Lack of basic security conditions amid raging cartel violence, a tanking economy, rampant corruption and a government in a constant state of denial all continue to drive up the discontent of Mexico. Mob justice and lynchings skyrocket.
The lack of basic security conditions in most of Mexico has resulted in citizens from the poorest areas of that country violently taking matters into their own hands. Despite Mexican officials constantly talking about improving security conditions or praising the capture of yet another drug lord, the reality in Mexico is that most crimes in that country go unpunished.
The unpunished crimes added to the indifference of government officials in the poorer areas of the country has led to more and more villagers taking out their anger on the people they perceive to be the criminals.
According to research done by Mexico’s Metropolitan Autonomous University which was published by SinEmbargo.Mx, from 1988 to 2014 that country has had 366 lynchings. That figure was dwarfed by the uptick in lynchings in Mexico which saw more than 63 cases where mob rule took justice into their own hands in 2015.
Sadly enough, the mob murders have at times led to innocent victims being mistaken for criminals. The New York Times recently took a close look at the lynching of David Rey and Abraham Copado Molina, two brothers who were beaten and burned alive last October in the town of Ajalpa, Puebla. As initially reported by various news outlets at the time, the two brothers had traveled to the town to carry out polling interviews. The local villagers had been on edge over various social media postings about child abductions and accused the poll takers of being part of a kidnapping crew. Despite police efforts to help the two brothers, the townspeople broke them out of the police station, doused them in gasoline and set them on fire.
In a similar situation, the Mexican state of Michoacan, villagers took up arms and created various self defense groups in an attempt to drive out fierce drug cartels that had taken over every aspect of society and victimized them. The decision to take up arms came as citizens grew tired of the Mexican government turning a blind eye to the growing cartel problem in that state.
While the self defense movement was initially successful, the Mexican government was quick to arrest the leaders locking them up on weapons charges showing a government that is more worried about armed civilians than cartel gunmen.
The documentary Cartel Land took a definitive look at the rise of the self-defense movement and its eventual collapse. While the founding leaders like Manuel Mireles and others sit in a jail cell, the self defense groups have since fractured and turned into the same drug cartels that they had vowed to fight.
Notably, while villagers in poorer southern states have taken up arms, citizens in the border region which tends to be more affluent and have a constant presence of military and police forces, have not. It remains to be seen if the majority of the that country’s people will continue to voice their outrage on social media and eventually take action at the polls or if we will continue to see an increase in mob justice.