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Women Kicked Out Organized Crime in an Indigenous Town in the State of Michoacan

Marie Monteleone and Eric Martin - Bloomberg
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August 16, 2017

Indigenous town in Mexico celebrated 2 years of autonomy and defense of their community forest (TheRealNews)

More than 180,000 people have been killed in Mexico since then-President Felipe Calderon sent the army to fight organised crime groups in his native state of Michoacan in 2006.

But one small town in that state says it hasn't had a homicide since 2011 because its residents - led by women - took up arms to kick out groups who had expanded from drug trafficking into illegal logging. If illegal loggers are caught, their tools and machines are confiscated. Depending on the extent of damage to the land, illegal loggers are fined and could face jail time.

This year, Mexico homicides climbed to 12,155 through June, according the nation's Interior Ministry, up 31 per cent from the same period in 2016.

The 2234 killings in June were the most since any month since at least 2001.

While overall in Michoacán, federal authorities say 614 people have been killed this year, a 16 per cent increase from 2016, the people of Cherán say they've become immune to serious crime.

They expelled the politicians and local police, and community members now patrol the area wearing uniforms emblazoned with the slogan "For Justice, Security and the Restoration of Our Territory."

Photographer César Rodríguez travelled to the town of 20,000 to photograph the community.

Check it out at NZHerald

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