Katie Orlinsky

Visual Storyteller & Contributing Photographer
    
Guerrero Vigilantes
Location: North America
Nationality: American
Biography: Katie Orlinsky’s photography tells stories about the everyday lives of people in extreme situations, capturing the intimate moments of daily life behind larger global issues. For the past six years a large portion of her work has focused on... MORE
Public Story
Guerrero Vigilantes
Copyright Katie Orlinsky 2022
Updated Dec 2014
Location Guerrero, Mexico
Topics Documentary, Latin America, Photojournalism, Violence, Women's Rights

Guerrero Vigilantes

Over the past four years towns across Guerrero, Mexico have formed vigilante police groups, known as auto-defensas, in an effort to challenge the army abuse, drug cartel violence and government corruption that has plagued Mexico for nearly a decade. This movement was composed mainly of men until September 2013, when the country's first ever all-female vigilante police was founded in Xaltianguis, Guerrero. Xaltianguis is a small town located in between the notoriously dangerous city of Acapulco and mountain ranges where illegal marijuana and poppies are cultivated. Residents of the town endured an especially high level of drug war related violence for years. Yet since the town's women started taking the law into their own hands, crime has dropped substantially. Roughly one hundred women make up the force. They are mostly middle-aged housewives, mothers and grandmothers who have lost loved ones to violence, or were once victims of crime themselves.

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