The state attorney general's office said at around midday it received word of an attack on Hipolito Mora in the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto in western Michoacan. This is a representational image. D-Keine/Gettyimages

The leader of a vigilante group in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, named Hipolito Mora, was tragically killed on Thursday, according to the local government.

The attack was extremely brutal, resulting in Mora's body being severely burned, making identification difficult.

The state attorney general's office received information about the attack around midday. Hipolito Mora had founded a self-defense group approximately ten years ago, aiming to protect the region from a powerful drug gang in the violent state of Michoacan.

The group gained prominence during that time.

According to the Michoacan attorney general's office, upon arriving at the scene, officials discovered two destroyed trucks and a severely burned body, presumed to be that of Hipolito Mora.

Additionally, three other bodies were found at the location.

Prosecutors believe that Mora was traveling with a security detail when they were attacked by unknown assailants who subsequently fled the scene.

The governor of Michoacan, Alfredo Ramirez Bedolla, has confirmed the death of Hipolito Mora.

On Twitter he called the attack on Mora and local police officers a "cowardly killing," and promised to bring those responsible to justice, Reuters reported.

Due to the ongoing issue of chronic violent crime in certain Mexican states, self-defense groups have emerged as a response, arguing that the authorities have been ineffective in addressing the problem.

These groups justify their existence by claiming to fill the security void left by the authorities.

In 2014, Hipolito Mora's self-defense group, along with other similar groups, entered into a temporary agreement with the federal government to establish a regulated rural defense force to counter organized crime.

Despite stepping back from his role in the self-defense group in recent years, Mora, aged 67, had expressed his intention to resume taking up arms in response to an increase in crime in the region.

In a recent interview with Reuters, he voiced his concerns about the escalating crime situation and his determination to address it through direct action.

© 2023 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.