A masked member of the ‘auto defensa’ committee in Ayutla de los Libres, a small pueblo in the La Costa Chica region of Guerrero state, Mexico.

Story Background:

With the death toll of Mexio’s Drug war standing at over 70 000 people killed, communities have become tired of criminal cartels operating drug networks and extortion rackets, especially in poor and mainly indigenous areas such as La Costa Chica in Guerrero state.

2013 has seen the growth of Vigilante or “Auto Defensa” movements, uprisings of communities who have been taking the law into their own hands, arresting and detaining those suspected of criminal activities and trying them in popular courts. They are masked for their own safety.

The movement has won popular support among the communities and is spreading in many regions of Mexico that have been affected by the violence of drug cartels and the ineffectivity and corruption of state forces in combatting them.

This image:

Vigilante. 10″x8″. Ambrotype on glass. 2013

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