Vigilantes take over Mexican towns
Several hundred civilians have taken up arms in two towns in a south-western Mexico state and are arresting people suspected of crimes and imposing a curfew, leading authorities to promise to reinforce security forces in the area.
People wearing ski masks or bandanas and carrying small arms have begun manning checkpoints on roads into Ayutla de los Libres and Teconoapa in Guerrero state's Costa Chica area about 75 miles south-east of the Pacific resort of Acapulco.
Leaders said they were acting against crime and insecurity.
Guerrero governor Angel Aguirre Rivero responded by announcing that security in the region would be bolstered by sending in Mexican soldiers and marines and federal and state police officers.
People in the area said about 800 residents were participating in the armed groups acting as unofficial police.
The vigilantes ordered a curfew for the two towns and are looking for suspected criminals. Schools have suspended classes.
In Ayutla, Romualdo Remigio Cantu, one of the co-ordinators for the civic group Union of Peoples and Social Organisations of Guerrero, said that more than 30 people had been arrested.
The detainees are accused of drug trafficking, extortion and kidnapping, he said.
A man in a ski mask at one roadblock told reporters that townspeople had to act against criminals.
"They kill, extort, rape. You do not know if they are drug dealers, thugs, who want to grab everything," he said. "We want to return peace and tranquillity to the entire population. Only the people can restore order."