Joshua Partlow Washington Post May 30, 2017
TELOLOAPAN, MEXICO — In this skittish town on Mexico’s heroin highway, civilians with rusty shotguns shake down passing cars for contributions to the public defense. The police were disbanded years ago. The mayor recently got a death threat and fled in the governor’s helicopter.
But it’s when Highway 51 drops down from the rolling hills, and runs west in two lonely lanes across the scorched valley floor, that danger really starts to poison people’s lives. Drug bosses known as “the Tequila Man”and “the Fish” rule like feudal lords, at war with each other and the vigilante groups that have risen against them. Residents get kidnapped in groups. Tortured corpses are discarded in the valley, left to sear on hot pavement. See full story
Photo: A man who is part of a public defense force stands at his post in Teloloapan, Mexico. Citizen militias have formed in towns across Guerrero state’s Tierra Caliente, or Hot Lands, where drug bosses rule like feudal lords. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post