MEXICO: Can Vigilante Justice Save Mexico?

Mexico civilian militiaBy San Quiñones, A Reporter’s Blog

My homeboys in MexicoDudley Althaus and photographer Keith Dannemiller, have a new story up on Global Post asking this question, and visiting places where citizens have taken up where the police have not in the face of rampant criminality.

This town, Ayutla de los Libres, in the Mixtec region of Guerrero, has had a masked militia for a month or so. (More here on the disaster that is Guerrero lately.)

It’s interesting that the militia also is part of the usos y costumbres system under which many Mexican Indian villages are governed — unpaid municipal labor by each member of the community, including policing.

Vigilante justice is nothing new in Mexico. Lynchings have been going on for decades if not centuries. I wrote about one lynching in True Tales from Another Mexico: the Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx.

But I take it as sad commentary on the country that the question the story poses even has to be asked.

This article was first published in A Reporter’s Blog.

Sam Quiñones has been a working reporter for 25 years, including 10 years in Mexico as afreelance writer. He is the author of two books, and many stories about immigrants, gangs, drug trafficking and more.

[Photo: Civilian militia, Ayutla de los Libres; Credit: Keith Dannemiller]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

U.S. citizen detained overnight by ICE – they thought he was undocumented

Victor Landa July 6, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1.5 minute read)  This is startling news. Up until last night at a dinner conversation I believed that the idea that an American citizen would be […]

Willie Velásquez documentary is a lesson for Latinos on the importance of voting

NewsTaco May 9, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because today is Willie Velasquez day and a quick search of his name turned up no news stories. This piece, by Mercedes Olivera, is from […]

DIECIOCHO Podcast: Texas Rep. Rafael Anchia – Trump, Gerrymandering and Money

NewsTaco June 8, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1 minute read, 34 minute listen)  It’s safe to say that the just-ended Texas legislative session was the most acrimonious in memory. We can talk for […]

Ted Cruz gets an earful in McAllen for July 4

Victor Landa July 5, 2017

*I’m posting this because it was mostly Latinos, organizing, protesting, making their voices heard. Everyone needs to know that Latinos in deep South Texas are standing up. VL By Patrick […]

Pence will host White House Cinco de Mayo party

NewsTaco May 4, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because there’ll be no Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House (I know, big deal – we’ll be spared the taco-bowl). VL By Hadas […]

Vietnam War veteran fears he could be deported

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*This Vietnam veteran, born in Mexico, was awarded two Purple Hearts and given U.S. citizenship after his service. He’s misplaced his documents and after paying $345 the government wants more […]

Henry Cisneros: Why Can’t Americans See Latinos Are Country’s ‘Saving Grace’?

Victor Landa

*Good question. I think it’s because we’re not the ones telling our story. We need to fight for our narrative. VL By Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News (1.5 minute read)  SAN […]

Castro will not run for U.S. Senate

NewsTaco May 1, 2017

By Victor Laneda, NewsTaco (i.5 minute read)    Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) says he will not be running for the U.S. Senate against Ted Cruz. Castro had promised to make […]