Santa Ana Michoacanos Vs. the Templarios

Santa Ana residents are helping to wage a secret war against one of Mexico's most ruthless drug cartels—and they're winning

Even though the autodefensas appear to have beaten the Templarios and the government, it still isn't enough to satisfy the michoacanos in Santa Ana.

"Why doesn't the U.S. send the American military to Michoacán and clean up the place?" asks one man. "We send soldiers to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Why not Michoacán?"

His friends nod in agreement, serious. It is an alternative that has been debated among them, and they see U.S. intervention as the only solution for peace in Tierra Caliente.

Hans-Máximo Musielik/Courtesy Vice Mexico
A self-defense member in the aftermath of a confrontation with Los Caballeros Templarios during the takeover of Parácuaro, Michoacán
Hans-Máximo Musielik/Courtesy Vice Mexico
A self-defense member in the aftermath of a confrontation with Los Caballeros Templarios during the takeover of Parácuaro, Michoacán

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The suggestion is outlandish, of course. Their naivete and frustration bring to mind the Mexicans' traditional lament for their country: So far from God and so close to the United States. So all they can do is fight for the Hot Land.

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