Dec 11, 2014
Mexico's Security Dilemma: The Rise of Michoacan's Militias
InSightCrime: Volunteer community policing has been a tradition in indigenous communities across Southern Mexico for centuries. Though controversial, advocates argue the practice is supported by international law and has been codified in the 1917 constitution that permits local frameworks for "the regulation and solution of internal conflicts." These volunteer police forces vary in size and function, depending on the communities they serve. Their main job is to keep "internal" order, targeting petty thieves and, in the worse case scenario, rapists. In almost all areas, they are directly under the control of community elders rather than state or federal officials. In Guerrero, the state bordering Michoacan to the east, community police were given official recognition by the governor in the mid 1990s to calm unrest related to a crime wave and police repression in indigenous communities. Read more.