Real life "Breaking Bad" drug cartel boss (Part 2)

Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 4:14pm


Hipolito Mora, "Someone who blackmails, who robs honest people, a man who kills women and children. Our movement began because of the Knights Templar. Look what we've achieved in just eleven months! Without training, without intelligence. We've advanced a lot."

Guillermo Galdos, "How many towns have you taken back?"

Hipolito Mora, "About 15."

Guillermo Galdos, "How do the self-defense units finance themselves?"

Hipolito Mora, "With some lemon farms. They were abandoned by the Knights Templar. The lemons have a good price nowadays. Without help from any cartels or drug traffickers."

Guillermo Galdos, "Do you think you can finance this war with lemons?"

Hipolito Mora, "Yes."

La Tuta, "And if they say that the problem is me and the Knights Templar and that we are responsible for everything that is happening in Michoacan. Well, let the federal and state institutions take action against us and establish the rule of law. We completely agree with that."

Over the past few months, Michoacan has descended into anarchy. In mid-January the government finally acted, the army and federal police were sent in to the state to stop the violence and disarm the vigilantes.

Exactly what La Tuta wanted. The vigilantes refused to give up their guns, the army opened fire and that's why, today in the Village of Antunez, they are burying their dead.

The victims, two men shot, their families say, by the Mexican army.

Procession singing, "When they take me to the cemetery. I don't want anyone to cry."

The dead are serenaded like war heroes. Lining the route as a guard of honor are members of the vigilante groups. Their weapons are proudly on display, everyone here is against La Tuta and the Knights Templar.

Procession singing, "Goodbye my true friends. Blessings from my mother."

Mother, "Oh my boy! My beautiful boy!"

It's a village united in grief, they feel they've been totally abandoned, caught between the government and the Knights Templar.

Rodrigo Perez was 28 years-old, his grieving mother, Juana, told me about the day her son died, "It was about 10:30 p.m. when the shooting began. People started running and no one knew what to do. I started looking for him. I saw a woman carrying him, I didn't understand at that moment. The only thing I saw was that it was my son. I don't think I will be able to cope with this pain. When do you think I will see my son again? Never."

Daddy Daddy! Please don't leave me!

Don't go, my little boy! My boy! My boy!

These people gave their lives for Antunez

That's why we want justice!

The town of Antunez wants to be free!

Guillermo Galdos, "What would you say to the leader of the Knights Templar (La Tuta)?"

Juana Perez Aviles, "If I had him in front of me, I would say: 'Sir, don't be so cruel, don't spill so much blood." I wouldn't want him to feel this pain."

La Tuta, "I don't want to fight with anyone. We want peace and tranquility. We don't want to be the people who are blamed for causing problems in Michoacan. The problems in Michoacan are caused by self-defense groups and vigilantes. They are creating the situation, they are stealing, blatantly."

My audience with the man who runs Michoacan was coming to a close.

Guillermo Galdos, "How is it that a teacher ends up where you are?"

La Tuta, "It was a healthy, honest job, but for me, with my hyperactive nature and aspirations, it wasn't satisfying. That's how things worked out, and here I am."

Guillermo Galdos, "How does it feel to be one of the most wanted men in Mexico? Are you scared?"

La Tuta, "As a human being I'm scared. Be sure of that, I know what I represent and what I am and one day something will happen to me. If we've made mistakes, I ask for forgiveness. I know that even if I apologize not everyone will forgive me. Yes, I am a criminal, and I know they won't forgive me."

Her agony is Mexico's agony, to date more than 100,00 people have died because of the drug wars in this land.

La Tuta is still at large, the vigilantes and the army are still looking for him, one might wonder why they haven't found him yet.

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