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Civilians revolt in a ‘failed state’: Vigilantes, weary of crime gangs, seize control of towns in Mexico’s Michoacán

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TEPALCATEPEC, Mexico — Rogelio Valencia peered out from a sandbag bunker outside Tepalcatepec in a fertile region of Mexico’s Michoacán state, keeping an eye cocked for marauding gangsters.

“They might come in 10 or 12 pickups. But we are prepared,” said Valencia, a civilian with a pistol tucked in his waistband and a two-way radio at hand.

Tepalcatepec is in a “liberated” region of Michoacán state, where an armed uprising of civilians has succeeded in lifting a yoke imposed by…

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