Sunday, October 6, 2013

Female Auto Defensa Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

Borderland Beat Posted by Choco
 
Xaltianguis, outside of Acapulco, used to be a mecca for murder, kidnapping and extortion—until the town's women banded together to take protection into their own hands. Plus: see a gallery of Mexico's female vigilantes in action, with photos by Katie Orlinsky.

Xaltianguis is in the Southern Mexican state of Guererro, a region home to illegal poppy and marijuana cultivation and plagued by violence. It is also located less than an hour away from Acapulco, one of Mexico's most dangerous cities.
 
Like so many towns throughout Mexico, Xaltianguis—once a quiet farming town—has been at the mercy of organized crime for years, and by 2010 it had transformed into a mecca for murder, kidnapping and extortion. Yet this past summer, a group of ordinary women banded together for an extraordinary purpose: to make the town safer than it has been in years.

In late August, the first all-female armed Citizen Police group was formed in Xaltianguis. The force is made up of mostly middle-aged housewives, mothers and grandmothers. Many of these women have lost loved ones to violence, or were victims of crime themselves. They have lived in fear for their family, and they decided that they’ve had enough. So roughly 100 women have now volunteered to put their lives on the line in order to protect their children and defend their community.
 
In addition to going through weapons training and brushing up on police tactics such as patrols, vehicle searches and arrests (mostly of female criminals), the women have been traveling throughout the region to convince more women to form their own vigilante police forces. The women carry unloaded, rusty rifles that they often do not know how to use, and their uniforms consist of t-shirts and hats.
 
Sometimes they bring their toddlers with them on patrol, or have to leave duty to pick their children up from school. The female Citizen Police of Xaltianguis are like an armed community watch—searching vehicles, looking through backpacks before and after school, having one ear to the ground and knowing who’s who and who’s doing what. Xaltianguis residents say they feel safer than ever.

This new sense of security is due in large part to a widespread movement of vigilante justice across Mexico. People all over the country, starting in Guerrero, have taken the law into their own hands and formed volunteer police or self-defense groups (auto-defensas). From town to town, local citizens take up arms and volunteer their time to protect their communities from delinquents, criminals, corrupt officials, and outside forces.
 
It has become one of the most effective challenges to army abuse, drug cartel violence and government corruption in Mexico since the start of the country’s war against cartels that has left approximately 60,000 people dead since 2006.

This vigilante police movement is particularly strong in Guerrero, where they are officially organized as the Citizen Police (Policia Ciudadana, also known as the UPOEG) or the Community Police (Policia Communitaria, also known as the CRAC). In some towns the Community Police have existed for over a decade, when the “outside forces” they had to worry about were mining companies as opposed to drug traffickers.
 
Juanita Mesa: "We are the only ones that care about us...."
And although these armed groups are vigilantes by definition, many of them are technically legal due to a clause in the Mexican constitution that grants native indigenous communities certain autonomies.

The Community and Citizen Police of Guerrero tend to be left alone by the state officials who don’t have the capacity, or possibly the desire, to protect the townspeople. However they are in constant conflict with the federal army. According to the Community and Citizen Police leaders, the army has been harassing them, arbitrarily arresting movement leaders and threatening to disarm the entire movement by force.

Until now, the vigilante police movements were composed mainly of men. Xaltianguis has not only formed the first ever all-female Citizen Police group and spread the idea across the region, but it may have also found a solution to the conflict with the military, which justifies its repression with claims that the Community and Citizen Police are in cahoots with criminals. If the Citizen Police are really narcos, then why is your next-door neighbor’s mom one of them?
 
Source The Daily Beast

21 comments:

  1. This is fuckin courageous what these women are doing, unfortunately the good for nothing mexican state will be more likely to come after them than after organized crime, sadly like many activists get harrassed by mexican officials this will happen to these females too, what about that lady in juarez who was killing bus drivers who allegedly where raping and killing girls, read it on the proceso website a few weeks ago, diana la cazadora or something like that which reminded me of a carlos fuentes novel's title. But anyways breaking bad is finished and at some point we all gotta wake up from fiction and pay attention to the reality tha these people have to face every single day.

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  2. Nothing worse than a mad mamma!! Hope they suceed and the hell with the gvt who are harassing them! U go pistol packin mammas and do what u gotta do to protect your families!

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    1. MEXICANA SPRING! Leave the justice to the women.
      Peace out .. Toronto

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  3. Seems possibly the beginning of a 3 way war - The Cartels VS The Government VS The Vigilantes.

    These women have guts as do the other vigilante groups I hope this continues until all the people are armed and are against the government and the cartels. Don't let the military or the police take your weapons as the cartels will just roll back on in knowing there's no threat.

    Anyone ever notice how the cartels never seem to go anywhere near vigilante filled area's? shows you what true cowards they are. Narco's are only strong with an AK47 against unarmed people and kids. I saw a video not long ago of the Zeta's I think (not sure) it was a group of about 8 men with guns surrounding then decapitating a 15 year old boy.

    Real tough bastards arn't they.

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  4. God be with them.

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  5. You finally get tired of being raped and killed. u can let the bad guys kill u r fight back.God Bless them I am old man wish i could help them

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  6. The Mexican government should be fucken embarrassed!! What a joke they are.

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  7. the mexican people have to rise and take their country. the goverment is not going to a damn thing about security until the people revolt

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    1. If mexicans revolt,then the mex govt. Will call obama for calculated drone strikes,then mexicans would be fighting mex and US govt,remember Pancho Villa

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  8. People, NOT govt. solve problems, Mexico is proving this daily the USA needs to take heed !!

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    Replies
    1. Sing it! Right on. Peace out....

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  9. Look I'm gonna be the firts to say it 95 percent of kidnappings In mexico are from people that the victims know they let the cartels know they have money and where are they going most of the time its a jelous relative or neighbors or the whole neighborhood cause all the people in mexico are gossipers if someone lays a fart the whole town will know I'm not kidding

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    1. I agree with that.some times the people who would inherent
      The money get the cartel to kill them so they dont have to wait

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    2. and calderon's dead and dissapeared?and 16 000 so far this year under el pendejo nacional? don't be so quick to blame 95% of... but all sicarios kick money up to the motherfucking government that the united states of America supports with arms and money

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  10. good for them I know some of them are going to end up dead but its better than being bullied by some 40 year old paisas wearing ed hardy shirts honestly if I lived in mexico I would of smoked these clowns myself they are not hard to find

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  11. send navy seal kill the bad guys, sorry nieto does not want them

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  12. me encanta una chica con uniforme!
    hahahaha!!!

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  13. GOOD FOR THEM I WOULD LOVE TO COME DOWN AND HELP THEM OUT.

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    1. lol u wouldn't do shit!! Shut the fuck up dude. Go down there kick some narcos ass and take a picture for us.

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  14. "but all sicarios kick money up to the motherfucking government that the united states of America supports with arms and money"

    THAT IS EXACTLY HOW IT IS! THESE FUCKERS AT THE TOP COLLECT FROM BOTH SIDES!

    ReplyDelete

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