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In Iztapalapa, Mexico
In Iztapalapa, Mexico

MEXICO CITY — Residents of Iztapalapa, a crowded area on the edge of Mexico City, have hung up sheets warning criminals they would be lynched if they threaten locals, steal or vandalize cars. Iztapalapa is a working-class delegación, or large district, where crime has spiked in recent months, the daily Milenio reports.

The move to hang up sheets with threatening messages is reminiscent of warnings issued by Mexican drug gangs. The messages told thieves they would "not get away with it." One was especially blunt: "Thief, if we catch you we'll lynch you. We are watching you. Don't risk your life."

The chief administrator of Iztapalapa, Dione Anguiona, told Milenio authorities that she was talking to residents "about the problem" and promised to increase security cameras in the area. She identified a local public transport hub as the place that local troublemakers were gathering, the paper reports.

The Mexican newspaper El Universalreported that an opinion poll in February named Iztapalapa as the most negatively viewed area of the city in terms of lighting, security and the state of its streets. Women were cited in the poll as saying that in the capital, they felt the least safe in Iztapalapa.

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