October began with the citizens of Ascension, Chihuahua kicking out the police and taking over their own municipal security. October ended with the citizens of Tepoztlán, Morelos (just south of Mexico City) doing the same thing:
On the last week of October the Mexican people of Tepoztlán, Morelos expelled the local police chief from the area after an increase of violence in the city. The local mayor of the town, which is located 80 kilometers south of Mexico City, removed the police commander and seven of his subordinates after a mobilization from residents. Now the security of Tepoztlán is in the hands of citizen brigades, bringing back a period from the 1990s when the crime rate was lowered dramatically due to the departure of the police.
Huh. Fewer police leading to less crime? In a country where the narcos and the government and law enforcement have been thoroughly integrated at least since the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 and the beginning of the U.S. drug war? Who'da thunk it?
Meanwhile, just north of Mexico city, police are looking for pre-teen assassins:
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican police on Friday detained a minor accused of working as a gunman for a drug cartel after shocking videos and photos surfaced online of fresh-faced boys mugging for the camera with guns and corpses.
One video, briefly posted on YouTube, showed a youth, apparently in his teens, confessing to working for a branch of the Beltran Leyva cartel. While the authenticity of the video could not be determined, cartels in Mexico frequently post such interrogation videos to expose their rivals' crimes.
The youth tells an unseen questioner that his gang was paid $3,000 per killing.
"When we don't find the rivals, we kill innocent people, maybe a construction worker or a taxi driver," the youth is heard saying.
And who's arming these kids? The same people who are buying their drugs: U.S. citizens. From WLKY in Kentucky:
On Tuesday, two students from the University of Texas at El Paso were shot and killed, just over the Mexico side of the border. On Wednesday, gunmen attacked the newsroom of a newspaper in Acapulco, peppering the building with bullet holes. Six Americans have been killed this month as a result of the violence.
Mexico's brutal drug war is fed, in part, by firearms.
Mexico's president said earlier this year that over a three-year period, about 75,000 guns were seized in his country. Most estimates are that about 80 percent of those firearms were bought in the United States.
Now, it appears some of those guns could have been purchased in the Louisville area.
And how are the people of Ascension, who ejected the police last month, doing? I can't find any specific updates—hey New York Times, got a Mexico correspondent you could send there? We'd all love to hear how this experiment is going—but there don't seem to be any screaming headlines about anarchic violence or soaring crime rates...