Vigilantes Seize Mexico Town After Murder

Vigilantes Seize Mexico Town After Murder

Authorities in Mexico have said they are close to striking a deal to provide more security for a town where angry residents seized control after the abduction and murder of a taxi driver.

The takeover of the southern town of Olinala took place after around 100 people stormed a house where four suspected kidnappers were hiding. They were killed after the building was set alight.

The town's mayor, Eusebio Gonzalez, said nearly 700 residents had since been taking turns policing entry into the town by barricading streets and installing checkpoints.

Mr Gonzalez said the murder of the taxi driver was the latest in a series of violent attacks and Olinala residents are demanding more protection from criminal gangs.

He said the Guerrero state governor has promised to increase help to fight drug crime.

"We're looking to establish order. The governor is aware of the situation and wants to improve the situation," Mr Gonzalez said.

"People feel like there isn't another way."

The town's vigilante unrest erupted at the taxi driver's funeral after rumours emerged that a second driver had been kidnapped.

"Things got really ugly," said resident Paola Rosendo.

Eduardo Gallo, a respected Mexican anti-crime activist, said Olinala is just the latest town where people have taken up arms to combat organised crime in frustration over the government's inability to control drug violence.

"People took over in order to prevent authorities' collusion with criminals," he said.

At least two towns in the western state of Michoacan have formed their own armed guard forces and thrown up roadblocks to keep out criminals. Towns in northern Mexico also have taken similar measures.

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