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Concerned Mexican citizens arrest corrupt police officers

By Mason White 2:24 PM March 28, 2013
Mexican self defense groups patrolling a roadway 

By: Eva Fett
Mexican police are getting a taste of their own medicine after concerned citizens arrested and accused them of corruption, according to press reports in Mexico.

Hundreds of armed self defense groups have taken control of a city, on the highway in the state of Guerrero, in the Pacific Coast, arresting local police officers and placing them under house arrest after a self defense group leader was assassinated.

Several members of one self defense group opened fire on a car of Mexican tourists headed to the beach for the week of Easter.
Members of the self-styled community police said that over 1,500 members of the force were stopping traffic on Wednesday in makeshift checkpoints in the city of Tierra Colorado, located on the road that connects Mexico City to Acapulco.

The self defense groups arrested 12 police officers and a former director of public safety in the city after a leader of the self defense group was killed Monday.

A tourist going to the beach with his family was slightly injured Tuesday after he refused to stop at a checkpoint and the self defense group opened fire on his car, officials said.

The self defense groups accuse the former security director of participating in the murder of Chief Quinones Guadalupe Carbajal, 28, on behalf of local groups of organized crime and dumping his body in a nearby city on Monday.

They reported seizing several high powered rifles in his car, and the guards were carrying a number of sophisticated assault rifles on Wednesday, although it was unclear if all had been taken from the car of the former security director.

“We have seized control the town, because here the criminals operate with impunity in broad daylight, with the backing of the municipal authorities. We detained the director of public safety, as he is involved with criminals and he knows who killed our commander,” Bruno Placido Valerio, a spokesperson for the watchdog group, said.

“We are afraid to stop at these checkpoints because we are not sure who the guards are or to what group they belong to,” several residents of Tierra Colorado told

The self defense groups said they are fighting violence, kidnappings and extortion carried out by drug cartels, but there have been concerns that the guards may be violating the law, the human rights of persons arrested or even cooperate with criminals in some cases.

Sensible for their lack of capacity to enforce public safety in rural areas, the federal government of Mexico has turned a blind eye to self defense groups.