A man who announced plans last week to form self-defense forces in two cities in Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area, has disappeared, the Notimex news agency reported.
Luis Enrique Granillo, who said last Wednesday that he would form community policing groups in Amatepec and Tlatlaya, is missing, residents said.
Granillo contacted residents Saturday morning to say he is fine but would not be returning to Amatepec for now, Francisco Villa Peasants Popular and Revolutionary Front members said.
Granillo’s whereabouts is unknown despite the call, the front’s members said.
A missing person’s report will be filed soon with the Mexico state Attorney General’s Office, the front’s members said.
Community policing groups have been established across Mexico in recent weeks in response to what people see as the government’s inability to fight crime and protect citizens from a variety of criminal organizations.
Self-defense forces have been created in Guerrero, Oaxaca, Michoacan, Chiapas and other states.
Former President Felipe Calderon deployed thousands of soldiers across the country to fight drug cartels, which infiltrated and gained influence over officers in many state and municipal police departments.
The war on drugs launched by Calderon, who was in office from 2006 to 2012, left about 70,000 people dead in Mexico, the government said.
Mexican press tallies estimate that about 12,000 people died in violent incidents linked to organized crime groups in 2012.