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Situación política en Mexico

Rural Mexican villages dig moats to repel gangsters

Situación política en Mexico, satisfecho 24%

That proverb about turmoil in small communities has never seemed truer than in this gangster-besieged village and a neighboring one in the bean fields and desert scrub a long day’s drive south of the Rio Grande.

Since right before Christmas, armed raiders repeatedly have swept into both villages to carry away local men. Government help arrived too late, or not at all.

Terrified villagers — at the urging of army officers who couldn’t be there around the clock — have clawed moats across every access road but one into their communities, hoping to repel the raids.

Most of Mexico’s violence these days isn’t politically inspired, but the gangsters’ hit-and-run tactics often mirror those of an insurgency. Government forces frequently find themselves without adequate manpower to be everywhere at once.

“This is really the job of the federal government,” Solis said of his town’s efforts at self-defense. “But they don’t have enough men to keep up. There is delinquency wherever you go.”

Soldiers and federal police took up the defense of Cuauhtemoc and San Angel last week after the towns’ plight played on the front page of a Mexico City newspaper. But the patrols evaporated after a few days, leaving nothing but the ditches in the villagers’ defense.

“That’s the way it is,” said a sun-weathered Ro. erto Fuentes, who was helping build a sidewalk a block from one of Cuauhtemoc’s earthworks. “If the government doesn’t do it, we have to.



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