Mexican vigilante group steps up to protect communities
January 22, 2013
Hundreds of men have gathered in the Mexico state of Guerrero to bring a stop to the numerous killings, kidnappings and extortion brought by the local drug gangs, according to The Associated Press. This vigilante group is grown tired of the local police being unable or unwilling to put a stop to the horrible events, and have taken matters into their own hands.
These masked men have taken up arms in hopes of diminishing the increasingly growing problem.
"The situation Mexico is experiencing, the crime, is what has given the communities the legitimacy to say, 'We will assume the tasks that the government has not been able to fulfill,'" rights activist Roman Hernandez, whose group Tlachinollan has worked with the community forces, told the publication.
The group has created their own checkpoint along a two-lane highway in hopes of stopping these drug gangs before they reach their towns. What's more, the residents in the area are more than accepting of the group and hope they stick around.
"In less than a month, they have done something that the army and state and federal police haven't been able to do in years," Lorena Morales Castro, who waited in a line of cars at a checkpoint Friday, told the news source. "They are our anonymous heroes."
Guerrero Governor Angel Aguirre is also supportive of the group, and is trying to give them uniforms so they are not confused with masked gang members. However, he is hoping that they will not need the help from this group by bumping up their enforcement. But until then, these men will continue to protect their towns and communities, and they have the support they need to continue.
"When the people are united, it doesn't matter if it's a .22, a 16-gauge shotgun or 20-gauge. It's that when we are united, not even bullets from an AK-47 can defeat us," the self-defense commander in Las Mesas told the media outlet. "They can't kill us all."
According to the Daily Mail, the country's officials responded to the recent events by ensuring residents that they will be sending more police officers and soldiers to the areas that need it most.