News, Culture & Society

Residents respond to crime in a Mexican town by tying naked and beaten alleged thieves to lampposts

Residents of Mexican coastal town take the law into their own hands by stripping robbers naked and tying them to lampposts

  • Locals in the Pacific resort town of Puerto Vallarta are policing their neighborhoods and tying naked robbers to lampposts
  • Police this week rescued 10 men tied to the street posts in six different sectors of the popular coastal city
  • The suspected thieves were also found with letters or words etched into their heads
  • One of them had an ‘R’ and another had ‘rata’ shaved into their head, which in Spanish means ‘thief’ or ‘snitch’

Residents of a Mexican Pacific coast city have found an unusual way to deter the country’s escalating crime.

Twice this week, locals in the resort town of Puerto Vallarta have taken matters into their own hands when it comes to dealing with thieves.

Authorities were surprised when they were called to help naked, beaten men tied to lampposts in six different sectors who had to be freed by police.

The local prosecutor’s office confirmed that the incidents occurred and opened an investigation, but would not say how many people were involved.

Residents in Puerto Vallarta, located on Mexico's Pacific Coast, have taken policing into their own hands by tying up suspected thieves on to street lampposts

Residents in Puerto Vallarta, located on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, have taken policing into their own hands by tying up suspected thieves on to street lampposts reached out to Puerto Vallarta’s prosecutor’s office for comment.

On Friday, local media outlets reported that a total of 10 men were tied naked to posts.

The first four tied men were found between late Monday night and the early hours of Tuesday morning while the rest were discovered late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning.

One of the men in question had the letter “R” marked on his head, which could refer to a ‘rat’, Spanish for ‘thief’ but also ‘snitch’.

Another man tied to a lamppost had the word ‘rata’ [rat] inscribed into his head.

Puerto Vallarta is located in the state of Jalisco, which is the home of the Jalisco drug cartel.

Mexico saw almost 16,000 people murdered in the first six months of 2018, the highest number since records began in 1997 and an increase of 17 percent in 2017.

According to the National Public Security System, Jalisco has seen a 42 percent spike in homicides during the first trimester of 2018.

The government has tallied 1,637 robberies through the first eight months of 2018, up from 2,295 incidents reported in 2017.

Cartels sometimes round up common criminals to brandish their own image as protectors of the community.