Monday, January 19, 2009

"Shadow of vigilantes appears in Mexico drug war"

There is a war going on south of here, and now it looks like the citizens may be involved.

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (Reuters) – Shadowy vigilante groups are threatening Mexico's drug gangs near the U.S. border in retaliation for a wave of murders and kidnappings that killed 1,600 people in this city alone last year.

One group in the border city of Ciudad Juarez pledged last week to "clean our city of these criminals" and said their mission was to "end the life of a criminal every 24 hours."


In an e-mail to news organizations, the "Juarez Citizen Command" said it was funded by local businessmen sick of abductions and extortion in the city, home to factories that export goods to the United States.

While none of the city's 1,600 [murders] in the last year were undoubtedly the work of vigilantes, a body was found on January 7 with a message next to it that read: "This is for those who continue extorting."

And six men in their 20s and 30s were shot dead and dumped together in Ciudad Juarez in October with a cardboard sign reading: "Message for all the rats: This will continue."

And the Mexican government's response?
"We cannot tolerate the presence of these type of faceless, anonymous groups," said Manuel del Castillo, a spokesman for the state government.

The disturbing state of Mexico continues to worsen. Let's hope (beyond hope!) that the situation improves.

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