ENVIRONMENT

Mexican authorities says they sympathize with vigilantes

The Guerrero state government in southern Mexico says it sympathizes with a group of vigilantes who set up an armed highway checkpoint on a road leading to the resort of Acapulco.

The state security spokesman said in a statement Monday that authorities are ready to talk to the vigilantes about their concerns. Spokesman Roberto Alvarez said that while the vigilantes have no legal basis for acting, the government would discuss their security concerns.

The area in the state's mountains has been beset by drug gangs that buy local opium production and have tried to extort money from mining operations.

About 100 men, many armed with hunting rifles, set up a roadblock and checkpoint on the highway Sunday.

Guerrero has seen other community police and vigilante groups arise in the past.