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Self-Defense Groups in Mexico

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Drug trafficking and organized crime in Mexico in conjunction with impunity and government corruption have forced Mexican communities to take the law into their own hands. As a response to President Peña Nieto's avoidance of direct confrontation with cartels, vigilante groups have sprung up in an attempt to end years of violence and extortion, accomplishing what military and police have not managed in a decade. Self-defense groups patrol their neighborhoods and detain criminals, and subject them to community judicial processes. Detainees have been beaten, forced into labor, and even lynched, leading many Mexicans fear these groups only contribute to violence. Currently, there are 36 armed civil movements in eight Mexican states, 20 of which are located in the state of Guerrero.