Over a thousand vigilantes in southwest Mexico took control of a town and detained a local police chief and 12 police officers following the murder of one of the group’s leaders, as tensions grow between “community police” and Mexico’s security forces.
Members of the regional vigilante umbrella group, Union of People and Organizations of the State of Guerrero (UPOEG), descended on the municipality of Juan R. Escudero after the murder of one of their local commanders, Guadalupe Quiñones Carbajal, reported Animal Politico.
The self-proclaimed “community police” set up road blocks and raided houses in search of the people responsible for the killing. Within a day, they had detained the head of the local municipal police, Oscar Ulises Valle, 12 of his police officers and six civilians, along with drugs, weapons and vehicles allegedly belonging to the suspects.
The self-defense group accused those captured of organizing the murder after Quiñones had accused several local officials to the prosecutor’s office for their alleged links to organized crime.
The vigilantes later turned the suspects over to prosecutors after receiving assurances they would look into the allegations about the killing and Quiñones’ accusations, reported El Universal.
InSight Crime Analysis
As InSight Crime has noted previously, one of the main challenges of the proliferation of self-defense groups in Mexico will be their relationship to the state security forces.
The rise of vigilante groups is a direct consequence of corrupt and ineffectual policing, which has helped organized crime tighten its grip on certain parts of the country. As the self-defense forces look to fill this gap, they are likely to come into direct confrontation with the security forces, as has also happened in Michoacan.