If you kick a man enough times, sometimes you draw back a stump. And the Mexican drug cartels have been doing a lot of kicking. In rural areas of Mexico, far away from the spotlight of international media and high-profile arrests, the problem of violent drug thugs is being dealt with in an unconventional manner. In the southwestern state of Guererro, citizens are taking to the streets, masked and armed. They are determined to do what the local and national governments have been unable to do: protect innocent civilians.
Since 2006, there have been nearly 70,000 people killed nationwide and residents in the municipalities of Ayutia de los Libres and Teconoapa have had enough. For the past couple of weeks, 800 locals have volunteered to serve as a makeshift militia, setting up checkpoints, enforcing curfews, and arresting alleged criminals. They are not trained or well-armed, but they are determined to correct what their corrupt government has failed to do.
The full version of this column is now only available in Doug Giles’ book, “Sandy Hook Massacre: When Seconds Count, The Police Are Minutes Away”.