Mexico's Vigilantes

Over the past few years, drug-related violence in Mexico has driven local citizens to the breaking point. Fed up with the lack of security provided by the police, and with intimidation and attacks from members of various drug cartels and criminal gangs, people have started their own self-defense groups. Armed groups of ordinary citizens have set up security checkpoints, disarmed and chased away police they considered ineffective, and even organized ambitious manhunts to apprehend or kill suspected criminal bosses. While the vigilante groups have had some success, the Mexican government is now trying to reign in the lawless aspects by integrating these citizens into a new police group called the Force Rural State -- formally providing them with weapons, uniforms, and training. While some of the vigilantes are cooperating, others insist they won't lay down their own guns until top leaders of The Knights Templar (Los Templarios) drug cartel are arrested.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Gabriel Bouys / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Plastic Lake, Van Cat, Burning Judas

    Ballet in an empty Syrian market, a forest fire in California, a briefing by the Easter Bunny in the White House, riots in Northern Ireland, a giant sand dune in France, and much more

  • Spencer Grant / Getty

    Boston in the 1970s

    A collection of some of the sights and events taking place in and around Boston from 1970 to 1979

  • Al Drago / Getty

    April Blooms: Spring Is on the Way

    Images from the past few weeks of tulips, sunshine, and cherry blossoms—surely signs of warmer days to come

  • Mladen Antonov / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Worm Moon, Cat Lodge, Red Hearts

    A theme park’s reopening in California, Holi celebrations in India, whale watching in Mexico, a masked rock concert in Barcelona, a snowy Opening Day in Detroit, and much more