500 vigilantes gather in Mexico town, pledge to aid police

Mexico Vigilantes

Members of the so-called self-defense group known as United Towns or Pueblos Unidos, gather for a rally in Nuevo Urecho, in the Mexican western state of Michoacan, Saturday Nov. 27, 2021. Extortion of avocado growers in western Mexico has gotten so bad that 500 vigilantes from the “self-defense” group gathered Saturday and pledged to aid police. (AP Photo/Armando Solis)

NUEVO URECHO, Mexico (AP) — Extortion of avocado growers in western Mexico has gotten so bad that 500 vigilantes from a so-called “self-defense” group known as United Towns, or Pueblos Unidos, have gathered and pledged to aid police.

The vigilantes were armed with AR-15s and other rifles, as well as a motley collection of shotguns.

They said that drug cartels like the Viagras and the Jalisco cartel have been charging avocado growers ‘war taxes’ of about $1,000 per acre ($2,500 per hectare).

Tired of the extortion demands and kidnappings, growers and farmers formed the group earlier this year, and it now claims to have almost 3,000 members.

Categories: National News