By: Teresa Mull

A group of women in Mexico is reportedly utilizing “the great equalizer” in an effort to defend their small village from a violent cartel.

The all-female self-defense group has armed themselves with rifles and a homemade tank and have set up roadblocks to keep the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) out of their village of El Terrero, the Associated Press reports.

“We women are tired of seeing our children, our families disappear,” one of the female vigilantes told the AP. “They take our sons, they take our daughters, our relatives, our husbands.”

Mexico News Daily reports:

Some of the almost 50 female vigilantes are pregnant and some take their small children with them as they patrol El Terrero. They told AP they fear CJNG gunmen could enter the town at any time via the rural area’s dirt roads.

According to the AP, these women have been forced to fight back against the cartel because so many men have disappeared. And though the news outlet asserts these women “clearly see the Jalisco cartel as their foe,” some people have accused them of being criminals themselves, in disguise.

Gun control is strict in Mexico. The LA Times reported in 2018 that “The only gun shop in all of Mexico is behind a fortress-like wall on a heavily guarded military base.” Yet despite the extreme measures the country goes to in order to regulate firearms, “violence is soaring.”

Case in point, criminals will get their hands on guns one way or another. No matter what.

Teresa Mull ( is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.