I had a long chat with a local friend who I will leave unnamed (as this blog is now picking up a small local readership) and I got the skinny on the present situation here concerning the violence.

The state of Michoacán (where I live) is at the absolute epicenter for the battle between the government and the bad guys and the government is throwing something like $45M USD at this state in 2014 by way of adding additional army and federales here.

There are a couple of other states; notably, Guerrero, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas that have their own problems with the violence, but for whatever reason, Michoacán has the most and the baddest of the bad. For example, twenty more bodies were found day before yesterday not too far from Jiquilpan. And Jiquilpan is a mere 7 km from where I live in Sahuayo.

The big problems here in Michoacán lie mostly to the central part of the state which are being acerbated by vigilantes who are bringing some of the wrath and retribution of the bad guys back onto the local populace. The violence used to be strictly bad guys versus other bad guys but the vigilantes have changed that calculus.

An article found in today’s British paper – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2553618/Four-human-heads-Mexican-town-vigilantes-doing-battle-Knights-Templar-drug-cartel.html

And unfortunately the local situation has changed because as of about a month ago there have been vigilantes surfacing in Sahuayo. This problem is compounded [I am told] by the indifference of the federales who only consider their mission to be the eradication of the bad guys with little or no thought given to the repercussions that their actions are having on the local populace.

And the local situation has a further complication in that some of the local bad guys have defected to the cartel in bordering Jalisco which has then introduced yet more (residual) violence through revenge. This revenge hasn’t been limited to the defectors but has extended to their families as well. I have heard reports that something like 20-50 families have up and left this area because of this revenge.

Lastly, the violence prospectus for 2014 appears to be highly unpredictable but possibly trending towards the worse. The extended government pressure being exerted upon the local bad guys could prove to be highly volatile for two reasons. One, there is no safety valve. Michoacán is surrounded by rival bad guys who will violently oppose the bad guys here entre into their areas. And two, the bad guys have learned that they can successfully fight the government so there is no fear there.

But I will end this update on a positive note. I have heard from another highly reliable friend that the government is switching plans and no longer intends to use their proven ineffective strong arm tactics of the past. The new plan is using intel from the US to quietly and selectively remove individual bad guys. We can only hope that we are not going to see the bungling CIA carry out drone strikes here but something more on the order of quietly arresting individuals in the dead of night.

PS- And I almost forgot, Mexico, under its new president has earmarked a great sum money to be used for the disadvantaged for the purposes of education. This sounds a lot like what Colombia did to retake places like Medellin by offering incentives like education to give young people better choices other than a life of crime.