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In Pictures: Mexico vigilantes battle cartels
Styling themselves as 'self-defence groups', militias in the state of Michoacan are battling powerful drug cartels.
Last updated: 15 Jan 2014 14:18
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In Mexico, a country home to powerful drug cartels, groups of armed vigilantes known as "fuerzas autodefensas", or self-defence groups, have formed in the past year. In recent weeks, they have even taken over communities in the state of Michoacan; in one case surrounding a city thought to be a key stronghold for the Knights Templar cartel and taking over nearby towns after violent street clashes.

In these newly occupied towns the citizen militia have disarmed and detained local police, claiming that both police and government forces are corrupt and in league with the cartels. 

Mexico's drug war has wreaked havoc on the country, bringing staggering levels of crime and violence. These civilians, armed with AK-47s, have been fighting back in what they see as a bid to liberate the country.


/ Jerome Sessini/Magnum

On December 29, Manuel Mirel - the leader of the Michoacan militia - harangued people in Churumuco after his forces took the town.



/Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

The militias advanced through the streets of Paracuaro on January 4.



/Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

The militias have detained people they suspect of involvement with the drug cartels.



/Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Many members of the militias are armed with rifles and semi-automatic weapons.



/Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Militia members in the town of Paracuaro on January 6.



/Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

This truck bears the logo of one of the militia groups.



/Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

On January 10, the leader of the militia made a speech in the church square to explain to the people of Antunez the goal of their presence in the town.



/Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Vigilantes advanced on Antunez on January 11.



/

On January 11, vigilantes detained three teenagers after they stole a car from a journalist. They were allegedly working for the Templar cartel as "punteros", or watchers, and had set fire to two trucks on the road to Antunez.



/Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

The Knights Templar set up a roadblock by burning trucks and buses in order to slow the advance of vigilantes on Antunez.



/Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

On January 11, as the militia advanced on Antunez, smoke from a roadblock set up by the cartel filled the air.



/Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

The militia awaited the signal from their leader to move towards Nueva Italia on January 12.



/Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Fighting between vigilantes and the Templar cartel raged for more than three hours on January 12 in downtown Nueva Italia before the militia was able to claim victory.




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images:
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captions:

On December 29, Manuel Mirel - the leader of the Michoacan militia - harangued people in Churumuco after his forces took the town.

;*;

The militias advanced through the streets of Paracuaro on January 4.

;*;

The militias have detained people they suspect of involvement with the drug cartels.

;*;

Many members of the militias are armed with rifles and semi-automatic weapons.

;*;

Militia members in the town of Paracuaro on January 6.

;*;

This truck bears the logo of one of the militia groups.

;*;

On January 10, the leader of the militia made a speech in the church square to explain to the people of Antunez the goal of their presence in the town.

;*;

Vigilantes advanced on Antunez on January 11.

;*;

On January 11, vigilantes detained three teenagers after they stole a car from a journalist. They were allegedly working for the Templar cartel as "punteros", or watchers, and had set fire to two trucks on the road to Antunez.

;*;

The Knights Templar set up a roadblock by burning trucks and buses in order to slow the advance of vigilantes on Antunez.

;*;

On January 11, as the militia advanced on Antunez, smoke from a roadblock set up by the cartel filled the air.

;*;

The militia awaited the signal from their leader to move towards Nueva Italia on January 12.

;*;

Fighting between vigilantes and the Templar cartel raged for more than three hours on January 12 in downtown Nueva Italia before the militia was able to claim victory.

Daylife ID:
72470af56bb88810a3966a9b5d18a7bf
Photographer:
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Image Source:
Jerome Sessini/Magnum;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM ;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM ;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM ;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM ;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM ;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM ;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM ;*;;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM ;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM ;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM ;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM ;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM ;*;Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Mexico Vigilanteshttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantesen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Wed, 15 Jan 2014 12:41:58 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/912e9946403a0a37581a5de98791cd9b

Michoacan. December 29, 2013 Self defense groups in Michoacan. Manuel Mirel leader of auodefensas of Michoacan harangues people of Churumuco after his group has taken the town.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/912e9946403a0a37581a5de98791cd9b Jerome Sessini/Magnum

Michoacan. December 29, 2013 Self defense groups in Michoacan. Manuel Mirel leader of auodefensas of Michoacan harangues people of Churumuco after his group has taken the town.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/6632ef40789649b16557c484c9686d06

Michoacan January 4, 2014. Self defence militias advancing through the streets of Paracuaro.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/6632ef40789649b16557c484c9686d06Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Michoacan January 4, 2014. Self defence militias advancing through the streets of Paracuaro.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/f5ae566b5da34920d8e5c59fda5be252

