AYUTLA, Mexico—Masked men, rifles slung over their shoulders, stand guard on a lonely rural road, checking IDs and questioning travelers. They wear no uniforms, flash no badges, but they are the law here now.
A dozen villages in the area have risen up in armed revolt against local drug traffickers that have terrorized the region and a government that residents say is incapable of protecting them from organized crime.
The villages in the hilly southern Mexican state of Guerrero now forbid the Mexican army and state and federal police from entering. Ragtag militias carrying a motley arsenal of machetes, old hunting rifles and the occasional AR-15 semiautomatic rifle control the towns. Strangers aren’t allowed entry. There is a 10 p.m. curfew. More than 50 prisoners, accused of being in drug gangs, sit in makeshift jails. Their fates hinge on public trials that began Thursday when the accused were arraigned before villagers, who will act as judge and jury.
Three beheadings in two different states and they happened here in the United States, not Mexico.
Former DEA supervisor Phil Jordan says all three beheadings have cartel written all over them. They happened in Arizona and Oklahoma in the past year.
More here. The cops suspect that it’s related to human trafficking – or, as AoSHQ put it, forced prostitution. We won’t go into the actual partisan politics of this too deeply – virtually everybody agrees that murdering/decapitating Mexicans* and Americans is not a good thing – but I’d like to still note for the record (since we’re more or less on the subject) that the federal government really does need to come up with a better policy for dealing with Mexican narco-terrorist groups than selling them easily-converted semiautomatic weapons. Certainly the Mexican government would appreciate that…