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Mexican militias agree to stay out of urban areas

Mexico City, Mar 7 (EFE).- Leaders of the militias that arose in the western state of Michoacan to defend communities from organized crime have agreed to remain outside urban areas, the Mexican government said. That commitment emerged from Thursday's regular weekly meeting of militia chiefs with the federal Commission for Security and Comprehensive Development in Michoacan, the Government Secretariat said. The Commission and commanders of the self-defense groups reached a number of accords aimed at the "gradual" demobilization of the militias, according to the statement.

Mexico's response to vigilante groups insufficient

Mexico's response to the rise of vigilante groups fighting drug cartels has been "very unclear" and "below expectations," Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. HRW Americas' director Jose Miguel Vivanco warned at a press conference of danger posed by armed civilians taking over the state's security roles. The government under President Enrique Pena Nieto "has been very unclear" and this has caused "great uncertainty" regarding its position toward the self-defense groups, Vivanco said.

Mexican state recognizes vigilante militias

Mexico's southwestern state of Guerrero has officially recognized vigilante groups that emerged this year to defend communities against violent drug gangs. Hundreds of men covered their faces, put up checkpoints and took up machetes and rifles in a rural, mountainous region near the Pacific resort of Acapulco in January in response to a wave of murders, kidnappings and extortion.
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