If you read youth journals such as VICE, you likely have a certain perspective on Mexico that is not 100% accurate. While there are outbreaks of violence in Mexico, much of it is contained between cartels. Further, a large movement by Mexico’s citizenry, striving to make Mexico safe, has taken hold in recent years. For example, a new system of justice in Guerrero was setup in the town of Chiapa after a revolution of sorts by residents of surrounding indigenous communities.
Community police formed throughout Mexico, but particularly in Chiapas, where individuals from approximately 30 indigenous villages set up roadblocks in Chilapa, seized the firearms of the 40 local municipal police officers and started patrolling neighborhoods with the declared intention of dismantling criminal gangs. Having taken the law into their hands, they intend to remain as community police until police and their accomplices are no more. The new Chilapa police force rounded up suspected collaborators of the drug gangs and took them to the central plaza. The captives were set free after they promised to change.
“We spoke with them and their families and told them that most were young people who could still get back on the right track and work hard,” said one of the town’s new police officers. “They promised to leave that life behind so we set them free.” As the Chilapa case demonstrates, Mexicans do not take nicely to corrupt police, perhaps doing more to undermine their activities than American counterparts, who have been terrorized by a wave of police violence against civilians.
A clash in 2014 between San Quintín farmworkers and Ensenada police in Nuevo San Juan Copala, Baja California, underscores the Mexican people’s disdain for corruption. During the clash, in which farm workers were protesting their low pay and work conditions, police gave chase to dissenting farmworkers and even beat some women and children. A second group of farm workers took action and went after police with sticks and stones, destroying two of their 20 patrol cars. Another group of workers destroyed an armored vehicle and the community’s police headquarters. Prior to the clash, the workers had been protesting low pay and working conditions for months.
Even the police have rebelled against themselves…
On April 9 2015, state of Guerrero police were ordered to use violence against demonstrators in a labor strike. These orders were refused. Police filed a complaint against their superiors, as well. In the complaint, they claimed to have refused orders to “fuck them up,” the “them” being protestors. The police said they were tired of being seen as enemies.
As we’ve highlighted here at MexResorts before, the conditions in most of Mexico are approving, with the economy improving and violence decreasing. We expect this trend to continue.