Angry Citizens Kill Kidnappers, Force Policemen Out: The Lessons of Ascencion, Chihuahua

“In Ascencion, Chihuahua, a small farming and ranching town of about 10,000 on the road to Casas Grandes, townspeople beat to death two teenage boys participating in a kidnapping of a seventeen year old girl.

Wednesday, townspeople pressured the mayor into firing the entire municipal police force, on the grounds that they had enabled a rash of kidnappings in recent weeks. Citizens assert they will patrol their city themselves.

The story began on Tuesday at about 9:00 a.m. when several men tried to kidnap the owner of a restaurant. Not finding him, they took a girl who works at the restaurant. Townspeople had been wary since last Thursday of a suspicious group of men riding in vehicles in the surrounding area, and had organized themselves to react quickly in case of an emergency.

In the past few weeks, according to witnesses, about 20 persons in the area have been kidnapped, and on monday suspicious vehicles had come into town, causing townspeople to sound an alert.

The details of exactly what happened next are still fuzzy.”

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