The situation between drug cartels and government forces is a violent and often chaotic one in the country of Mexico. Tens-of-thousands of people have been killed so far and many more will likely die before the problem has achieved resolution.
Some groups of people, left by the government to fend for themselves, have decided to take matters into their own hands. When they can not get the government to send in soldiers to protect them, they simply pick up their own weapons and fight the drug cartels themselves.
Some places, in response to ongoing cartel activity in their regions, are putting up barricades, arming themselves and setting up patrols to keep the enemy from getting into their villages. People who travel into these towns are being stopped and searched, to make sure they aren’t there to do harm. Local police forces are being told to go away, the villagers knowing that Mexico’s cops are notorious for having a very high level of corruption.
Despite their best efforts, it’s unlikely that villages will be able to hold off the cartels if those organizations decided to take a serious interest in suppressing them. It might not be the best thing for cartels to do, considering all their other problems, but it’s still a possibility. So why would villagers turn vigilante and risk their own lives?
There are many reasons, not the least of which are the crimes the cartels have committed against these people in the past. They have been terrorized, their friends and family have gone missing, and multiple cartels have turned their homes into a war zone. Representatives of these vigilante villagers have said that they will only stand down when the Mexican government sends soldiers there to set up a base of operations and protect them.
Meanwhile, the rest of village life goes on as usual. People farm and shop and live out their lives, all the while existing within a potential war zone. Until the government figures something out, they will have to fend for themselves. From the look of things, they seem to be doing a pretty good job of it thus far. Maybe the best way to win the war against the cartels is to give weapons to all the people who have a vested interest in fighting them?