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Mexicans are cleaning up our mess

Tired of living under the yoke of criminal gangs and corrupt public servants, groups of Mexican citizens are taking matters into their own hands. Armed vigilantes have stormed the town of Paracuaro, headquarters of the Knights Templar drug gang. A 600-strong band of rebels rounded up and arrested the area’s police, whom they accuse of being on the payroll of cartels like the Templar. 


Members of the Public Safety System, a Mexican self-defense group, barreled into Paracuaro in armored vehicles, yelling “Don’t be frightened, we are vigilantes” as gun battles raged around the city. At least one person is known to have been killed. The coup was a decisive victory for the vigilantes, who seized the weapons of the police officers they placed under arrest.

Vigilante groups like the Public Safety System are faced with a herculean task. Besides casting off their own state’s corruption, they must clean up our mess. Cartels like the Templar derive virtually all of their funding from America’s War on Drugs, which – like alcohol prohibition – ensures that inevitable drug sales are made only by the least scrupulous salesmen. A study by a respected Mexican think tank found that legalizing marijuana in only the U.S. states of Colorado, Oregon and Washington would axe Mexican cartels’ income by as much as 30%.

The disastrous state with which Mexico’s vigilantes must contend is further proof that drug prohibition is a fantastically utopian policy with no logical basis of any kind.

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