In the past two years, the middle-aged mayor of a small Central American town has gone locked and loaded, dropping the local murder rate to zero.
Mauricio Vilanova, 60, started carrying an Uzi in 2016 as he patrolled the town of San José Guayabal in an effort to drive out local gangs. In the meantime both the notorious MS-13 and La Barrio 18 gangs have given his municipality a wide berth and the mayor, who now carries a Galil along with a Beretta 92, has seen the murder rate plummet.
“My commitment is to my people because I want to show that everything I have done, I have done with love for my people,” Vilanova told AFP.
The town of 13,000 has not suffered a murder so far this year compared to previous rates of 18.