- Residents living in fear of violent criminal gangs in south-west Mexico are taking matters into their own hands
- 600 vigilantes seized control of town of Paracuaro in Michoacan state in bloody battle that left one dead
- Convoy of ‘autodefensas’, or self-defence groups, drove into the town controlled by drugs gang in blacked-out SUVs
- They took back control from the Cabelleros Templarios (Knights Templar) gang which terrorised local residents
- Residents angry at the vigilantes recruiting young people have burnt at least three trailers to keep them out
UPDATED: 09:34 EST, 10 January 2014
Residents of a town in western Mexico set fire to at least three trailer trucks on Thursday to protest the arrival of 600 vigilantes to their community.
The burning trucks blocked roads leading into Paracuaro in Michoacan state before federal police and soldiers removed them.
The ‘self-defense’ group arrived Saturday in pickup trucks and SUVs and set up a checkpoint at the entrance to Paracuaro, a town of artisans and lime farmers.
Torched: A vehicle burns at an entrance to Paracuaro, Mexico, on Thursday as part of a protest by residents at the arrival of vigilantes
The situation in Paracuaro is akin to a civil war, with drug dealers, the police, vigilantes and locals, all fighting each other
An armed member of a self-defense group, that formed to fight organized crime, mans a checkpoint in Paracuaro