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Farmers kill 10 cartel members including leader as they decide to stick up for themselves
Featured Image Credit: X/YouTube/ El Universal

Farmers kill 10 cartel members including leader as they decide to stick up for themselves

The fight took place between the cartel members and the farmers after the criminal organization increased its price for land

As many as 10 Mexican cartel members have been killed in a fight with local farmers after they shared new extortion demands.

The violent clash took place in the small, rural town of Texcaltitlán, where farmers had already been paying the La Familia Michoacana cartel for the use of land in the area.

The residents handed over one Mexican peso per square meter (around $.060) for the land, but recently the cartel declared they wanted twice as much cash from the farmers.

Images from the conflict had surfaced online.
YouTube/ El Universal

In a phone interview with Vice, one of the local farmers commented: “We had a very bad year [of harvests] and we barely made enough money to pay the original extortion fee.

"With this increase we basically had no choice but to die fighting or die from hunger."

With little choice, farmers decided to stick up for themselves and choose the 'die fighting' option.

On the afternoon of 8 December, residents clashed with the cartel in the fight which killed at least 14 people and injured seven others.

Footage from the encounter showed residents and cartel members arriving at a local soccer field, where farmers had agreed to meet the gang to deliver the money.

The group spoke for a few minutes, before someone fired a gunshot and the scene quickly descended into chaos.

Those involved in the fight used weapons including machetes.
YouTube/ El Universal

Farmers, armed with shotguns, machetes and sticks, went after the cartel members. While four farmers were killed in the conflict, the other 10 people who died were all members of the La Familia Michoacana cartel.

Among the dead was one cartel member named Rigoberto de la Sancha Santillán, known as 'Comandante Payaso' (Commander Clown); the alleged leader of La Familia in the region and the man believed to be behind the rise in the land fee.

Andrés Andrade, chief of police of Mexico State, said of Santillán: “[He] was a main target for us for his role in the criminal organization. We had several investigations ongoing to go after him."

The farmer who spoke with Vice also claimed the farmers told the Mexican army this was 'going to happen', saying: "We were not going to pay anymore. We asked for their back up and no-one showed up."

La Familia Michoacana was founded in the late 1980s, developing in the Mexican central state of Michoacán before moving mostly to Mexico State.

The increase in price for the land formed part of major criminal extortion market in Mexico, which criminal groups use for profit.

Mexico State Gov. Delfina Gómez and other local leaders have condemned the violence.

Topics: Drugs, Crime, World News