Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/21/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Residents of Tierra Caliente are weary of harsh cartel rule.

With the blessing of Catholic priests and a bishop, residents of the Mexican village of Tierra Caliente are taking the law into their own hands. Citizens are arming themselves and forming vigilante groups to protect themselves from what they say is uncontrolled cartel violence.

Residents of Tierra Caliente are taking the law into their own hands. The Church will not oppose them.

Residents of Tierra Caliente are taking the law into their own hands. The Church will not oppose them.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

11/21/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Bishop, Catholic Church, Tierra Cliente, cartels, drugs, control, revolution, Mexico, Mexican

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (Catholic Online) - About 300 miles to the west of Mexico City is the small village of Tierra Caliente, in Michoacán. In that region, rival drug cartels have taken control of everything, bribing officials and suppressing all meaningful efforts to curtail their activity. In Tierra Caliente, the gun makes the law.

Recently, residents have become fed up with cartel justice, which demand that businesses pay money for protection and generally answer to the cartel bosses.  In an effort to control the citizens, bosses recently ordered the closing of tortilla mills, the equivalent of closing bakeries and denying people bread, and taxi drivers stopped taking fares on Day of the Dead.

Outside of town, a blockade is enforced preventing the delivery of fuel and other items. Smart drivers don't even attempt to make deliveries into the town.

All this has residents angry, and fed up that their community has been hijacked by criminal gangs and that the government will do nothing to protect them. Only the Church is left as an uncorrupted institution. Now, the Church is fighting back, blessing the formation of vigilante groups to take back the community from criminals.

Bishop Miguel Patino Velazquez, of Apatzingan wrote in a letter, "This is like a cancer in our society." While he is not calling for the formation of vigilante groups, he isn't speaking out against them either, which has the effect of granting approval.

In an open letter he published on Oct. 15, the Bishop criticized the government for failing to protect citizens. He also criticized the local police and other officials for taking bribes and refusing to do their jobs.

Violent conflict in Mexico has already claimed more than 135,000 lives in the past six years and another 25,000 people are missing. Although few will say it, the nation of Mexico is effectively in a state of civil war.

It should be acknowledged that homicides are down by almost 20 percent, but kidnappings are up by more than 35 percent. The cartels also maintain a stranglehold on other communities besides Tierra Caliente.

For now, the public resistance has had little effect on the cartel which can probably overpower a local vigilante group through various means. Cartels are well-funded and powerfully armed. Government forces show little interest in seriously tackling the problem, even with broad community-and Church support.

For the time, the wicked rule and the people suffer. However, such corruption cannot stand for long. Now, as the Church challenges the cartel, the bosses will find themselves at odds with an unbeatable foe, God Himself and His Church. The Church has withstood many persecutions before, and has always emerged victorious. The cartels may not loosen their strangleholds now, but given the power and history of the Church, they would be wise to do so.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Americas

Donald Trump's head, specifically his head, is now worth $100 million Watch

Image of This head is worth a cool $100 million, a fact which can only make it bigger.


Donald Trump's head, specifically his head, is now worth $100 million. Sinaloa drug cartel boss, EL Chapo Guzman has reportedly increased the bounty on Trump, asking him to be delivered "dead or alive." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - El Chapo is the leader of the ... continue reading

Two of Mexico's most dangerous criminal imprisoned on U.S. soil Watch

Image of Forty-two-year-old Valdez, who also goes under the name of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two of Mexico's most violent and dreaded criminals are now imprisoned on U.S. soil. Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villarreal and Jorge Eduardo "El Coss" Costilla Sanchez are among the most notorious of 13 suspects sent to the U.S. in an unusually high-level judicial ... continue reading

Cuban President pressured by Obama to make moves Watch

Image of


President Barack Obama has broadened opportunities for Americans to spend money, travel, and open businesses in Cuba following two rounds of regulatory reforms since December. While America has been on the move, it seems Cuba has limited its movements to reopening its ... continue reading

Cuba's homeless mysteriously vanish prior to the papal visit Watch

Image of Cuba's homeless vanish before Pope Francis' visit and reemerge just as mysteriously afterward.


The streets of eastern Holguin, Cuba are now flooded with homeless people, following Pope Francis's visit; the homeless went missing during the Pope's tour of the country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dozens of homeless now re-flood the streets of eastern ... continue reading

First U.S. Hispanic Saint: Pope Francis to canonize Junipero Serra during U.S. visit Watch

Image of Father Junipero Serra's canonization will

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis and the Vatican have announced plans to canonize the Blessed Junipero Serra during the Pope's visit to the United States on September 23. Serra will become the United States' first Hispanic saint. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Often times, the ... continue reading

The 'silent genocide' of the Brazilian Guarani tribe Watch

Image of Guarani tribe members were promised land in 1993 and have yet to see it, so they fight (Survival International).

By Talia Ramos

One of the oldest tribes in South America, the Guarani Indian tribe, was displaced after ranchers claimed their lands, forcing them to sleep on roadsides. Due to their persecution from the politically-powered land owners, the surviving Guarani people have been asking ... continue reading

South American femicide continues to increase at shockingly high rates Watch

Image of Rape, murder, and kidnapped victims in Mexico continues to increase.


Aidé Nava, a mayoral candidate and mother from Ahuacuotzingo Village in Mexico was found decapitated on the streets of her own town. Gangsters are believed to be behind several kidnappings where women are tortured, raped and decapitated.  MUNTINLUPA CITY, ... continue reading

Why Pope Francis' last speech in Cuba was a masterstroke of genius Watch

Image of Pope Francis has become a political force to be reckoned with.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis concluded his visit to Cuba by delivering a masterful speech calling for a new revolution in the socialist country. He delivered his speech just before departing on Tuesday. Though steeped in religious tones, the call to action is courageous and clear. LOS ... continue reading

'It's like a sign of God': Costa Rican community amazed by unusual cloud formation Watch

Image of Beautiful display of cloud iridescence.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last Tuesday a cloud phenomenon occurred in Costa Rica, leaving people both mystified and horrified. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - Several cities such as San Jose, Parrita, Pavas, Escazu and Hatillo reported the colorful cloud anomaly. Hundreds posted ... continue reading

Pope Francis wasn't the first to visit Cuba - what happened during previous Papal visits? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI meets with Fidel Castro (L'Osservatore Romano Vatican-Pool/Getty Images).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is the third pope to visit Cuba. Who were the first two and why did they decide to visit? LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II each made the trip to Cuba in 2012 and 1998 respectively.TIME called John Paul's ... continue reading

All Americas News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Malachi 3:13-20
13 'You have said harsh things about me, says Yahweh. ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:5-13
5 He also said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 8th, 2015 Image

St. Pelagia
October 8: Pelagia, more often called Margaret, on account of the ... Read More