Michoacan January 4, 2014. Self defence militias have taken the town of Paracuaro.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/f5ae566b5da34920d8e5c59fda5be252Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Michoacan January 4, 2014. Self defence militias have taken the town of Paracuaro.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/425c5aa55d5f4512eb150b73a166d5ef

Paracuaro. January 5, 2014. Self defence militias fight to take over the town of Paracuaro.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/425c5aa55d5f4512eb150b73a166d5efJerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Paracuaro. January 5, 2014. Self defence militias fight to take over the town of Paracuaro.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/4de9157bb83140b30a4cf3bdcdfd2232

Paracuaro. January 5, 2014. Self defence militias take Paracuaro.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/4de9157bb83140b30a4cf3bdcdfd2232Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Paracuaro. January 5, 2014. Self defence militias take Paracuaro.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/b78837dd33195d7f3486853ef2a1164e

Michoacan. January 6, 2014. Militias de autodefensas enter the town of Paracuaro in trucks.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/b78837dd33195d7f3486853ef2a1164eJerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Michoacan. January 6, 2014. Militias de autodefensas enter the town of Paracuaro in trucks.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/d168fad3629e14fc40014371ca3b23b4

Michoacan. January 6, 2014. Militias de autodefensas in the town of Paracuaro.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/d168fad3629e14fc40014371ca3b23b4Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Michoacan. January 6, 2014. Militias de autodefensas in the town of Paracuaro.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/53cc39e1f39ff04a933cea2bf39b62ed

Michoacan. January 6, 2014. A truck marked with the symbol of the self-defense militia in the town of Paracuaro.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/53cc39e1f39ff04a933cea2bf39b62edJerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Michoacan. January 6, 2014. A truck marked with the symbol of the self-defense militia in the town of Paracuaro.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/4eab5064881b808e795696e874322ae7

Michoacan. January 10, 2014. The leader of the autodefensas militia makes a speech in the church square to explain to the people of Antunez the goal of their presence in the town.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/4eab5064881b808e795696e874322ae7

Michoacan. January 10, 2014. The leader of the autodefensas militia makes a speech in the church square to explain to the people of Antunez the goal of their presence in the town.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/254525cf8e04259ce293616100ed2223

Michoacan. January 11, 2014. Vigilantes advance on Antunez.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/254525cf8e04259ce293616100ed2223Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Michoacan. January 11, 2014. Vigilantes advance on Antunez.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/00396a32135919d1ca79da0496492614

Michoacan. January 11, 2014. Three teenagers detained by vigilantes as they were caught with the car they stole from a journalist. They were also working for Templar cartel as 'Punteros' watchers and had set fire to two trucks on the road to Antunez.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/00396a32135919d1ca79da0496492614Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Michoacan. January 11, 2014. Three teenagers detained by vigilantes as they were caught with the car they stole from a journalist. They were also working for Templar cartel as 'Punteros' watchers and had set fire to two trucks on the road to Antunez.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/faa2ce97d514d6b851238bc28f46b1a8

Michoacan. January 11, 2014. The Knights Templar set up a road block by burning trucks and buses in order to slow the advance of vigilantes on Antunez.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/faa2ce97d514d6b851238bc28f46b1a8Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Michoacan. January 11, 2014. The Knights Templar set up a road block by burning trucks and buses in order to slow the advance of vigilantes on Antunez.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/eeb61d67a981a88b6235aec791933e8c

Michoacan. January 11, 2014. As the self defense militia advance on Antunez smoke from the road block set up by the cartel fills the air.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/eeb61d67a981a88b6235aec791933e8cJerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Michoacan. January 11, 2014. As the self defense militia advance on Antunez smoke from the road block set up by the cartel fills the air.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/eb78effde15115bd6d577934f9877697

Nueva Italia. January 12, 2014 Autodefensas await the signal from their leader to move toward Nueva Italia.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/eb78effde15115bd6d577934f9877697Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Nueva Italia. January 12, 2014 Autodefensas await the signal from their leader to move toward Nueva Italia.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/611a7baacff326591c83b28f92a5c475

Nueva Italia. January 12, 2014 Fighting between vigilantes and the Templar cartel took place over three hours in downtown Nueva Italia before the militia were able to claim victory.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mexico_Vigilantes/slideshow/no-caption/611a7baacff326591c83b28f92a5c475Jerome Sessini/MAGNUM

Nueva Italia. January 12, 2014 Fighting between vigilantes and the Templar cartel took place over three hours in downtown Nueva Italia before the militia were able to claim victory.



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