La Jornada’s Luis Hernández Navarro summarizes the competing truths in Michoacán with following information, which may be true and may not be true.
Summarized and expanded:
1) The leaders of the self-defense groups in Michoacán must all be criminals, if the federal government says three or four of them are.
2) The leaders are being defamed and criminalized by the federal government; hence, the self-defense movement is discredited.
3) This is a classic undermining of grass roots authority when the leaders say things that make the government look corrupt, indolent and incompetent. The government is in fact those things.
4) The same defaming has not been applied to the narco-leaders and those who collude with them within state and federal government.
5) The effect of “criminalizing” the self-defense group leaders weakens their unity. Or has the opposite effect. Remember Pancho Villa.
6) Confusion follows, as well as doubt and distrust.
7) Without their weapons, the famous AK-47s, the self-defense groups will be cut down by the narcocartel killers—along with the self-defense groups’ families.
8) The self-defense groups have really had enough of the killings and rapes and will not give up their weapons and will choose new leaders whether those new leaders have records of previous weapons and marijuana possession—as long as the leaders lead.
9) The government’s tactic removes the critics who have pointed out over and over the government’s corruption, indolence and incompetence.
10) By “criminalizing” the groups, the latter may decide that the government is an equal opportunity enemy; and then there will be something like civil war.
11) All of which could be avoid if the government cleaned up its act—which it may be incapable of: i.e. enforcing the law, cleaning house, strengthening the Rule of Law at all levels. Police, judiciary, government bureaucracy.
12) The federal government is afraid of the Pancho Villa effect: the existence of the people’s heroes. As they should be. History shows that reformers awaken the wrath of the established order.
13) Since the government is not protecting the people (the men, women and children of thousands of villages and towns), the people will do it—no matter what is put in their way.
14) All of which spells the approach of a tragic storm.
15) One recent group, forced to hand over their weapons, wrote on the forms they signed, “We are prepared to die.”