Mexico negotiating with vigilantes holding town

Associated Press Modified: November 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm •  Published: November 2, 2012

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities said Friday that they are close to striking a deal to provide more security for a southern town where angry villagers seized control after a taxi driver was kidnapped and killed.

Olinala Mayor Eusebio Gonzalez said the takeover began Saturday after about 100 people stormed a house where the four presumed kidnappers were hiding and killed the suspects by burning the building.

He said nearly 700 residents had since been taking turns policing entry into the town by barricading streets and installing checkpoints.

Gonzalez said the taxi driver's killing was the latest in a series of violent attacks and Olinala residents are demanding more protection from criminal gangs.

Gonzalez said the Guerrero state governor has promised to increase help to battle drug crime.

"We're looking to establish order. The governor is aware of the situation and wants to improve the situation," Gonzalez said. "People feel like there isn't another way."

Known for its artisanal lacquered boxes and quaint colonial-style streets, the town's vigilante unrest erupted at the taxi driver's funeral when rumors circulated that a second driver had been kidnapped.

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