There are also self-defense forces that have taken up arms against the cartels. The stew of armed groups has left some towns stuck in the middle between warring groups and produced hundreds of disappearances.
“We’ve had daily clashes for about two weeks on the side of the dump and because of that there’s a lot of garbage that you can’t get rid of,” the resident said. “They come that way because it’s an entrance to town and they come with their monsters,” he said, in reference to the trucks with home-fabricated armor that the cartels use.
Organized crime has at times cut off towns as they laid siege and attacked government forces, even with drones laden with explosives.