Fresh out of prison, Mexican vigilante Hipolito Mora may now have his sights set on something bigger than another gunfightpolitics.
After spending months in prison on murder charges, Mora and about two dozen of his followers were released on Monday, reported the Associated Press. One day later, the leader of las Autodefensas de Michoacan, an armed vigilante group, announced that he might test his luck by running for office.
Mora and his followers were imprisoned in the Mexican state of Michoacán after a deadly clash between rival vigilante groups in December. The firefight between Moras followers and the followers of Luis Anotnio Torres, a former vigilante leader and current police commander, left 10 dead.
On Monday, a judge ruled that Mora and his followers were not guilty of murder, but instead were acting in self-defense when they came under fire during the confrontation. The shootout occurred in the town of La Ruana on Dec. 16 and led to the arrest of 37 men and the death of 10. Moras own son was one of the casualties in the firefight, according to Reuters.
Both Mora and Torres formed vigilante groups in 2013 to fight back against the extortion demands of the Knights Templar cartel in light of police incompetence and government corruption. Both groups were comprised mainly of farmers and ranchers.
These vigilante groups have since been absorbed into the Rural Forces, a new police force that has essentially transformed the vigilante groups into a legal organization.
While Mora has participated in deadly gunfights and has picked up illegal weapons, his passion for reform and his ability to lead seems to have inspired the new project.
On Tuesday, Mora told a local news outlets that he is now considering running for congress.