Violence and Vigilantes in Mexico

Dolores Trevizo, Occidental College

With data compiled from multiple newspaper sources, I report on the rise, and geographic spread of the recent vigilante movements (autodefensas) in Mexico, as well as the degree of violence associated with them. My research analyzes episodes of violence and deadly force by reporting the number of injuries and deaths according to whether the victims were security forces, members of a criminal cartel or vigilantes. I argue that the geographic expansion of vigilantes and the violence that they both respond to and trigger is indicative of the Mexican state’s legitimacy crisis. I explain where the crisis is most acute and why. I not only provide evidence suggesting where de-democratization is evident, but I argue that the broader legitimacy crisis in the country is due to the fact that government officials failed to provide basic security especially post 2006.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 12. Violence and Fraud