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Not much fear or loathing in Apatzingan, Mexico (PHOTOS)

Armed vigilante militias have flourished in western Mexico's Michoacan state, determined to take back towns and farms from the Knights Templar gang.

Not much fear or loathing in Apatzingan, Mexico (PHOTOS)

Long the bastion of meth-smuggling, shop-extorting gangsters, the western Mexican city of Apatzingan is now experiencing something it has not known for quite some time — calm. That's largely thanks to civilian "self-defense" groups that now enjoy a shield of sorts of federal government protection. Agence France-Presse photographers have captured the militiamen in their element in the city in Michoacan state. But it's a tenuous peace, and experts and locals say the area could fall back rapidly into violence if the Knights Templar gangsters strike back. 

Read the story by Dudley Althaus and watch video by Deborah Bonello here.