Mexico has decided to legalise vigilante groups that have sprung up to fight the Knight's Templar drug cartel, following previous attempts to get them to surrender their weapons.
Leaders of the groups have signed an agreement with the government that transforms them into an officially sanctioned security force.
Earlier this month, the government deployed soldiers and federal police in response to heavy fighting between the vigilante groups and the cartel.
Vigilante leaders had refused to lay down their arms until cartel bosses were detained.
Dionisio Loya, one of Mexico's most notorious drug bosses, was arrested on Monday.
Al Jazeera’s David Mercer reports from Mexico City.