Vigilantes in the Mexican state of Michoacan are attempting to wrestle away control of the Tierra Caliente region from the violent Knights Templar drug cartel.
Armed vigilante members entered the city of Nueva Italia on Sunday in a take-over that involved roadblocks, exchanges of gunfire, and property attacks. It was among the latest scenes to unfold in which vigilantes have battled drug cartel members or supporters.
Vigilantes now control much of the area surrounding the city of Apatzingan, a Knights Templar stronghold.
Some allege the vigilantes' mission is less altruistic and that some vigilantes may be posing as a front for rival drug cartels.
Mexican officials met Monday to discuss the security situation in Apatzingan as vigilantes threatened to invade the city. Vigilante spokesman Estanislao Beltran said during a radio interview that the vigilantes would not stand down unless federal authorities arrested senior Knights Templar leaders.
[Los Angeles Times]