Pueblos Unidos (United Towns)is a group of vigilant citizens in municipalities of Michoacán in Mexico, who, tired of the siege and extortion by organized crime groups, decided to take up arms and defend themselves.
"We want to be emphatic. We are not self-defense or criminal groups. Here the only thing we knew how to handle was the machete and the hoe. But now we have seen the need to acquire weapons, even with the fear of not knowing how to use them”, mentions an organization commander.
Criminal groups such as "Viagras" and "Jalisco Cartel" demand 50 thousand pesos (around 2500 dollars) every month per hectare from producers of avocado, mango and other fruits, who mention that it is "cheaper" to invest in weapons.
More than 3,000 farmers from the field joined to form a private armed force that guards the area and stands as a parallel authority in the face of the neglect of the government security forces that avoid the area.