Rural villagers are resorting to digging moats around their towns to keep pistoleros in SUVs from riding in and kidnapping villagers. Although the Mexican Federal authorities are responding, they are too slow.
Rural Mexican villages dig moats to repel gangsters
Ditches don’t always deter raids, but federal troops can’t be spared
By DUDLEY ALTHAUS
Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
CUAUHTEMOC, Mexico — Little town, big hell.
That proverb about turmoil in small communities has never seemed truer than in this gangster-besieged village and a neighboring one in the bean fields and desert scrub a long day’s drive south of the Rio Grande.
Since right before Christmas, armed raiders repeatedly have swept into both villages to carry away local men. Government help arrived too late, or not at all.
Terrified villagers — at the urging of army officers who couldn’t be there around the clock — have clawed moats across every access road but one into their communities, hoping to repel the raids.
“This was a means of preservation,” said Ruben Solis, 47, a farmers’ leader in Cuauhtemoc, a collection of adobe and concrete houses called home by 3,700 people. “It’s better to struggle this way than to face the consequences.” (excerpt) read more at chron.com