Ralph H. Espach

Snapshot
Patricio Asfura-Heim and Ralph H. Espach

In order to maximize the benefits and avoid the pitfalls associated with bringing vigilantes into the fold, the Mexican government should consider a few lessons from around the world.

Essay
Jul/Aug
2013
Patricio Asfura-Heim and Ralph H. Espach

Across Mexico, the lawlessness and carnage of the drug wars have given rise to scores of local self-defense forces aiming to defend their communities. The federal government may be tempted to disband and disarm these armed vigilantes, but until it can shape up its security sector, the local groups offer an imperfect but acceptable alternative.