Thousands of vigilantes have taken up arms to fight the Knights Templar drug cartel that has been terrorizing communities in the state of Michoacán.

Businessmen, farmers, and even doctors have gone on the offensive to take back their towns and protect their families from extortion, rape, and murder at the hands of organized crime.

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Jose Manuel Mireles, doctor and self-defense force leader:

"The government doesn’t have a strategy. They don’t know how to work with the people. They want to eliminate the word autodefensas. They want to forget the word comunitarios. They are stealing our job, our work. The objective of the uprising is to clean all of Michoacán. And we’re not going to stop."

Fault Lines' corespondent Tereso Bo travels to the western Mexican state to follow the chaos unfolding there and examine how the federal government is attempting to control the complex situation on the ground.

Is this a popular uprising, or is it part of the same never-ending cycle of armed conflict that has routinely scarred the people of this agricultural state? 


Fault Lines   can be seen on Al Jazeera English each week at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2230; Wednesday: 0930; Thursday: 0330; Friday: 1630. 

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Source: Al Jazeera