do with their criminals though…and consequently, there is very little crime.

    • Michael Robert Ryan

      Singaporeans do not have any western notions about liberty and individual rights as Aryans do.

      You can either have your drug war or you can have Aryan liberty, but you cannot have both. Your choice.

      • jayvbellis

        Aryans can drink beer as their drug. I do.

        Lot s of things high IQ Aryans can get away with making legal, available do not work at all with the Black underclass. Things like porn.

        The Swedish welfare state worked O. When Sweden was all Nordic Swedes. Now that Sweden is flooded with Blacks, Muslims, it doesn’t t work at all.

        • Michael Robert Ryan

          Aryans can drink beer as their drug.

          Many will choose not to. And that puts you into the position of having to shred the Fourth Amendment and other constitutional guarantees in order to prosecute your drug war.

        • MBlanc46

          It’s hard for one brought up on the idea of equal protection before the law to accept the possibility of different codes for different groups, but black crime and violence keep forcing the idea to the fore. It may turn out to be an essential feature of multiculturalism.

      • jayvbellis

        Please take your anything goes Libertarianism to …

        Mogadishu Somalia

        Should be a Libertarian paradise – no government, no taxes, everybody has unlimited drugs and guns…

        Like to see most every White Libertarian loon’s mutilated dead body dragged through the streets of Mogadeshu by black mobs, only way to get idiot Whote a Libertarians to shut up.

  • InitialSegment

    When a government can no longer enforce its laws or protect its citizens, then it no longer governs. Mexico is likely doomed as a functioning state. The best we can do is keep the chaos from spreading across the border.

    • The US Pentagon has classed Mexico as a “failed state”.

      • HE2

        And, MCS, as I keep saying, they are bringing their dystopian, unworkable mess North with the full blessings of our rogue govt.
        More than blessings, oogabooga is paying their passage.

      • IstvanIN

        If Mexico is a failed state, presumably because they have lost control of parts of the country to the drug lords, then why isn’t the US a failed state? We have no control over our borders, sections of the US are no go areas for Americans, citizenship has no real value, it is given to anyone who can drop a baby on US soil, not to mention anyone from anywhere for almost any reason, we have outsourced a huge number of jobs that should be domestic, and we have a national debt that can never be repaid.

        Just because we have a functioning bureaucracy doesn’t mean we are not a failed state. Take Greece from the 1930s until today. Despite foreign occupations, governments being overthrown, military governments, communists and terrible mismanagement, the basic bureaucracy continued. And so does ours.

  • Wigglesworth

    Cellphone video shows residents admonishing soldiers for just standing around, and residents said that when they asked soldiers and police to act, they were told that the forces were under orders to just observe.

    We are starting to see this at home. Politicians are ordering law enforcement to stand down and let the criminals rampage through the streets. We just haven’ t progressed as far as Mexico, but we are headed in that direction.

    • Baltimore comes quickly to mind.

    • Reynardine

      You gotta just “give them room” to let their aggressions out is all. Worked for Baltimore, right?

  • The Worlds Scapegoat

    Welfare is what fuels the drug trade. Most of the people who take/buy drugs are subsidized by the government; either directly or indirectly.



    • Our courts have even ruled that it is unconstitutional to drug-test recipients of public assistance. In other words, the welfare slugs have the right to spend our money on crack and meth.

    • a multiracial lndividual

      Do you have any data to shine light on that claim?

    • pennawhytmn

      Believe me, drug use is spread FAR beyond those on welfare. The very wealthy indulge quite a bit, right along with the hardworking middle class. The war on drugs is a sham and a great example of government overreach. There are just far too many people on both sides of the law that benefit financially resultant of it. Our society would be a far safer, peaceful place if we ended this senseless war. I am not saying to make ALL drugs legal (not out of the question though), but society as a whole, would benefit immeasurably if we really made some drastic changes. The criminalization of marijuana, without question, is tyranny at it’s finest. I haven’t used it since learning I was going to be a father 9 years ago, but others shouldn’t be forced to live by my standards.

  • “Mexican Town Besieged By Rival Gangs”.

    Sounds like a spaghetti western movie, specifically “A Fistful Of Dollars”.

  • Eagle1212

    When you have corrupt politicians and drug cartels mixing together, this is the result that comes out, the War on Drugs was a colossal failure making these scumbags stronger and encouraging more illegals to flee and slither on to here.

  • newscomments70

    Drug dealing gangs are allowed to live and thrive and prison…they are then released. That is the problem. There is an easy and final solution to that. Allowing the country to be hooked on heroin is not a solution.

  • MBlanc46

    And this is what we’re importing into our nation.