Women Kicked Out Organized Crime in This Mexican Town
More than 180,000 people have been killed in Mexico since then-President Felipe Calderon sent the army to fight organized 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. While overall in Michoacán, federal authorities say 614 people have been killed this year, a 16 percent 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 traveled to the town of 20,000 to photograph the community.